The path of the genius isn’t limited by borders, languages, countries, or any kind of social norms. That is the case of Eugenio Barba, an Italian, who has collaborated with his polish “colleague” Jerzy Grotowski, but his life path ends in Denmark, trough Norway.
In 1954 he travels to Norway and studies the History of Religions, French and Norwegian Literature, in 1961 he leaves Poland and later joined Grotowski, where he stayed for 3 years, then he traveled to India before returning to Norway in 1964. Because he had little chances in the Norwegian mainstream theatre, he accepted the offer from the Danish municipality of Holstebro, to create a lab, making Holstebro the base for multiple festivities.
Since 1974, Eugenio Barba and Odin Teatret have devised a unique way of presence in many social contexts practicing “barter”, an exchange of expressions with the communities and institutions, in a form of common performance.
In 1979 he founded ISTA, International School of Theatre Anthropology and then opened a new field of studies: Theatre Anthropology.
He is been awarded honorary doctorates from over 10 universities in the world, and he is one of the few theatre giants in the 20 and 21st centuries.
Eugenio Barba continues to lead the Odin Teatret, and some of the original actors are still with him.
In the past 49 years, Odin Teatret has created some 74 performances, of which about 25 are still in its current repertoire. The most recent performance is The Chronic Life, which premiered in September 2011 and is now touring worldwide.
Odin Teatret’s publishing activities began in the 1960s with the publication of the magazine T.T.T. (Teatrets Teori og Teknikk) and Jerzy Grotowski’s book Towards a Poor Theatre, which was translated into more than fifteen languages. Today it publishes books about Odin Teatret and ISTA; videos of Odin Teatret’s performances, pedagogy and training, videos of other practitioners’ productions and pedagogy, music, posters, and the journal The Open Page.