Eugenio Barba, photo Maciej Zakrzewski

Eugenio Barba


The Tree, photo Rina Skeel

Odin Teatret



Dedicated to Inger Landsted

The tree of History grows vigorously and dead. Around it, child-soldiers and praying monks dance together with warlords, a wrathful mother, and the daughter of a poet who, as a child, dreamed of flying away with her father.

Two story-tellers introduce and comment upon scenes and characters: in the Syrian desert two Yazidi monks plant a pear tree to bring back the birds that have disappeared; in Nigeria a mother rests under the shadow of the tree of forgetfulness holding in her arms the head of her daughter hidden in a gourd; a European warlord explains the necessity for ethnic cleansing to an African warlord who performs a human sacrifice to make his army of child soldiers invulnerable before leading them into battle; a girl plays with her dolls around the tree her father planted when she was born, wondering how birds see the earth from the air.

The Tree (the past) is part of The Trilogy of the Innocents, together with The Great Cities under the Moon (the present) and The Chronic Life (the future). In this performance, the tree of History finally bends under the weight of fruit and offers a home to the birds that are flying over the heads of the spectators. But what kind of birds are they?

  • Odin Teatret
  • Director ― Eugenio Barba
  • Performers ― Luis Alonso, Parvathy Baul, I Wayan Bawa, Kai Bredholt, Roberta Carreri, Elena Floris, Donald Kitt, Carolina Pizarro, Fausto Pro, Iben Nagel Rasmussen, Julia Varley
  • Text ― Odin Teatret
  • Stage and light designer ― Luca Ruzza (OpenLab Company)
  • Tree model and realisation ― Giovanna Amoroso and Istvan Zimmermann (Plastikart)
  • Software programming ― Massimo Zomparelli
  • Costumes and props ― Odin Teatret
  • Poster and graphics ― Barbara Kaczmarek
  • Musical director ― Elena Floris
  • Technical director ― Fausto Pro
  • Puppets ― Niels Kristian Brinth, Fabio Butera, Samir Muhamad, I Gusti Made Lod
  • Dolls’ heads ― Signe Herlevsen
  • Dramaturg ― Thomas Bredsdorff
  • Literary adviser ― Nando Taviani
  • Director’s assistants ― Elena Floris, Julia Varley
  • Production ― Nordisk Teaterlaboratorium (Holstebro), the Grotowski Institute as part of European Capital of Culture Wrocław 2016 (Poland), National Theatre (Budapest)
  • Premiere ― 19 September 2016, Denmark


Date and hour

21 October
22 October
23 October
24 October
25 October


Running time

75 minutes