The Oleg Danovski Ballet Theater - Events And Projects 2001-2002

The only self-relying public dance company in Romania, the Oleg Danovski Ballet Theater carries out an extremely complex and sustained activity mirrored in the diversity of its productions and projects. In 1999 the company opened its gates to the personalities of the Romanian emigration as well as to the international dance scene. Thus in the first International Dance Festival, choreographer Gigi Căciuleanu (France) mounted the show Mozartisssimo, performed by dancers of the OD Ballet Theater, while his Paris company presented the show Oskolki, miroirs brisés. The same festival was graced by the presence of Simona Noja, prima ballerina of the Vienna Opera, with a recital much eulogized by the press and the public. Simona Noja was associated art director for the 1999/2000 season when she staged her own version of Swan Lake in the choreography of Oleg Danovski. The subsequent evolution of the OD Ballet Company was enhanced by the collaboration with Judith Turos, prima ballerina of the Bavarian Ballet (Munich) invited in 2000 to take master classes, and to stage a new version of Giselle. The refinement of that performance was highlighted by numerous reviewers of Scena, Teatrul azi and the dailies Adevărul, Curierul naţional, Cotidianul a.o. Jean Guizerix, ballet master at the Paris Opera and Wilfride Piollet of the National Higher Conservatory of Music and Dance, choreographer Christine Bastin and stage decorator Isabelle Barthel, and again Gigi Căciuleanu were partners of the ODBT in 2000 and 2001, alongside representatives of German dance, Erwin Kecsek, hailing from Romania and Ralph Frey from the Mannheim Dance Academy. The Romanian choreographers who evinced their mastery in that period were Sergiu Anghel, Ioan Tugearu, and Răzvan Mazilu. At present, the ODBT boasts several projects involving Adina Cezar, Cosmin Manolescu and, in the future, Vava Ştefănescu. The overture to the local and world dance phenomenon with its whole range of forms and styles, the investment made in the ODBT dancers, in the improvement of the younger ones and in assuring performances at international standard have further cemented the position of the OD Company on the western market. This year's productions, just like that of the coming year are realized in concert with a team of authors from the Karlsruhe Theater and with the financial assistance of an important German agency. Reviewed in the 2000 season by Judith Turos, prima ballerina of Bayerische Staatsballett Munich, founding member of the Fantasio Ensemble of Contemporary and Classical Ballet in 1978, Giselle has been since its 1982 premiere one of the reference titles in the Company's repertory. Performed on the stage of the Ovidius Theater or of the Culture House the show was every time just as impressive through the purity of the ensemble line that made the fame of the company from its verystart and the freshness of the directorial and interpretative sides. "Grottaferrata has never seen a more beautiful show."Maria Rosaria Stammelluti del Prato, agent, thank-you letter for Giselle touring Italy "A splendid Giselle with the Romanian artists of the Oleg Danovski Company…"Rosa Tomarchia, La Sicilia, August 8, 2001 "The OD Ballet Theater has come back from a highly appreciated tour on world stages evincing soloist moments of refined lyricism."Magdalena Vlădilă, Telegraf, March 31, 2001 "The collaboration begun in the previous season with a workshop presented by Wilfride Piolett – danseuse-étoile of the Paris Opera for over two decades, currently professor at the National Higher Conservatory of Music and Dance of Paris materialized in a new production of the ballet Coppelia by Leo Delibes. A ballet pantomime in two acts and an epilogue, this apparently unorthodox version pursues, in fact, a more faithful rendering of the spirit of the time when it was created, placing stress both on choreographic inventiveness, beauty and pantomime expressiveness, justified by romantic librettos. The costumes are signed by Isabelle Barthel while for the character dances in the first act (mazurka, czardas) Roxana Barbacaru, professor at the National Higher Conservatory of Music and Dance and of the Ballet School of the Paris Opera was invited to collaborate.Jean Guizerix, ballet master of the Paris Opera and dance adviser in the Ministry of Education of France, stage and life partner of Wilfride Piollet, together with whom he carried out a distinguished international career spanning several decades, rounded off the ballet evening with Textbooks 1830, inspired from the studies of 19th century dancers. Conceived by pedagogue Michel St.Leon for his son, the future complex artist Arthur St.Leon, the author of the initial choreography of the ballet Coppelia, they represent a technical study of steps in a suite stage formula blending tradition with personal innovation in an untiring quest for excellence, poised between modernity and tradition.There is no cheating possible here and the pieces put together require the ability of outstanding technical performers, the aspiration of all interpreters and soloists."Vivia