BP.37, 2 Bis rue de Béruselle
94161 St.Mandé, France
BAAL - founder of ATRAAL Theatre -, was born in Hungary; he has
been living in France since 1956, for 30 years in Paris. He holds
a French state doctor's degree in medical research, he is doctor
of clinical psychology and was, until recent times senior research
director at the French National Center of Scientific Research.
his 42 years work he changed research fields many times, so he got
in touch with biology, genetics, psychology, Hungarian and French
avant-garde literature, theatre theory, and theatre and movement
therapy. He was teaching at Sorbonne, the New York University and
several other universities in France and in the USA.
psychoanalytical knowledge is linked with his theatre work: that
means, his experimental theatre has a psychological orientation.
This led him to the development of a unique theatre-therapy method,
which seemed to be very effective, especially on the field of drug
Baal with ATRAAL has devoted some performances to the Hungarian
literature. He has translated into French surrealistic plays of
Tibor Déry, The Pessimistic Comedy of Árpád Göncz; some years ago
he edited an anthology of Hungarian avant-garde literature of the
twenties and thirties. He arranged four evenings at George Pompidou
Center devoted to the Hungarian literature. The reading variation
of Madach's Tragedy of Man could have been seen there, among others.
last two years he devoted all his time and energy for drug addicts
and ex-drug addicts and the creative work with them.
Baal is scientist an artist, psychoanalytic and director, therapist
and actor at the same time. He speaks about what theatre can learn
from psychoanalysis, speaks about the sources of theatre, the role
of the actors and spectators, the way from the microbiology to the
drug addicts. As a theatre therapist he uses the movement, dance,
voice, text, emotions, situations; he works with the individual,
with couples and groups; he shows the dynamics of oppositions through
his practice, through his training.
ATRAAL Theatre, founded 30 years ago and directed since by George
Baal, is a non-profit cultural institution situated in Paris and
involved in activities of several fields especially theatre, therapy
, research and education.
its performances to be shown for the public they were composed on
classical or modern, mainly poetical texts, using special movement-
dance- and voice-techniques, and improvisations; the ATRAAL plays
at big and small theatres, in open-air spaces performances based
on movement improvisations as well.
experimental theatre it has been performing in French works of Lautréamont,
Artaud, Beckett, contemporary French authors; it has been working
as a dance and improvisational theatre as well. Its performances,
created in France, toured all around the world: Paris, New York,
Barcelona, Helsinki, Genova etc.
an additional activity, artists of ATRAAL usually held theoretical
lectures and workshops for actors. Before the public appearance,
thy have a long period of experimental work on theatre theory, the
psychological analysis of actors' role, the new ways of connecting
theatre and therapy, and development of methods of theatre therapy.
In the last 20 years the ATRAAL was working with psychiatrists,
psychologists, ballet dancers, actors, prisoners, drug addicts,
mentally ill persons etc.
the same time ATRAAL developed the theory and practice of drama-therapy,
and therapy by non-verbal expression in the fields of mental care
and psychiatry. Lately this work was extended to the field of drug
addiction: therapy with addicts, rehabilitation and social integration,
prevention both in France and in Hungary.
most popular current performance of the ATRAAL is 'Maldoror' (according
to Lautréamont); Maldoror is the victim of pain, cruelty and suffer.
Maldoror is the evil itself, the demon, but he is the burning desire
- the desire for knowledge, as well. Maldoror is the Man. Me, you,
and the world, the sky, the earth, the sea, the ocean the storm
and the flash; it means smells and colors, the creatures of God
actors of ATRAAL performed 'The songs of Maldoror' after 2 years
of work. This was the play, which has been keeping alive the creative
attitude of the group for a long time, and it gave them success.
years later the Leo Amici Foundation (Komló, Hungary), then the
Podane Ruce (Bohemia) and the Station Group (Budapest, Hungary)
choosed this play as the basis of theatre therapy work, because
the world of Maldoror was very close to young people obsessed by
drug abuse or the fight against it.
is a fact, that with the proper direction, Maldoror can make miracles
in therapeutical communities, in the spirits of those taking part
in therapies and on the stage as well. This is a "directed
miracle" created by George Baal and his actors, friend and