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Modern Theatre pioneer Eugenio Barba presents his work in November

Led by legendary Modern Theatre director Eugenio Barba, Odin Teatret will debut in Hong Kong in late November. They will perform in three events, including a performance "Inside the Skeleton of the Whale", five work demonstrations and a lecture.

Odin Teatret is presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

"Inside the Skeleton of the Whale" will be staged from November 25 to 28 at 8pm at the Studio Theatre of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Inspired by the story "Before the Law" by Franz Kafka, it tells of a man from the country who, out of subjection and obedience, does not dare to pass through the Door of the Law. The performance weaves metaphysical and nihilistic urges, subterranean plots and black apocryphal versions of the Holy Books.

It talks about the essence of rituality in theatre. The title refers to a verse of the Gospel according to Matthew: "Our evil and adulterous generation demands a sign. But no sign will be given to us, except for the sign of Jonas". The show does not have intermission and latecomers will not be admitted.

Five work demonstrations will be staged from November 24 to 28 at the Studio Theatre of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Performed by the actors of the Odin Teatret, the works show their talents and ability trained by the theatre.

On November 24 at 8pm, "Traces in the Snow", performed by Roberta Carreri, displays the building of a character and the creation of a performance. "The Echo of Silence", performed by Julia Varley, will be staged on November 25 at 11am. It describes the vicissitudes of the voice of an actor and the stratagems of interpreting a text. On November 26 at 11am, "The Dead Brother", performed by Julia Varley, explains how performances are created at Odin Teatret and presents the different phases of the process in which text, actor and director interact. "The Paths of Thoughts", performed by Torgeir Wethal, will be held on November 27 at 11am. It illustrates the significance of improvisation in building a role. "The Whispering Winds", the last demonstration, will be held on November 28 at 11am. Performed by the Odin Teatret's ensemble, it demonstrates the difference between theatre and dance.

The lecture, conducted in English, will be held on November 28 at 3pm at the Lecture Hall of the Hong Kong Space Museum, Speaker Engenio Barba will talk about "The Reality behind the Fiction".

Eugenio Barba is one of the major innovators in 20th century theatre and a focus of contemporary experimental works. A theatre director and theorist in a class of his own, he has found a versatile tool in the Odin Teatret, exploring the possibilities of what he has called "the Third Theatre", a socially aware, exploratory, actor-oriented form of drama, distinct from that of commercial boulevard theatre on the one hand and director-dominated, dramatist-oriented art theatre on the other. He studied theatre directing at the State Theatre School in Poland, but left a year later to join Jerzy Grotowski, who at that time was the leader of Teatr 13 Rzedow in Opole.

Barba founded Odin Teatret in 1964, first in Oslo, then later found a base in Holsterbo, Denmark, where it became a centre for theatre research and a source for theatre training. From there its fame spread as a performing company. By charm, obsessiveness and ruthless dedication, he has made Odin one of the most famous institutions of contemporary theatre. During the past 36 years, he has directed 23 productions, some of which have required up to two years of preparation and have been performed throughout Europe.

Odin Teatret is well known for its education and training for actors that emphasise control of body and voice, and is the origin of experimental theatre. Odin began performing in villages and city outskirts in Europe and South America, developing new outdoor skills, including acrobatics and the grotesque which become part of their dramaturgy.

Tickets for "Inside the Skeleton of the Whale" are priced at $280, $180 and $100; "Traces in the snow" work demonstration is $150 and the rest are $100; "Lecture" priced at $120 are available for senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients (limited tickets for CSSA recipients available on a first-come, first-served basis). For purchases of full-price tickets, the following discounts apply: 4-9 tickets, 10%; 10-19 tickets, 15%; 20-39 tickets, 20%, 40 tickets or more 30%. For purchase of "Work Demonstrations" tickets, the following discounts apply: 10% for two or three different work demonstrationsand 20% for four or more different work demonstrations. A 10% discount is offered to Friends of LCSD performing venues.

For programme enquiries, call 2268 7323, and for ticketing enquiries and reservations, call 2734 9009. For Internet bookings, go to . For credit card telephone bookings, call 2111 5999. Visit for more information on the programme.

Ends/Tuesday, October 5, 2004
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