Săndulescu, România liberă, September 28, 2001 " Coppelia pushes the spectators back to the age of childhood, the spell of the story being dissipated only for as many moments as it takes to change the sets. The directorial touch of Wilfride Piollet is consummate (including the fact that the ballet has been restructured in two acts)… A fairy tale-performance where the public relives the surprise and laughter peals of childhood." Mirela Măciucă, Observator, September 20, 2001 As a foretaste of the traditional autumn tour, the OD Ballet Theater presented to the Constanţa audience a micro season titled Best Classical Dance Stories, including several ballets that the Company will present on the new tour to Europe: Pinocchio, Swan Lake, a new production of Cinderella, and The Snow Queen. Pinocchio, a premiere of 2000 on a script by Ana Maria Munteanu after the story with the same name by Carlo Collodi on a music collage featuring Chopin, Orff and Berlioz, directed by Dominic Dembinski is a show dedicated to the young and very young who are also offered a matinee now and then. The success recorded by Călin Hanţiu's choreography is attested by the numerous requests for the Ballet to travel in the world. "A true-to-life pantomime… Splendid masks, wonderful costumes and practical stage sets, very successful artistically."Frankenpost, German tour, November 2000 "The style he practices – neo-classical adapted to choreographic narratives – is so familiar to choreographer Călin Hanţiu that creation becomes a natural extension of his career as a performer."Vivia Săndulescu, Observator The first ample production of the Fantasio Ballet of Contemporary and Classical Ballet dates form 1980. This Swan Lake was substantively touched up in 1999, at the time when Simona Noja, principal dancer of the Vienna Opera, was associated artistic director of the OD Ballet Theater. To the technical and artistic remakes owed to Noja new costumes were added created by Unda Popp (the first and third acts) and Eva Schubert of the Vienna Opera (second and fourth acts). In light of the resumption of the show in the 2001 season both the ensemble and the soloists took the master class of Mihai Babuşca of the Bucharest National Opera. "The desire to see again the OD Ballet Theater each New Year's Eve…"Tonka Angheloff, Gifhorner Rundschau, 1999-2000 Tour "The Swan Lake performance offered some high-class art to the most spoilt public ever… To speak only of the costumes, a treat for sore eyes. Another unique feature is the technical perfection or the spark of the dancers."Alice Hell, Wynental, 2000-2001 tour "The choreography of Oleg Danovski has donned new garb. The sets are also new, extremely appropriate. Flawless, consummate and impressive the performance of the soloists and of the ballet corps, in perfect harmony with the music."Reinach Tageblat, 2000-2001 tour The French choreographer Christine Bastin whose Company was invited to attend the International Festival of Contemporary Dance BucharEST-VEST, organized by the Project DCM Cultural Foundation presented a workshop together with the dancers of the OD Ballet Theater. In Constanţa, with the support of the French Institute, Bastin helped with the show Entre deux staged at the House of Culture, a fruit of the collaboration with the Romanian members of the OD Ballet Theater ensemble. They presented six pieces created by them during the workshop, alongside those performed by members of the Christine Bastin Company, subsequently resumed in Bucharest. The success they garnered confirmed the enthusiastic acceptance of the public of the new, original choreographic forms seen on the Constanţa stages. "Poetry, beauty, an avalanche of feelings engendered by the dancers, in a series of stories presenting various forms of love… The dance of Christine Bastin shocks by this very freedom of expression. It is a unique experience for the dancers who for decades followed the choreographic rules of master Oleg Danovski."Georgiana Voineagu, Cuget liber, May 14, 2001 "…the exploitation of each feature so that expressiveness comes to a peak…The movements, apparently chaotic, exude irony and spiritual force."Anca Gavor, Observator, May 14, 2001 The absolute premiere of the 2000 season, Requiem (24 rituals and a whispered word) on music by Verdi, choreography by Gigi Căciuleanu, and the direction of Dan Mastacan (France) wasresumed in a partly renewed cast. The show was then invited to the International Theater Festival of Sibiu. "I think we must approach the show put on by Gigi Căciuleanu with the shyness of an adult for the first time encountering a computer that works wonders since human intelligence has endowed it with such huge powers." Florica Ichim, România liberă "The whole show is pictorial by construction and graphic through the alternation of lines and planes, thought out to be perceived not only from the front but also from high up, from the vantage of the sky." Vivia Săndulescu, Cronica română "The flawless technique of the artists of the Oleg Danovski Company erects an ensemble of signs that bespeak birth, wedding and death, love, attraction and interdiction. Their movements put forth a sort of