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Lesson 9 – Eurasian theatre

This film is part of the Project of Knowledge Sharing “Learning to see – Ten lessons in Theatre Anthropology” by Eugenio Barba, Claudio Coloberti and Julia Varley. Theatre Anthropology is the study of the human being in a situation of organised representation. In the film Eugenio Barba indicates and comments the shared technical principles aiming at building the performer’s presence in different acting and dancing traditions.

The film is dedicated to Cristina Wistari, an Italian dancer who for years in Bali struggled to keep alive the tradition of gambuh which, together with Japanese nô is the oldest form of dance-theatre still in existence. Cristina joined the ISTA ‘village’ with the Batuan’s Gambuh Pura Desa ensemble which became an integral part of the Theatrum Mundi performances.

Eugenio Barba introduces various extracts of Theatrum Mundi performances which conclude with images from Ur-Hamlet: “With the term Eurasian Theatre I mean the technical and theoretical dimension which enables us to consider as a unity those performances traditionally divided into the two cultural hemispheres called East and West.

In reality these are connected not only by exchanges and intersections, but above all by a common professional identity. The profession is also a country to which we belong, an elective homeland, without geographical borders.”