Sarah Bild And The Contemp Ensemble

A good Romanian-Canadian meeting took place recently through the collaboration of the dancers from the Contemp ensemble with the Canadian choreographer Sarah Bild, who graduated in 1988 from the Montreal Modern Dance Workshops, and the creator of some performances presented in the last years on stages from Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and also at the Festival of Canadian Dance in Ottawa, this year. Through the network "Pépinières Européenes pour Jeunes Artistes", Sarah Bild had the opportunity to be in choreographic residence in Bucharest, at the Contemp ensemble led by Adina Cezar, and at the same time to spend some time at the Mogoşoaia National Cultural Center. The Brancovenesque monument, with its palace, gardens and gates, inspired her, constituting the starting point of her last creation "The Threshold", presented in Bucharest. The choreographer defines this work as "a movement between past and future" in which "in order to identify the experiences of the past, to translate them into the hopes of the future, we must step over a threshold." The threshold passed by all the dancers of the Contemp ensemble, namely Liliana Iorgulescu Varvara Ştefănescu, Adina Cezar, Andreea Duţă, Ioana Popovici, Ionuţ Contraş and Marius Onofrei gave them the opportunity of highlighting their multiple possibilities of performers. They passed through a large and nuanced choice of situations sustained from the inside by much sensitivity and graphically exteriorized through expressive movements, fluid but at the same time utterly precise. Even from the very first sequence of the performance the seizing and at the same intensely dramatic graphicalness of Liliana Iorgulescu occupied the central point or the threshold and marked the subsequent development of the ballet, developed then on multiple directions, sometimes in slow rhythms, sometimes in a twirling crescendo, but always with a meaning, with vigor and with clarity on the relationship between the characters. A single exception constitutes the sequence interpreted by the two men of the ensemble, to which the choreographer still owes something, their moment of confrontation being unconvincing. With the movement of the whole body, Sarah Bild, like many other creators of contemporary dance, includes in her choreographic approach the vocal chords as well, the words being used not for their content but for their sonority. The set design, signed also by a Canadian artist, Douglas Lowric, at his fourth collaboration with the choreographer Sarah Bild, consists of an architectonic construction reduced to essence, like a spatial drawing lacking all ornaments, thought in function of a point of fugue and having a large central arcade under which they passed the threshold – a scenography as essentialized as the choreography. The teamwork between the Romanian ensemble performers and the Canadian choreographer proved beneficial for both parts, the Contemp ensemble being excellently highlighted and filling up a gap at this time in the season.

by Liana Tugearu