calligraphy of the bodies, which although deliberately uniform by colors and costume design, stands out through personality soliloquies."Octavian Saiu, Teatrul azi The Constanţa 2001 International Dance Festival/Contest was, no doubt, the most comprehensive event of the season, held between June 24 and July 1, in partnership with the Romanian Department of the International Association of Theater Critics and TV Romania 1, the World of Dancing Program. Translating into life an older desire of the maestro Danovski, i.e. that of becoming international, the Competition saw a confrontation of fresh talent from Romania, Moldova, Russia, Germany and Italy. The prizes, worth 6,000 US dollars went, in the junior classic dance, to Ecaterina Cupcinov (Republic of Moldova) first prize (800 dollars), and Tamara Meladze, (Republic of Moldova) second prize (400 US dollars). In the senior classical dance section Olimpia Cheţa (OD Dance Theater) snatched the first prize (1000 US dollars), Remus Sucheana, (Ballet Mainz, Germany) the second prize (800 US dollars), and in the contemporary dance section Bogdan N. (OD Ballet Theater) won 800 US dollars. The Grand Prix (1500 US dollars) was awarded to Ovidiu Matei Iancu, student of the Floria Capsali Bucharest Choreography High School, currently on a scholarship with the English National Ballet. The two juries presided by Wilfride Piollet (professor at the National Higher Conservatory of Music and Dance of Paris) included personalities of the dance (to mention only Jean Guizerix, ballet master at the Paris Opera and dance adviser within the Ministry of Education (of France) as well as theater and ballet critics. They attributed the Erwin Kecsek Prize, worth 10 million lei, for debut in choreography to Constantin Georgescu (OD Ballet Theater). Sergiu Anghel signed the direction, choreography, translation, script, and musical collage of the show The Tempest after William Shakespeare, which premiered with the design of Unda Popp. It starred Adrian Pintea (Prospero) and Jenna Johnson, USA, Felicia Şerbănescu (Miranda), Cristian Tarcea (Ferdinand), Maria Varsami (Caliban) and Sara Marchetti, Italy (Ariel).The festival section invited the shows The Lady of the Camellias, the National Theater of Bucharest, direction and choreography by Răzvan Mazilu, with Maia Morgenstern in the title role, HaMMam (a show by Mihai Mihalcea) and Dona Juana (the National Theater of Cluj), stage direction and choreography by Livia Tulbure-Guna). The marked theater-dance character of the shows invited as the starting point of the round table "Text on stage and its worlds" attended by theater and dance critics, choreographers, dancers. On the occasion the Dictionary of the Artistic World of Constanţa (I) The Oleg Danovski Theater, signed by Jean Badea, was released. The events ended with a Gala of the Contest Laureates and a Gala of the Stars on a libretto by Ana Maria Munteanu, in the direction of Răzvan Mazilu and the presentation of Mihai Danu (Odeon Theater, Bucharest). A wide range of genres was tackledby members of the OD Ballet Theater, soloists and young hopefuls as well as outstanding guests: Corina Dumitrescu (the National Opera of Bucharest), Răzvan Mazilu (Odeon Theater), and Gigi Căciuleanu (now director of the National Ballet of Santiago de Chile), as a dancer.  Ludmila Patlanjoglu: "The means of dramatic theater have invaded ballet… the two worlds have been bridged over and now we are in synchrony with what has been long going on in other countries."Cuget liber, July 2, 2001 " ..While other choreographers strive to express words through dance, Sergiu Anghel manages to have the spectators explain in words the dance they watch."Luminiţa Vartolomei, Scena magazine, no. 8, August 2001 Wilfride Piollet: "I think this Contest set out from an excellent dancing base, and this came as no wonder for me. The meeting of the two worlds was very interesting, consisting of characters with various types of training, who react in different ways."Jean Guizerix: "I think that the richness of the dance is given by the variety of the eyes watching it. The contest mirrors this richness, just like the shows that we have seen during the festival."Ileana Iliescu: "..while other companies in the country are on the wane, the OD Ballet Theater will shortly become the number one company in Romania."Excerpts put together by Vivia Săndulescu, Cronica română, July 3, 2002 Silvia Ciurescu: "I believe that the winners of the Contest will be top-of-the-line stars of the world of dance." Gigi Căciuleanu: "Beyond the excitement that sways over you, a contest always means a sort of ebullition. It's a melting pot where youth and unknown artistic potential seethe… Returning to Constanţa I have found the Company in a state of effervescence…"Răzvan Mazilu: "We can already speak, in the true sense of the word, of a festival that lays stress on the idea of theater-dance. I find these meetings of choreographers, dancers, and theater men special, unique in our cultural landscape."Excerpts put together by Magdalena Popa-Butuc, Curentul, July 3, 2001 "The Gala of the laureates ended the 2001 Contest that stands all chances to become