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ISTA IX. Umeå, Sweden, 9-21/05/1995. “Form and Information”

Organisers: Sven Shalström, Umeå Teaterförening and Chris Torch, Intercult, Shikasta/Riksteatern

Financed by: Umeå Kommun, Umeå Kulturförvaltung, Baltic Group, Umeå University, Statens Kulturråd, Det Svenska Institutet, Umeå Folkets Hus, Västerbottens Läns Landsting, The Swedish International Development Authority, Norrlandsoperan, ABF i Umeå, Arbetsförmedling, Nordiska Kulturfonden and Teater och Dans i Norden.

The Performer’s Learning in a Multicultural Dimension Performers who do not belong to a codified genre begin their apprenticeship with the inherent gifts of their personality, so-called “talent”. They use as points of departure the suggestions contained in the texts to be performed, the observation of daily behavior, the emulation of other performers, the study of books and paintings, the director’s instructions. Performers who belong to a codified genre find the preliminary points of support in the very style that they are learning. But underneath the differences in the learning processes, as well as the aesthetics and the styles, there is a net of techniques based on a few common principles. The performer’s professional identity is rooted in these recurring principles which we could call “the technique of techniques”. All different techniques are founded on them. They are not what is characteristic in each tradition, but the stratagems through which performers learn to learn. Performers embody these principles, transforming them from ways of acting into ways of thinking. Since its creation in 1980, ISTA has reserved a privileged space for “the experience of the first day”, comparing various techniques at their most elementary level: that which performing masters have learnt in the first hours of their apprenticeship. In “the experience of the first day” we find hidden and present, as a seed, the specific ways in which each tradition models scenic energy. The technique is the other face of an attitude – an ethic – through which performers give a meaning to their artistic action. The ISTA in Umeå presents an opportunity for becoming acquainted with the “first day” of some of the main Asian and western performance genres. It will also re-evoke the vision and the practice of the innovatory schools of the 20th century, from Stanislavski to Meyerhold, from Copeau to Decroux and Grotowski.
Eugenio Barba

Artistic Staff
I Made Djimat, dancer, musician
Cristina Wistari, dancer, musician
I Wayan Bawa, dancer, musician
Ni Wayan Sekarini, dancer, musician

Augusto Omolú, dancer, Candomblé tradition
Ory Sacramento, musician
Jorge “Funk” Paim, musician
Antonio Carlos dos Santos Araújo, musician

Sanjukta Panigrahi, dancer, Odissi
Raghunath Panigrahi, musician
Gangadhar Pradhan, musician
Hemant Kumar Das, musician
Pradeepta Sekhar Mohapatra, musician

Kanichi Hanayagi, dancer, Nihon Buyo
Mark Oshima

Thomas Leabhart, actor, Decroux tradition

Odin Teatret
Kai Bredholt, actor, musician
Emil Ferslev, musician
Jan Ferslev, actor, musician
Frans Winther,musician
Isabel Ubeda, actor
Julia Varley, actor

Scientific Staff
Clelia Falletti (Italy)
Kirsten Hastrup (Denmark)
Ronald Jenkins (USA)
Marco de Marinis (Italy)
Patrice Pavis (France)
Jean-Marie Pradier (France)
Janne Risum (Denmark)
Franco Ruffini (Italy)
Nicola Savarese (Italy)
Mirella Schino (Italy)

During the 9th ISTA session, a five-day symposium (17-21 May), led by Eugenio Barba, was held open to the public. It included work demonstrations by ISTA’s artistic staff. ISTA presented 16 public performances by Balinese, Indian, Japanese, North American ensembles and Odin Teatret, organised 1 barter and presented 1 Theatrum Mundi.
The symposium as well as most of the public performances were found in Umeå, while the ISTA closed session took place in Lövånger, a tiny village 80 kilometers north of Umeå.

Daily schedule in Lövanger
06.00-07.00: “Time of Stillness” (breakfast);
07.00-08.15: “Digging under the Surface” (the technique of techniques);
08.30-10.00: “First Steps” (the foundation of scenic bios):
Groups with were
Zeami I Made Djimat Mississipi room
Kalidasa Augusto Omolú Nile Room
Thespis Sanjukta Panigrahi Ganges Room
Atahualpa Kanichi Hanayagi Yang-tze room
Caboclo Tom Leabhart Amazonas room;

10.30-12.30: “The Origins and the Present” (flashes on our professional identity through demonstrations
and stories);
12.30-13.30: Lunch;
13.30-15.00. “Chaosmos” (Individualism and Synapsis);
15.00-16.15: “Waiting for the Ghost” (the performer’s dramaturgical invention):
Groups were:
Aoyama Yang-tze room
Bhubaneswar Ganges room
Salvador Nile room
Batuan Amazonas room
Claremont Volga room
Bayreuth Niagara Falls room;
16.30-18.30: “The Island of the Labyrinths” (The director’s dramaturgical invention);
19.00-20.00: Supper;
20.30-21.30: “Flying over the Surface” (Performances from different cultures)