nu stiu daca ever, acest articol scris de mine in limba engleza a fost vreodata publicat. nici cu cred ca este important. l-am gasit ascuns in memoria hardului calculatorul meu vechi, era salvat sub numele de article forum danca 2001. este un articol care vorbeste de inceputurile mele si ale dansului românesc. probabil ca l-am scris la rugamintea lui Ezequiel Santos, un bun prieten al Romaniei, care a avut un rol important in dezvoltarea dansului portughez, fiind pentru o vreme directorul organizatiei Forum Danca din lisboa. pe Ezequiel, l-am intalnit prima data in 1995 la o reuniune internationala a retelei IETM la Sofia, pe cand eram student la Masterul Ecumest. ulterior drumurile noastre s-au incrucisat de mai multe. In 1996 mi-a oferit in 1996 o rezidenta de trei luni la Lisabona la Forum Danca in cadrul unui program european de rezidente PEJA. Am ramas in contact si ulterior impreuna cu el si Forum Danca, care am organizat in 1997 la Bucuresti festivalul ZIlele Dansului Contemporan Portughez. ulterior a revenit in Romania in 1998 la prima platforma a dansului contemporan pe care am organizat-o la TNB cu Gabriela, ocazie cu care i-a oferit o bursa dansatorului Romulus Neagu în Lisabona. acum ceva ani buni, Ezequiel s-a decis ca lumea dansului este mult prea dificila si complicata si s-a retras intr-o casuta frumoasa langa Sintra. desi ne vedem rar, il simt intotdeauna foarte aproape. este unul din putinii prieteni adevarati pe care te poti baza oricand. iar despre lisabona ce sa spun, am ramas indragostit for ever de la prima intalnire cu ea in 1994 cand am participat la SKITE, o mare intalnire si sarbatoare a dansului european. a fost o dragoste la prima vedere, directa si eterna. lisboa mon amour, mi s-a facut din nou dor de tine….
How to promote Romanian dance ?
In the early 90s there was no Romanian dance and no sense of community. Then how to start in a country with political and economical problems and with a very small group of independent artists having no access to information and training ? In ’96 I graduated from a Master’s Degree in Cultural Management and founded an independent dance organisation – Project DCM dance foundation. When starting to invest myself in the promotion and development of Romanian contemporary dance I was aware that the first steps to do were to create new training and performances opportunities for young dancers and choreographers, to open door for their artistic work on international dance scene and to create synergies for building up a strong local dance community. Fortunately my first project was a success, a Portuguese dance festival taking place took place in Bucharest, in September 1997. During one week Margarida Bettencourt, Aldara Bizarro, Paulo Henrique, Francisco Camacho, Ezequeil Santos and Gil Mendo, presented performances, led workshops and moderated discussion with the Romanian dance community. The project was extremely well received and revealed a strong Portuguese dance community. It was a good starting to bring good energy and to motivate Romanian artists. One year later the first Romanian dance platform put together dancers and choreographers and created for few days a sense of community. At the same time, Proiect DCM started to support the new productions of Romanian choreographers offering them rehearsal space, raising and programming their artistic work. Between 1998/1999 we initiated a one-year dance season at the Bulandra Theatre in Bucharest showing the production of all independent artists and groups. Also between 1998 – 2001, we developed exchanges between Western choreographers and Romanian dancers through residencies, workshops and co-productions. Artists like Karine Ponties (Belgium), Charles Linehan and Marie Gabrielle Rotie (UK), Katharina Vogel (Switzerland), Silenda Company (France) were invited to lead workshops and create performances. These international projects had an important contribution to the development of the local dance community and to the promotion of Romanian dance abroad. The second Romanian dance platform organized in the context of BucharEast.West Festival in May 2001, brought to Bucharest more than 20 directors of festivals and programmers. attracted several international guest and promoters. For three days they had the opportunity to see performances and meet local artists Furthermore during the first Balkan Dance Platform that took place in Sofia in December 2001, the Romanian participants made a very good impression and put Romania for the first time on the map of the international dance constellation. These two events which were essential in my opinion for the access of Romanian artists on the international dance scene. Artists like Mihai Mihalcea, Manuel Pelmus and Eduard Gabia were invited in 2002 in residencies and festivals in Viena, Paris and Berlin. We took this opportunity to increase the promotion of the Romanian dance by a PR campaign. We created a web portal for Romanian dance – http://www.dans.ro, produced and distributed a video compilation with fragments from the performances of 16 choreographers and most recently a CD Rom introducing the independent dance. I’m pleased to say that all my work and efforts were accompanied by other people, dance organisation and funding bodies, who understood that Romanian dance needs lot of material and moral support. I would mention here Martina Hochmuth and KulturKontakt as well as Ezequeil Santos who were the first to support the Romanian dance by offering grants to young artists to study dance in Vienna in Lisbon. More recently Gabriela Tudor and Pro Helvetia Foundation offered a constant financial support to festivals, artists and dance organisation having an essential contribution to the promotion and development of Romanian dance. I’m thankful to all artists, institutions and organisation from Romania and from abroad who helped us in the last years, on different layers and levels to build up and make visible our small dance community. by Cosmin Manolescu manager and choreographers working in Bucharest Bucharest, 2001