Barter, or ‘Feeding’ (One Another) within a Community
- Guest ― Eugenio Barba
It is an idea to meet on the border of a morning conversation and reflections on theatre that commits itself for the life of the local community. The departure point will be the argument coined by Eugenio Barba about the importance of the two lungs in the work of a director. One stands for ‘biography’, the other for ‘theatre’. Hence the endeavour to urge the director to return to childhood memories, to family breakfasts, their flavours, fragrances and noises, to the presence of grandma, to the reflections on what breakfast meant in the place where he was born. What did it mean to that community and what was its course?
Another step is the question what breakfast is for Barba as the director of Odin Teatret. How did its role change when the ensemble gave up working at night and began starting rehearsals from 7 a.m. instead? What is breakfast (both literally and metaphorically) for the creator of theatre? When can the actor or the director say ‘I’ve had breakfast already’? What do they feed on? Does a common breakfast influence the mutual bond of the ensemble members?
Is the work of a theatre ensemble that awakens, engages and tries to combine various local environments, which helps discern local troubles, still theatre or is it more than theatre? What role does Festuge play in this context? Do theatre people have particular tasks regarding the encountered social problems?
In what way do the barters used in the work of Odin Teatret since the 1970s, as well as the activities carried out in Holstebro – such as those engaging the elderly or juniors – influence the work of the ensemble? Can we understand barter as a way in which the society feeds itself – as a meal that helps the community cement itself?