The Oleg Danovski Ballet Theater

Managing Director, Oleg Danovski Ballet Theater

Oleg Danovski's unquestioned merit lay in resisting the temptation of accepting to be turned into a ritual by the critique and the cultural bureaucracy, and in having launched, in the '80s, a first off the opera institutional project. His evocation from the interior by two if his main dancers, Betty Lux and Călin Hanţiu, must necessarily be continued by a series of great dancers who had connections with the "Fantasio" moment – the export name of his ballet company for almost two decades: Judith Turos, a star with the Bavarian Ballet, Simona Noja, prima ballerina with the Vienna Opera House, constantly invited at the beginnings of her career in the tours of the Constanţa dance company, and the dancers of the Mainz Theater, Ingrid Lupescu, Arpad Szell and Marcel Tabrea. Master Oleg Danovski's formative vocation was clearly visible both in the countless solo careers confirmed during the annual tours in the German speaking countries or in France, USA, Italy, Israel, Syria and Taiwan, and in the temporary contracts with major dance companies: SemperOper Dresden – Călin and Delia Hanţiu, KomischeOper Berlin – Aliss Tarcea, the Uwe Scholz Company – Felicia Şerbănescu, Linz Theater – Traian Vlas, the Monte Carlo Ballet – Horaţiu Cherecheş, Sorin Folea and others. In fact, there was a constant coming and going during those years, because despite the political context and the endless difficulties, the dancers could not do without his protective and inspiring presence. We are invoking a higher spirit, a quasi-imperial producer of long-term devotion; all his prime ballet dancers – Betty Lux, Delia Hanţiu, Doina Axinte, Monica Cherecheş, Aliss Tarcea, Felicia Şerbănescu, Călin Hanţiu, Dumitru Manolache Lux, Francisc Strnad, Traian Vlaş, Horaţiu Cherecheş and the younger Olimpia Cheţa, Gigel Ungureanu and Cristian Tarcea – honor his memory and acknowledge his authority and formative force. His example bred emulation, and with the new choreographer of the company, Călin Hanţiu, who in recent years has developed a neo-classical style, and the young choreographer Mădălina Dan, strongly influenced by contemporary French dance (Christine Bastin), time and creative experiences draw a divergent, protean – stylistically speaking – loop. But what clearly distinguishes the Constanţa dance company from others is the precise harmonization of the ballet ensemble used with a solo role, no matter whether the repertoire is classical, neo-classical or inspired by the universe of contemporary music (Bartok, Enescu, Jora, etc.). It is simply amazing how Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, Les Sylphides, Giselle, Bayadere, Schumann's Carnival, The Miraculous Mandarin, Enescu's Symphony no. 3 with organ, In the Marketplace, The Elf are staged yearly, at a pace that cannot be hindered by any adverse circumstances. In the '80s and '90s, the Western stages opened for it, tours were more frequent, its recognition was complete. After 1990, the company became the Classical and Contemporary Ballet Theater, and then the Oleg Danovski Ballet Theater. In 1992, Danovski became the President of the Romanian Dance Committee of UNESCO. He was constantly concerned with the fate of dance and dance institutions. In 1993, he launched the National Ballet Contest, a high-standard competition that acknowledges young dancers and attracts forces capable of generating opportunities, breaking limits and prerogatives, inspiring responsibility for the future of dance. After his death, in 1996, the Oleg Danovski Ballet Theater became a preserver of Danovski's repertoire, but also a theater open to projects and to choreographers and dance teachers from Romania as well as from abroad – Gigi Căciuleanu, Sergiu Anghel, Adina Cezar, Judith Turos, Simona Noja, Ioan Tugearu, Wilfride Piollet, Jean Guizerix, Pierre Wyss, Bella Ratchinskaya, Terasvuori Juhani, Cosmin Manolescu, Christine Bastin defined new directions of evolution and profound study, to which two international editions of the festival and dance contest founded by Oleg Danovski may be added. Featuring in many episodes of the World of Dance TV show by Silvia Ciurescu and on Cultural TVR, partnerships with the Romanian Section of the World Theater Critics' Association, the Sibiu International Theater Festival and EURODANS in Iaşi, DCM Foundation and MAD Center or Contemp Company – all this defines a philosophy that borrowed from its founding manager the essential directions and a strategy oriented toward an equilibrium between classical and contemporary dance. 

by Ana Maria Munteanu