Eugenio Barba, The Moon Rises from the Ganges: My Journey through Asian Acting Techniques, Icarus Publishing Enterprise, and Routledge, 2016, pp.292

The book presents Eugenio Barba's most important texts on his research into the technical knowledge of Asian performers. Weaving together encounters, detailed descriptions, theoretical reflections, anecdotes and travels, the author unfolds the changing phases in a passionate inquiry which has been a constant reference in his more than fifty-year career.

The book deals with the various aspects of Barba's collaboration with traditional actors and dancers from the East. It describes their frequent meetings and their work exchanges, which contributed to the comparative analysis of their know-how. The result of this extensive cooperation has opened up the new field of Theatre Anthropology, defined by Barba as the study of the technical pre-expressive principles at the root of stage presence in any actor/dancer. The pragmatic activity of the International School of Theatre Anthropology (ISTA), founded in 1979, is illustrated through the procedures and variations arising from questions and demonstrations. What is rhythm, improvisation, flow, presence?

In this 'performers' village that is ISTA, Asian, Western and Afro-Brazilian actors/dancers scrutinise each other's work, relating and mapping out the similar technical principles underlying their different ways of thinking and working. The autodidactic practice of Odin Teatret actors together with the training methods of the European theatre reformers of the twentieth century are continuously confronted with the results of this research from the perspective of a performer`s 'scenic anatomy'.

Edited by Lluis Masgrau, The Moon Rises from the Ganges: My Journey through Asian Acting Techniques includes some of Barba's well-known articles which have already become classics, as well as relatively unknown and unpublished texts. The result is a valuable guide for practitioners, an account of pure research into the know-how of the performer, and an important chapter of East-West dialogue in twentieth-century theatre.

Eugenio Barba is the founder of Odin Teatret and author of many books. For a select biography, visit: http://www.odinteatret.dk/about-us/eugenio-barba.aspx