Răzvan Mazilu And A New Vision Of Camille

The triplet Marie Duplessis (the real-life model), Marguerite Gautier (the literary character), and Violeta Valery (the opera character) has always inspired creators in all arts, including dancing. Internationally, we mention, among others, the famous ballet shows by Antony Tudor in 1951, Sir Frederick Ashton in 1963, and John Neumeier in 1978. In Romania, there was the show by Ioan Tugearu in Iaşi in 1994 to music by Roman Vlad, and the current one by Răzvan Mazilu at the Workshop Hall of the National Theater in Bucharest. Răzvan Mazilu's creation is not only a new face of Marguerite Gautier, but also a new type of a theater show. The word, the dance, and, in a broader meaning, the movement, with the music by Dorina Crişan Rusu played on the cello by Adrian Mantu, the three performers – two actors and a dancer – and the stage image, which is often as plastic as a painting, contribute felicitously to transmitting the ideas that are often accompanied by strong emotions.I had never imagined that, as a ballet critic, I would have the opportunity to write about Maia Morgenstern, although this wonderful actress has flirted with dancing before, with choreographer Sergiu Anghel, although I knew that God had endowed her with many gifts, even the gift of singing, which is something I was able to hear during a rehearsal break when Andrei Şerban directed Medea. Then, her almost athletic body, deep voice, and strong personality, appropriate for the ancient and modern theater, but not for Romantic roles, did not seem to recommend her for Marguerite Gautier. Perhaps a theater director would not have even given it to her, but Răzvan Mazilu had the courage and intuition to do that, and, no matter how many roles Maia Morgenstern will play from now on, this one will be for reference, owing to the natural, simple, and pure moments she spends with Armand Duval. That role is played by Marius Iosif Capotă, equally naturally, simply, and warmly, while Răzvan Mazilu reserved the role of Destiny to himself. In Roman Vlad's ballet there was also such a role, called the Director (of destinies). It is not only the presence of this last character, but also the script by Răzvan Mazilu and Maia Morgenstern that warns us from the first line that this is not about taking up a story, rather, it is a meditation on the story. Although we disagree with Răzvan Mazilu's conception according to which our destiny is a synonym of the dark angel that is always close to each of us, and, that the dark angel in question is, in turn, synonymous with each man's flesh (the body in itself is not a sinner, we can turn it into one), we admire the way he expressed this idea, the way he managed its unfolding, and, most of all, many of the highly plastic and expressive moments in the show, in close interdependence with the scenery by Doina Levinţa and with the light design by Victor Ioan Frunză. Therefore, a white piece of cloth serves in turn to portray a screen for shadows, a sheet of paper for Marguerite to write her adieu letter, a cloak she wraps herself in to escape her inner cold, and – in one of the most beautiful moments of the show – a table cloth between the two lovers for their last dinner together. Above it, they eat black grapes, which begin to fall on the white cloth when deceiving words promise what will never be. Although only Răzvan Mazilu dances, he does so focusing, valorizing the special expressiveness of his body, while the movements of the two actors sometimes reach a plastic value, like for example when Marguerite assures Germont (also played by Marius Iosif Capotă, with his back to the stage and to the audience) that Armand's separation from her will not be difficult, because he will hate her. At that moment, the actress' open arms contort with an expressive force that even the best dancer could not compete with. Only a few years back, when Răzvan Mazilu the dancer made his appearance, he amazed people due to the quality and maturity of his expression, and today he amazes them like then, owing to his almost unexplainable maturity as a choreographer and director. Another great promise for the Romanian choreography.

by Liana Tugearu