Sun 27.03.2016    19:30    map

Reenacting Lizica Codreanu & Rythmodia by Vera Proca-Ciortea

“Floria Capsali” Choreography High School

Sunday, March 27th 07:30 p.m., CNDB, the Stere Popescu Hall


Two stage re-enactments of several original dances created by Lizica Codreanu (during the 20s’) and Vera Proca-Ciortea (Group 14 in the 30s’ and the Gymnasion/Columna Group in the 70s’-80s’) by the dance artists of “Floria Capsali” choreography high school in Bucharest, with a choreography signed by Doina Georgescu and Simona Paraschivu. The two shows fall in line with CNDB’s quest to refresh our take on history after scrutinizing it & questioning it and, also, to force contemporary dance actively confront its own memory. 

Reenacting Lizica Codreanu’s starting point are Constantin Brâncuși’s photos in 1924; it then proceeds and lingers on the documentary reels made by Cornel Mihalache in 1996, ending with the costumes designed by Cristian Marin in 2015. Rythmodia recovers archive images of original choreography signed by Vera Proca-Ciortea from an amateurish VSH tape made back in 1988 at the Kiel Dance Festival in Germany.

Reenacting Lizica Codreanu and Rythmodia have had their premiere in September 2015, during the Time Dance Connection.Bucharest in Action (1925-2015) event. There, the National Centre of Dance in Bucharest presented its project – The map of contemporary dance’s history in Bucharest –, whose aim was to recover and refresh an invisible history up until now. It consisted in seven different events staged between September 24th and November 29th in several spaces in Bucharest.


Choreography: Doina Georgescu, Simona Paraschivu

Costumes: Cristian Marin


Lizica Codreanu (b.1901, Bucharest – d.1993, Louveciennes) was a French dance artist and choreographer with Romanian ancestry. In 1918, she joined The Belle-Arti School in Bucharest, making her debut during the first artistic tea program of the “Friends of the Blind” Society at Carol cel Mare Theatre in Bucharest, along with Ion Manu, Maria Filotti and Petre Sturdza. After a few individual performances in Bucharest (Dances of Character, The Spring’s Dance and Rococo Entertainment, March 9th 1919, at the Eforia Theatre), Lizica Codreanu left for Paris and, from 1921 onwards, led an increasing choreographic activity. The composer Florent Schmitt recommended her to Ida Rubinstein for several of her shows, she frequented Bronsilava Nijinska’s courses and got increasingly in touch with the avant-garde groups: Albatross, the dada and surrealists groups, Tchérez and so on. In 1926, she made her debut in film, with the character of Pierot Lightning in Le P’tit Parigot, directed by René le Somptier.



Vera Proca-Ciortea (b.1915, Sibiu – d.2002, Bucharest). In 1932, she was admitted to the National Academy of Physical Education, while, in parallel, she attended classes at Floria Capsali’s, Elena Penescu-Liciu’s and Paula Sybille’s studios. In 1937, she graduated from the National Academy and benefitted from fellowships in Berlin, at Günterschule, Institut für Tanz and at Meistertätten für Tanz, where she had Mary Wigman as a teacher. She founded Group 14 (1935), the Gymnasion Group (1974) and the Columna Group (1982). In 1990, she toured Germany for the last time, receiving the Honorary Award of Kiel’s International Dance Festival. Several Romanian awards followed shortly after that: the Special Prize of “Mihail Jora” Foundation in 1991 and the Interprets, Choreographers and Musical Critics Union Award in 1992. At Kiel, she created In Memoriam, a dance show commemorating the young people who died in 1989, which has been vastly covered by German media.  


“But how avant-garde was Lizica Codreanu’s work? Either participating at the official soirees of the Parisian scene or at alternative events (we would call them underground today) sometimes on the very same scene, together with active avant-garde groups, one of the main aesthetic characteristic of Lizica Codreanu’s professed art seems to have remained exactly the intertextuality of a choreographic palimpsest, with the pretext of music.”  (Igor Mocanu – Art Dance News Online)


“There are some artistic personalities whose lives play out in an unfortunate historical context, in times adverse to their kind of art. This was pretty much the artistic fate of Vera Proca-Ciortea. Her long career jumpstarted at first, but then continued somehow marginally, unfulfilling her creative potential, because dictatorial regimes are not fond of modern forms of art, which can evade their control. And, on top of that, as too often is the case with us, she was much more celebrated abroad than in Romania.” (Liana Tugearu – România Literară)