VAL AND THE FORTRESS OF SOULS, BY VAVA ȘTEFĂNESCU
The first contemporary dance show with and for kids of all ages - "Val and the Fortress of Souls", produced by The National Centre for Dance in Bucharest (CNDB).
"Val and the Fortress of Souls" is inspired by the eponymous book written by Ana Alfianu and published in 2017 by Editura Humanitas. It is the story of an initiatic journey by kids of all ages, who go on a trip searching for the Fortress of Souls.
The book is transposed via two media; the public first encounters a contemporary art installation, like a map of the journey, which it traverses on its way to the venue.
"It's both a show and a journey, built on the same path taken by the main characters in the book, so every spectator goes on this journey: they first go through the installation and then they participate in the show. We tried to involve the public, without necessarily making them do something, but as a small spoiler we can say there's a moment where we serve sandwiches. The spectator is invited to this game and this discovery of the various worlds that we otherwise all go through."(Vava Ștefănescu)
An installation-show, "Val and the Fortress of Souls" brings together, under the direction of choreographer Vava Ștefănescu, a team of six professional dancers and seven children who participate in the Performance school for children organised by CNDB.
"The interaction between the big dancers and the little dancers is simply breathtaking. Many times, when you least expect it, the small children are much more intuitive and involved in the story than the big children, as I call them.” (Vava Ștefănescu)
Just as the journey of the story's characters is an initiatic one, so the coming together of the artistic team became a process full of challenges. The show's process, which became a bona fide creative laboratory, brought together artists from various fields, while the book played the part of a red thread in everybody's process of establishing a common language.
We invite you to take part in their journey and, who knows, maybe you'll face yourselves on the way.
Concept and choreography: Vava Ștefănescu
Choreographic assistance: Catrinel Catană
Stage design and installation: Cristina Milea
Stage design assistance: Miruna Croitoru, Smaranda Găbudeanu
Music: Vlaicu Golcea
Video: Mihai Păcurar
Drawings: Ana Alfianu
Light design: Alexandros Raptis
With: Eva Danciu, Maria-Luiza Dimulescu, Smaranda Găbudeanu, Fabio Maria Gerhold, Robert Popa, Cosmin Vasile and the children Maia Axinte, Giulia Grigore, Chira Munteanu, Maria Rogojan, Eva Sur, Petra Atudorei Ștefănescu, Adora Tănase
"The performance school for children" is an integrated program that combines contemporary dance, body practices and artistic education, a unique opportunity in the Romanian creative field that at the moment is yet to be offered by art schools and public or private institutions.
Project co-financed by the Administration of the National Cultural Fund. The project does not necessarily reflect the Administration of the National Cultural Fund`s view. The ANCF cannot be held responsible for the project`s contents or use of results. Responsibility for the latter belongs solely to the beneficiary.
Partners: Editura Humanitas, Teatrul Excelsior
Graphic design: Studio Fluid