The National Theater Festival brings to Bucharest plays, as well as dance performances
The National Theater Festival brings to Bucharest, from one year to the next, theater shows as well as dance performances, which are genuine artistic events. The festival is very successful and this year’s edition had to be extended by one day, for the performance of the famous Nederlands Dans Theater, which closed the festival.
Gabriela Carrizo co-founder together with Franck Cartier of the famous Peeping Tom Belgian troupe, presented her new work, Moeder/Mother at the current edition of the National Theater Festival. Premiered in 2016, Moeder is the second volume of a trilogy of the Peeping Tom troupe which made its debut with Vader/Father in 2014 and will end with Kind/Child in 2019. Gabriela Carizzo’s choreographic style is original and easy to recognize, while her stage performances create a strong emotional impact, providing a fresh perspective on the theme she approached. In her works, the artist always starts from the idea of the set design. Space was also very important in the creation of Moeder, Gabriela Carizzo told Radio Romania International.
Dancer and choreographer Ana Maria Lucaciu left Romania at the age of 12, on a scholarship offered by the National Ballet School of Canada. At present, Ana Maria Lucaciu works in the United States. Throughout the years, Ana Maria Lucaciu has come to Romania a couple of times, yet, after 28 years, this year it was the first time when she danced in front of a Romanian audience. The organizers of the National Theater Festival invited Ana Maria Lucaciu with her dance performance ‘Slightly Off Stage’, a show she created jointly with Nathan Griswold. It was the first contemporary dance performance for which Ana Maria Lucaciu created the choreography:
Ana Maria Lucaciu: ”As of late, I’ve felt there are a couple of things I want to say or try. What I see in the world right now is not what I want to say or do. I drew a lot of my inspiration from the clowning workshops which I took part in. Clowning strips one bare, it reveals what is human and non-human, and I wanted to see if I can achieve that through choreography and through everything I know about dance. I started from the slightly absurd situation, when somebody tells you something, and in support of that they use the phrase ‘they told me that’, or ‘they say that’ or ‘they did that’. But who are they? So, this is where it started from. Then I wanted “them” to be in charge of the stage. I wanted everything to come from high up, not from us. Everything is ordered. And nothing is as it should be. I liked the idea that we, being on stage, should be subject to an exterior force from outside the stage.”
Romania was represented in the dance section of the Festival by the production “Charity/To_R” of Studio M from Sfantu Gheorghe, directing and choreography by Pal Frenak. Imola Marton, director of Studio M:
Imola Marton: “Pal Frenak told us he wanted to do a show based on the idea of imaginary charity, which can equally be a wedding and alms giving…The production features a situation in between reality and imagination, dwelling on various human relationships and states of mind – loneliness, the inability of getting in touch with another person or with ourselves, conflicts, love, various states of mind from gaiety to the feeling stirred by participation in charity. Pal Frenak creates images focusing on those states of mind. That is why, the show does not have an explicit story, but in a way it is a very lyrical and visual piece.”
As we said earlier, the National Theatre Festival ended with a dance show, presented by Nederlands Dans Theater. It was an event not only for the audiences but also for the members of Nederlands Dans Theater, as choreographer Paul Lightfoot, the artistic director of the company told us: “It’s been 12 years since I came here. Coming back to Romania it was very important for me to show the diversity of our work, how incredibly chameleonic the company and the shows we produce can be, as everything we bring over is created in our company”. Nederlands Dans Theater presented four shows: “Shoot the Moon” by Sol Leon and Paul Lightfoot, “Woke Up Blind” by Marco Goecke, “The Statement” by Crystal Pite and “Vladimir” by Hofesh Shechter.
The show “Vladimir” has recently had its premiere. Hofesh Shechter, one of the most interesting artists in Great Britain, signs not only the choreography but also the music of the show. As theatre critic Oana Stoica said, “the shows of Nederlands Dans Theater were a most appropriate conclusion of the National Theater Festival.”
(translated by: Eugen Nasta)