International School of Theatre Anthropology
ISTA, International School of Theatre
Anthropology, was founded in 1979. Conceived and directed
by Eugenio Barba, it is based in Holstebro, Denmark. ISTA is a
multicultural network of performers and scholars giving life to an
itinerant university whose main field of study is Theatre
ISTA researches into the technical basis of the performer in a
transcultural dimension. The objective of this methodological
choice, deriving from an empirical approach, is the understanding
of the fundamental principles which engender the performer's
"presence" or "scenic life".
ISTA holds open sessions periodically on the request of national
and international cultural institutions which provide the necessary
funding. Each session has a different theme defining a particular
field which is investigated through practical classes, work
demonstrations and comparative analysis. Each time, a limited
number of actors, dancers, directors, choreographers, scholars and
critics can apply to participate.
Theatre Anthropology should not be confused with cultural
anthropology. It is a new field of study applied to the human
being in an organised performance situation.
Since its start in 1980, ISTA sessions have been held in the
following places: Bonn (Germany, 1980), Volterra and Pontedera
(Italy, 1981), Blois and Malakoff (France, 1985), Holstebro
(Denmark, 1986), Salento (Italy, 1987), Bologna (Italy, 1990),
Brecon and Cardiff (Great Britain, 1992), Londrina (Brazil, 1994),
Umeå (Sweden, 1995), Copenhagen (Denmark, 1996), Montemor-o-Novo
and Lisbon (Portugal, 1998), Bielefeld (Germany, 2000), Seville
(Spain, 2004) and Wroclaw (Poland, 2005).