shortly a landmark in the world of dance."Carmen Stanciu, Scena magazine no. 7, July, 2001 Ana Maria Munteanu: "Next year we will be able to run the risk of promoting the Contest earlier. The conditions will be ripe for the second international event, the festival being known for the prizes awarded and the personalities present."Interview by Magdalena Popa-Butuc, Curentul, July 4, 2001 On the opening of the Image Fair held in the halls of the Art Museum of Constanţa, the young dancers Mădălina Dan, Sorina Şerban and Ovidiu Muscalu performed the piece From the Moon choreographed by the first. In the Fair, the OD Ballet Theater participated with its own stand displaying folders, posters, show programs as well as stage appliances, accompanied by excerpts from the current shows. "The Art Museum hosted an event made in collaboration with OD Ballet Theater, Club Classic Style, and the host institution, materializing in a show combining moments of vocal art, ballet and acting. The program, a blending of two projects titled 'Image and gesture' and 'Project from the Moon', is aimed at stepping up participation in the city's cultural life."Magdalena Vlădilă, Telegraf, March 24, 2201 In collaboration with the HungarianCulturalCenter of Bucharest, the OD Ballet Theater presented the show Karma Mixtura of the Dream Team Company, directed and choreographed by Maria Balasz on live music interpreted by Andras Monori and Peter Nagy. Invited to the BucharEST-WEST International Dance Festival, Dream Team is a theater-dance company set up ten years ago. During this time it has made itself known by experiments and unconventional theatrical formulas (psychoanalytical dance, visual concert, tragi-comic hallucination, dance-short story, dancing thriller, dance in the system, etc.) Ralph Frey, professor at the DanceAcademy of Mannheim and choreographer held a jazz workshop in May-June 2002. The first stage of this wide-scope project will be finalized by the work Jazzorelief.  Among the related activities of the OD Ballet Theater mention should be made of the collaboration with Club Classic Style, as well as of paid ballet classes for children and teenagers or free classes for institutionalized children (from the Constanţa and Agigea Children's Homes) given by young pensioners, former members of the company. With the support of the Constanţa County Council, of the Ministry of Culture and the Cults, and of the Pro Arte Foundation, the OD Ballet Theater continued to publish the culture and art magazine Amphion. From the fourth issue of 2001: Lăcrămioara Berechet, "Mitteleurope, an identity cultural-aesthetic model in the literature of the past century", Dan Grădinaru, "The Planetary System of Literature", Mircea Tuglea, "The Golden Bough, Masonic or Postmodern Text?", Ileana Marin, "America in Romanian Traveling Notes and Memories", Dan Perşa, "Postmodernist Incursion into the Odyssey", Mircea Petean, "Encounters, Pages of a Danish Diary", Florin Şlapac, "Oui", Jeff Olsen, USA, "Let Me Go" (very short story), Radu Pavel Gheo, "The Memoirs of a Lover of Magazines", Dan Lungu, "The double transition and the autonomization of the literary-artistic field", Geo Vasile, "The Novel of Neo-Kantian Werewolves", Evelyn Furqyuim Werneck Lima (Brazil) "Ville et histoire: une image française pour Rio de Janeiro", Simona Stănila, "Photograph, transgression of reality to the fiction of the literary text", Simona Grazia Dima, "The Challenge of the Biological", Sergiu Anghel, "The Tempest, a Total Show". "Cinderella has put on fresh garb, in a new production, with sets and costumes by architect Cătălin Ionescu-Arbore, which give a plus of consistency, color and refinement." "Wonderful romantic costumes in sheer contrast with the simple and very economical sets. Also enhanced by the excellent light direction, the atmosphere of Cinderella is downright fantastic."Dorothee Niehaus, Viersen, November 2001 "With the Cinderella fairy tale, the Oleg Danovski Ballet Theater carries hundreds of spectators to the world of fantasy and imagination. The sparkling costumes and the attractive sets further support the ballet."Wittingen Tagesblat, 2001 "The mastery of Danovski's dancers resides, no doubt, in preserving the individuality, extraordinary musicality of the moves and last but not least in the capacity of speaking without words. Cinderella manages to be more than a mere danced story. It is a trip into a magic realm where music, the choreographic gestures, hopes and dreams of the characters that have enchanted our childhood can be met."Anca Gavor, Observator One of the most used coupé formulas is the Ballet Gala. At Constanţa or Sinaia, at the invitation of the Romanian Cultural Foundation, they occasioned the performance of small pieces signed by Oleg Danovski (Rhapsody I, Scheherazade), Ioan Tugearu (The Church Bell, The Cry of the Deer, Zamfir's Cap) Sergiu Anghel (Metropolis, fragments), Gigi Căciuleanu (Mozartissimo, Requiem by Verdi, fragments) as well as recital moments from the world heritage (pas de deux from the great ballets in the classical variant or adapted by Oleg Danovski, Don Quixote, Carmen, character solo dances, Gopak, etc.)