For years, dancing has held a special place in the Sibiu International Theatre Festival.
In 1992, Noa Wertheim and Adi Sha'al founded in Jerusalem the Vertigo Dance Company, famous in Israel and much appreciated at the festival in Sibiu, where they have been coming for five years now. This year, at the 24th edition of the festival, they presented two shows, “Vertigo 20”, an anniversary show that was awarded the prize for excellence in performance, offered by the Israeli Ministry of Culture and Sports, and “Yama”, a more recent show, created by choreographer Noa Wertheim. “Yama” is completely different from “Vertigo 20”, as it is less a celebration and more of a spiritual endeavor.
Israel also contributed to the festival the Kibbuts Contemporary Dance Company, with the show “Horses in the Sky”, choreographed by Rami Be'er, and the Batsheva Dance Company, with the show Naharin's Virus, by Ohad Naharin. The latter won the 2002 Bessie Award at the New York Dance and Performance Awards. Naharin is the creator of the Gaga pedagogy as a language of movement, and is one of the six artists to get a star on Sibiu’s Walk of Fame.
Also as a part of the dance section, this is the second year in Sibiu for the Brenda Angiel Dance Company of Argentina. Brenda founded in 1994 the group that bears her name, and in 1998 she founded the first aerial dance school in Buenos Aires. After their resounding success with their spectacular show “High Altitude Tango”, they came back this year with a sequel, in which the dancers float in mid-air, using both the floor and the walls, creating a kaleidoscope of moving and animation.
In addition to Israel, Argentina, Spain, France and South Korea, Romania played its part, too. Choreographer Gigi Caciuleanu put on a dance show for the young generation, #EMOJIPLAY, first staged at the Excelsior Theatre in Bucharest. According to the artist, the show combines in a playful way the tri-dimensional language of actors, visual aspects, and the strange bi-dimensional world of new symbols and metaphors.
Gigi Caciuleanu: “The idea of communication is very much a part of the show, the idea of dialogue. Sometimes it is a dialogue of deaf people, like swiping something off a screen, like scraping a matchstick on the side of the box. It is true that, with a gesture like that, you could push a partner off their feet, as if ‘unliking’ them. In a way, this need for human aspects in a dehumanising world becomes very important. This is the idea of the show. Modern man is faced with many screens, a lot of technology which does not necessarily preserve his humanity. Maybe we will have to turn into robots, or, quite the opposite, spending so much time among screens, we will become fleshier. Our flesh, our skin, our eyes, our gazes, might become a more interesting dialogue than a few characters on a screen.”
Gigi Caciuleanu earned his star on Sibiu’s Walk of Fame at the very first edition of this project, launched in 2013, for his unique vision of dance and theatre.