Romaniyeah – Centrul Naţional al Dansului
Zic Zac – Centrul Naţional al Dansului
VJ and DJ Cinty Ionescu’s Romaniyeah – billed here as “performance” rather than “dance”, is essentially a live mix of music, video images and a slightly under-used dancer throwing the occasional shape quite slowly – but largely overwhelmed by the presence of the large screen dominating the space.
There was also quite a bit of recorded speech, albeit in Romanian. The video images (shot by Ionescu herself) record the more down-at-heel end of Bucharest (of which there is plenty). The video isn’t especially distinguished – looking like pretty much any footage shot out of a car window with a camcorder in the main. And the montage, without the advantage of knowing what was being said, didn’t add up to much on its own.
I should record that one section of (I assume) YouTube-edited-together comic clips and stills of Romanian life did make the (mostly) home crowd hoot with knowing laughter at the some of their country’s foibles – there were a lot of pictures of horse-drawn cars, for some opaque reason.
Andrea Gavriliu’s Zic Zac is the choreographer’s degree graduation piece. It’s essentially a duet between snappily dress man and woman at separate tables in a restaurant or bar, overseen by a performer playing a kind of DJ-cum-waiter/maître d’. Dressed as a porcupine.
The schtick is that the porcupine, by playing different music, controls the man and woman, making them dance in various different styles to appropriate music. This makes a lot of sense as a framing device for a degree show – Gavriliu proves herself adept at knocking up great tango, pop, contemporary, and ersatz-Pina Bausch numbers – as calling cards go, its got outstanding proof that she can do something for everyone.
As an actual piece in its own right, well, it’s fun. It’s perhaps not trying to say much about the world, beyond observing that men and women sometimes have relationships (which are generally sparked by a match-making porcupine, right?), so, no, it’s not very deep. On the other hand, the variety and slickness actually ended up reminding me of the sort of show that might do surprisingly good business on the Edinburgh Fringe at somewhere like the big upturned cow in Bristo Square. After all, it’s got a rousing pop hi-NRG dance-off finale and a porcupine with a mirrorball stuck on its head by the end. What’s not to like, frankly?