Workshop 1, 2, 3, 4

The forms of modern dance, present but not officially supported before 1990, appeared and survived due to the love for them of several choreographers and dancers who used to have the occasional show on various theatre stages. Their importance has been growing since the above mentioned year, when the Ministry of Culture started two companies, Orion and Contemp, and later on a Center for Artistic Expression at the Odeon Theatre. After a period of accumulation and selection, some very young dancers separated themselves from the existing companies and formed new choreographic groups that are not, however, supported financially, such as Marginalii, the creation of four dancers-choreographers, Florin Fieroiu, Cosmin Manolescu, Mihai Mihalcea and Irina Costea, or Terpsichora, run by Mălina Andrei; part of the same centrifugal wave is also Răzvan Mazilu, who works particularly much with actors.Some of these young people, students of or graduates from the Theatre and Film Academy, the Choreography section, are now teachers at the Choreography High School in Bucharest, and the results of their work could be seen at the National Ballet Competition held in Constanţa last summer. The contemporary dance section was given more importance than in previous years, and the most surprising and gratifying thing was that four of those who received prizes, and who are still pupils, danced their own choreographic compositions. It was the first proof that the Choreography High School had diversified its stylistic range so as to prepare both good classicists for the Opera stage and good dancers for the modern dance companies. The second proof is the setting up, within the High School, of a contemporary dance group that has recently had its first performance at the Podul Theatre. If the title of the performance sounds a bit dry, Workshop 1, 2, 3, 4, the titles of the four works it consists of are suggestive, some of them even poetic: Counterdance, The Cage with Mad Butterflies, Mr, Mrs, Mr (after Eugen Ionescu), and Lost in the Stars.The first two works belong to the young choreographer Eduard Gabia, still a student in the 11th grade. His choreographic sketches – the first danced by him, and the second by him and Alexandru Boxan, a student in the 12th grade – are sustained plastically, in terms of both composition and its interpretation. It is obvious however that they are markedly influenced by his teacher, Florin Fieroiu, especially in the great frequency of floor movements and in the sonorous, rough impact, like a thud, of the body with the ground. This is undoubtedly one means of expression, but the previous year Eduard Gabia had received a prize at the National Competition in Constanţa for a very interesting work having a weather forecast for a background, a work that revealed an original style, fully developed both horizontally and vertically, and difficult to associate with any other creator. The ending was impressive too, when to the word "fog" repeated numberless times, the seated dancer made a series of opening and closing movements with his legs, while at the same time rotating around the same axis, exactly as things happen in the fog, be it physical or spiritual, when you think you're advancing but actually you're not. Of course exploring is typical for any beginning, but when you've already found a way, it's a pity to abandon it.The choreography of the third piece, Mr, Mrs, Mr, is collective, belonging to all the three dancers, Sorana Badea (12th form), Alexandru Boxan and Eduard Gabia. It unfolds in parallel with a text from The Bald Soprano by Eugen Ionescu. The previous recording of the text on tape would have made the reception of the choreographic sequences easier as in the small space of the room, with artists and audience on the same level, the eye was constantly drawn to the physical presence of those reading the text, caught in the limelight.The last work, Lost in the Stars, danced by Maria Baroncea (10th grade), Sorana Badea, Alexandru Boxan and Eduard Gabia, is a choreographic composition of great plastic beauty, in which each fragment suggestively renders a particular atmosphere, of delicate sliding and sustained movement, of tormented confusion and recovery of balance. The composition belongs to Mihai Mihalcea, one of the contemporary dance teachers of these young people, only a bit older than them, he himself a very good dancer, winner of the first prize at the National Competition in Constanţa last summer, in the senior contemporary dance section. In such a season, when up to February none of the ballet troupes, be they classical or contemporary, have honored us with a premiere, the performance of this group of contemporary dance from the Choreography High School from Bucharest livens up the atmosphere a bit, bringing in an air of freshness and a flicker of hope, which are always welcome.

by Liana Tugearu