A Recital For All Those Who Love Dance

On May 20, on the occasion of the International Dance Day, the stage of the National Opera hosted a ballet recital. The performance proper was preceded by an opening speech by Mihai Brediceanu, the president of the Dancers', Choreographers' and Music Critics' Union, by a presentation made by him and Sergiu Anghel, the project manager, as well as by the reading of the message sent by Maia Plisetskaya to 'all those who love the art of dancing'. The recital brought together almost all of the Bucharest choreographers, from all generations. Made up of both ballets created in the recent years and new works, it offered an overall picture of the current state of choreography, its stylistic range, its preferred themes and the potential of each choreographer at this moment. The show opened with a fragment from Sacre du printemps by Igor Stravinsky, choreographed by Alexa Mezincescu and danced by the ballet company of the National Opera. Although benefiting from the most plastic input of the soloist Corina Dumitrescu (who got a prize for this role), accompanied by Mihai Babuşca, the particular passage also revealed the desuetude of the movements of the ensemble and the discrepancy between Stravinsky's music and themes on the one hand and the choreographic composition on the other. Of course, one part only taken out from the larger context of the whole performance can be put at a disadvantage by this very separation. And yet, every fragment should be able to say something about the whole. Along the same lines, the piece presented by Studio DCM, the youngest contemporary dance company, from their show Incursions, choreographed and danced by Cosmin Manolescu together with Rodica Geantă on music played by Mircea Tiberian (piano) and Cristian Soleanu (saxophone), did not manage to reach the standard set by the creations of their colleagues from the same generations in terms of compositional rigor and inner tension.Similarly, although Chilean Nights, Adina Cezar's ballet on Chilean folk music, opened promisingly in terms of steps and especially overall plasticity, well supported by the à contre jour light that gave it a kind of poetic character and nocturnal mystery, the subsequent looseness of movements as well as the utter lack of expressiveness of the bodies of the four male dancers of the Contemp company lowered substantially the quality of the work.However, due to its most expressive plasticity and the intensity of its abandonment to the music, the composition belonging to the choreographer and dancer Liliana Iorgulescu, on the music of Adrian Iorgulescu's Quartet, was a moment of delicate poetry. It was clear again that the standardization of the means of expression of the two choreographers of the Contemp company, Adina Cezar and Liliana Iorgulescu, can lead to the point where they can no longer capitalize on their own personalities.At the opposite end to Liliana Iorgulescu's work in terms of inner tension, lacking this dimension, that is, but making imaginative and rigorous use of the design of his composition, Sergiu Anghel confirmed again the prize received two years ago for Antonio Vivaldi's Seasons, featuring the Orion Ballet company – with just one reservation regarding the monochrome, dark colored attires, inappropriate for the summer season.Some of the ballets showed once again that a consummate choreographic work is the result of a happy collaboration between choreographers and dancers of the same value, the final output owing equally to both parties. The Tunnel, Mihaela Santo's graduation work, on music by Klaus Schulze and Niccolo Paganini, was such a creation, of which we had a fragment interpreted by Monica Petrică, Răzvan Mazilu and the actor Liviu Pancu (who has real dancing potential). In this ballet one can easily equal the quality of the choreographic design and its materialization by the dancers, all modern and with a lot of personality. The same communion between the choreographer's intention and the plastic expression given to the role by the dancer was to be found in Richard III, a piece created some years ago by Ioan Tugearu for himself on a monologue by Shakespeare and music by Gustav Mahler. The ballet was now recreated for Răzvan Mazilu to meet his sensitivity. The translation of the choreographic conception by the exceptional plasticity of Răzvan Mazilu resulted in a most vivid expression of the mixture of force and slyness, villainy and finally desperation of this famous character. Special mention needs to be made of the suggestive costume created by Adriana Grand. Finally, Sighs was a fragment – presented for the first time – from a future performance of the Marginalii company. The two choreographers, Mihai Mihalcea and Florin Fieroiu, were also the dancers of their creation. They gave an excellent expression of its value, rendering it very intense by the quality of the plasticity of their bodies and the interior load of a profound vibration. Marginalii seem to have become the center of attention of our choreographic life. Besides the different authors' creations, the recital included several classical pieces. The range of dancers was wide, from the young 3rd year students who accurately danced the Pastel-Study composition of the teacher Mihaela Santo to the leading dancers of the National Opera, Corina Dumitrescu and Mihai Babuşca, who danced the pas de deux from Mincus's Don Quixote with great verve, and Anne Marie Vretos and Cristian Crăciun, very dry and uncommitted this time, despite their usual value, in the famous Act II of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake.Also present at the recital were the national quintet Concordia, made up of Ioan Cationis (flute), Nicolae Vasile (oboe), Dan Berendei (clarinet), Sorin Lupaşcu (horn) and Miltiade Nenoiu (bassoon), with pieces by Grieg, Tchaikovsky, Glier, Patterson and J. Strauss, as well as the Preludiu choir conducted by Voicu Enăchescu, with pieces by Orlando di Lasso, Donatti and Passereau. Years ago, the ballet of the National Opera used to have such recitals too, besides the 2 or 3 act performances. This brief and concentrated kind of choreographic art is extremely stimulating, both for choreographers and for dancers, and the revival of this tradition could be beneficial to everybody. The audience included.

by Liana Tugearu