performing in Bucuresti

before the performance
after after
and a review

" Saptamana trecuta la CNDB am vazut “Harta” de Konstantin Mihos , o abordare performativa a geo-politicului balcanic. Vreo 30 de dansatori si performeri au redesenat un spatiu traversat istoric, de o multime de tensiuni etnice.

Un spectacol captivant, pe ansamblu, tocmai prin forta emanata de toti cei de pe scena. Ma vad nevoita sa revin la “Pupijla, papa Pupilo and the Pupilceks”, unde problematica etnica a sud-estului europei este mult mai puternic rezolvata din punct de vedere performativ si pentru ca m-a impresionat atat, cu greu pot sa ma mai las prada entuziasmului.

Fara indoiala, momentul memorabil al spectacolului “Harta” a fost “Elena-Vlad”, sau lupta pentru teritoriul simbolic. Am mai retinut despre o bunica cu halat inflorat si care facea pipi din-picioare. Capotul asta inflorat poate sa fie un simbol balcanic, nu?

dAR am mai retinut si zambetul larg al Deliei de la sfarsitul spectacolului-tensiune eliberata, dupa ore de munca.

Harta este proiectului initiat de coregraful grec Konstantinos Mihos. Konstantin a vrut sa scoata tot ce era mai bun si mai frumos din expresivitatea celor cu care a lucrat o saptamana. Proiectul a debutat la Atena, in decembrie 2008, si la el au luat parte dansatori din Grecia, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania si Serbia, spune CNDB."

Bucuresti documentation 4/1/2010

Dancing with history.. rolling into the past, offering a contradictory present to future understanding, to possible comprehension of what being together could mean for people of this world. Playing with metaphors, like this flag, that is a very strong one.. but that stopped somehow to offer us its strength.. or its us that are not into it anymore.. patriotism, nation, autonomy, sharing, togetherness.. just abstract notions?!

Measuring space with the flag, saving yourself on it, like on a floating boat, from the troubled waters of this huge political and social context, tiding yourself with it, like you are tied to the reality of our times, jumping on it, covering your fancy body, hoping that you can cover your mind and spirit a little with a glimpse of history.. everything like a dance.. sharing it with others, this flag can support you, if the help of the others is present.. there comes a kind of dizziness and happiness of this kind of communication with our beloved and contradictory history.. and awareness.. and the rest is dance…

Nu dadeam 2 bani pe steagul Romaniei…sa ma lase cu textele astea nationaliste, sunt satul de politica, de propaganda, de la cea comunista la cea actuala….

Lucrand cu steagul, la un moment dat, mi l-am pus sub fund si…m-a apucat un fel de rusine, ce face eu cu simbolul Romaniei si ma gandesc acum la Tara, la Natie nu la guverne si politicieni…si mi-am dat seama ca au murit oameni pentru Steag…si ca eu confundam Steagul Romaniei cu anumite “triste figuri politice”, aflate vemelnic la guvernare.

Da! Avem un Steag si merita respectat, onorandu-i astfel pe cei ce au murit pentru el si Tara!

Working with Konstantin Mihos is so…different. I became conscientious about my limitations and about the lack of national pride. I cannot portrait myself in a national community. I can not guarantee for others, just for myself. I do not feel protected by the flag, in my ignorance I associate the national symbol with the outcome of politics. I do not feel encouraged. I do not feel secure. I am not proud of being Romanian. Politics killed my pride and national identity. Maybe art will save us.

These workshop bring me closer to the meaning of being attached to the national flag, closer to the meaning that my mind and body can resonate and give feedback to this profound connections

A flag has actually no physical existence. A flag exists only outside matter. It exists in minds, in hearts, in echoes, in memoires. I only reach its physical meaning. It’s smell, it’s colors, it’s form . Otherwise it doesn’t wake any inner thoughts, neither past, nor present related. And yet, just this thing arises unlimited opportunities . Because, in lack of a fixed purpose or an already accepted definition, being a simple piece of cloth, it can be a chameleon in the hands of the holder.

So. along with the death of it’s main meaning, it let’s new and various other personal interpretations, thoughts, definitions.

First I discovered how to use the material and how to move. How the material can make me move, through the force of the others. Then I discovered that the material was a flag. Then, when I was free to move, to move as I wanted, when I felt that I was in connection with it. And it was forcing me, hurting me and then letting me free. Making me escape. Just because it was a flag. In my mind. A real flag.

I panicked a bit, after realizing that after it became conscious in me that it’s a flag we’re “playing with”, all my thoughts, and associations were aggressive, or had to do with aggression. Although earlier during an exercise, when this was expected and asked, I couldn’t be aggressive. So later I realized where this aggression might come from, or part of it’s origin: for me, flag=country, nation, flag is not history. If I associate flag with history, I associate it with respect, proudness. But country, nation is aggression. Interesting… for me.

Oh, and yes: it’s getting rely annoying how some people don’t pay attention and don’t take these serious, this whole thing.

When I was a child, at kindergarten , our teacher asked if father of somebody can make the stick for the flag My father made this stick . Our teacher gave me the flag and after some days I came to school like a winner with the flag in the wind. It was a patriotic feeling? No, at that moment I was five years old. It was more image that i took from the movies, a fiction. Now , I'm older and I continue to think that the symbol of flag is part from a fiction but a very strong fiction . When I used the flag in a "inappropriate" I felt that is a level that i cannot control and it is present all the time . It's like flag has his own power of presence that overwhelm me.

Why should we talk about the past? Is it of any good? Maybe it depends on each country, it depends on each history, it depends on each personal view about what it was. I, as a Romanian citizen, I admit that I am sick and tired of talking about my country’s past. When I say history, past, anything related with ‘what it was’, I automatically say ‘communism’. Although I was just 5 years old when the communism collapsed (1989), I feel that my entire life until now has been related to it. I heard so many stories and specific unimaginable awful facts from my grandparents and my parents, that I have reached to the point of saying that I was there, I was present there and lived the crucial times of that period. It’s been 20 years from that time, and we, the Romanians still have problems with commenting, revealing and, some of us, in a very sarcastic way, still have to spread better memories about those times. From my point of view, there are two aspects that characterize Romanian people: on one hand, we cannot forget what happened then, and we keep and keep bringing back those memories, we practically live in the past (the older ones); some of us still see everything from a positive point of view (stability)- that are very few, and most of us, picture everything from an awful point of view (oppression). The consequences to this fact, is that the country hasn’t developing in any way: socially, economically, politically etc. On the other hand, young people, as I am, are totally detached from this history. Personally, I don’t want to hear about it, don’t want to think about it, don’t want to remember anything from my family’s stories. I know exactly how things were, but why am I suppose to begin and relive that period over and over again? Wasn’t that enough? I think it was. My country’s history means nothing to me at this point. For me, what it counts, it’s to try and bring a relief in my life, to bring newness, to start a new Era. 20 years of standing by, has meant nothing but regress, in no way has anything to do with progress. These times need a change. What I think is important nowadays, is a positive view upon intercultural experiences. I am sure that barriers between people shouldn’t exist anymore. We have to begin developing a new present as to have a different future. In this ‘Harta’ project- concerning the individual view upon my history as a Romanian, project considered to be political art, I can only express my deepest disappointment about my country’s past. Romanian flag means nothing to me, in the same way that I don’t consider myself a patriot, not at this present time.