Sat 04.06.2016    19:00    map

Beth Soll - Tribute to Iris Barbura

Project running between May 15th and June 4th 2016

Premiere: June 4th 2016, 19.00 hours

CNDB, “Stere Popescu” Hall, 80-82 Mărăşeşti Blvd.


Choreography: Beth Soll

Dancers: Denisa Anastasiu, Raluca Adomnicăi, Alexandra Dragomir, Carmen Mărgărit, Monica Agarici, Ana Mihai, Daiana Popescu, Cristian Danu, Dan Matei

Coordinating Teacher: Doina Georgescu

Stage design: Cristi Marin

Music: Marian Cîţu (Rufi)

Research: Corina Cimpoieru, Igor Mocanu

Production Assistant: Maggie Chiţoran


This dance has grown out of an abstract, poetic response to my sense of Iris Barbura’s life and her work. As a child, I saw Iris as a true artist and a beautiful, glamorous woman who made dances based on her Romanian heritage and a deeply spiritual aesthetic vision. My childhood impressions of Iris still inform my choreographic work today. Iris’ artistic creations were enriched by her love of the beautiful gorges and waterfalls of Ithaca, NY, her chosen place of residence in the U.S. The dance begins with a dream-sequence inspired by Romanian folk dance and then moves on to a section of kinetic modern dance that is loosely based on the dance styles of the 1930s and 1940s. The ensuing sections consist of melancholy solos, romantic duets, and fervent group movements expressive of Iris’ sadness, her love of nature, and of her heroic suicide in one of her beloved gorges. Between the sections and at the end, the dancers perform a simple, sometimes solemn walking pattern.” (Beth Soll)


Iris Barbura (b. 1912, Arad, Romania – d. 1969, Ithaca, SUA) belongs, together with Trixy Checais and Floria Capsali, to the second generation of avant-garde Romanian choreographers. In 1930, she went to Germany on a scholarship and attended the dance classes delivered by Mary Wigman and Harald Kreuzberg, where she danced with Gret Palucca and Rosalia Chladek. In 1939, she returns to Bucharest where she opens a contemporary dance studio, while also being present on the stage of the National Theatre, where she worked with Trixy Checais and Vergiu Cornea. Up to the end of the 1940's she created stage designs and costumes for various performances at the Freien Volksbühne and Hebbel-Theater in Berlin. There she befriended the Berlin surrealist artist group with which she formed in 1949 the collective Die Badewanne [The Bathtub] named after the performance they did together. In 1951, she emigrated to the U.S.A., living in Ithaca, New York, where she taught choreography at the Ithaca College. Among her students were Beth Soll and Hannah Kahn. She committed suicide in 1969 when she jumped off the Triphammer Bridge into the legendary Ithaca Falls.


Beth Soll (Ph.D.) began her training in Ithaca, N.Y. with Romanian modern dancers Iris Barbura and Vergiu Cornea and then continued studying European dance at the Essen Folkwangschule and the Kreutzbergschule in Switzerland. She received a degree in modern dance from the University of Wisconsin. She has taught at more than 10 universities, including The Harvard Summer Dance Center, UC Santa Barbara, Hofstra University, the New School and Manhattanville College, where she is currently an Adjunct Professor. She directed the Dance Program at MIT for 20 years. Ms. Soll has performed with the Ina Hahn Company, Dance Collective, and the Harvard Summer Dance Center Company and others, and she has collaborated with many independent choreographers, composers and visual artists. In 1977 she founded Dance Projects, Inc./Beth Soll & Company in Boston, Massachusetts. With her company and as a soloist, she has performed in numerous locations in the U.S. and in Europe and Asia. Her work has been honored with consistent critical recognition and more than 80 grants and awards. Since 2000, the company has been based in NYC, where Soll presents a concert of new work every year. Her book, Will Modern Dance Survive? Lessons to be Learned from the Pioneers and Unsung Visionaries of Modern Dance, was published in 2002.


Floria Capsali” Choreography Secondary School in Bucharest opened in 1948 and was first managed by choreographers Miriam Raducanu and Esther Magyar. Among its contemporary dance graduates are Gigi Căciuleanu, Ruxandra Racoviţă, Gheorghe Iancu, Dan Măstăcan. The choreography school environment also created the ebullience of the 1970's and 1980's which made possible the emergence of the Contemp Group founded and lead by Adina Cezar and Sergiu Anghel, as well as the emergence of choreographers Ioan Tugearu, Raluca Ianegic or closer to the present that of Vava Ştefănescu, Florin Fieroiu, Mihai Mihalcea and others. Among the collaborations of the “Floria Capsali” School with the National Dance Centre in Bucharest are, among others, the performances Reenacting Lizica Codreanu (2014) and Rythmodia / Vera Proca-Ciortea (2015).