Witnessing the First Phase in the Composition of an Odin Teatret Performance
A two-week immersion rehearsing with Eugenio Barba and his actors
For two weeks, Odin Teatret will rehearse its next production ISHI in the presence of 20 selected people participating as a “collective mind”. After watching the rehearsals, the participants will gather to comment the day’s work and ask questions to Eugenio Barba. They will discuss with him, pointing out unclear situations, unexpected possibilities and new perspectives in a specific score, scene or situation.
Odin Teatret’s new performance has the provisional working title of ISHI. It depicts a love story in a landscape of languages which are withering and extinguishing. The work is in its embryonic phase and open to all radical developments.
Witnessing the rehearsal, the participants of the “collective mind” are introduced to the intimacy of a delicate, elusive and at times repetitive way of working and conceiving. A particular kind of self-discipline, quality of observation and concentration are required from the observers in order to support the actors, the director and the other collaborators. This is the only way to prevent the rehearsals from becoming trivialised and perturbed by a foreign unconcerned presence.
In theatre, we can speak of a “collective mind” when an ensemble of motivated people is engaged in a creative process which doesn’t aim at realising an already clearly defined project. A “collective mind” integrates different specialisations, various degrees of experience and diverse responsibilities in an assembling process similar to that which happens in the individual mind in the course of invention: sudden changes of direction, detours, exploitation of serendipitous effects, leaps from one level of organisation to another (pre-expressive level, organic dramaturgy, narrative dramaturgy, shaping of the space, musical universe, etc.). The “collective mind” operates with the same amount of energy in programming as in knowing how to demolish its own programmes.
During the rehearsals, new narrative threads emerge, mingle and get lost. The “collective mind” - the people involved in the process - tries to deepen and elaborate the materials already developed as well as their potentialities. They imagine other issues and propose new solutions, envisaging unforeseen aspects and even stories within the context of the growing dramaturgical structure.
The activity of the “collective mind” deals simultaneously with all the various levels of the performance’s organism, sometimes stressing one level, sometimes another, in an un-programmed way. The people absorbed in this process are searching both for the specific form of the creative process and also an unexpected secret sense of the story.
No rigid schedule can be previously established since the process decides the rhythm.
Films of previous Odin Teatret performances will be shown every evening and Odin Teatret’s performance The Deaf Man’s House will be presented.
See the full programme below