Artists are telling the history of dance in guided performative tours through Bucharest – (In)visible bodies and stories

Artists are telling the history of dance in guided performative tours through Bucharest – (In)visible bodies and stories

In October, the National Center for Dance Bucharest launches the project (In)Visible Bodies and Stories.

Until recently, the history of Romanian dance seemed to be more about the sum of absences and invisible gestures, rather than a series of material evidence. However, since its establishment, the National Center for Dance Bucharest (CNDB) has carried out projects to recover Romanian history and to reactivate the collective memory. Some of the remaining traces were recovered from personal archives and carefully inventoried in the CNDB Archive. The project “(In)visible bodies and stories” takes place during October and is a continuation of the project “Dancing walks”, in which CNDB invited people to go for a walk with dancers who guided them through several transformative exercises regarding the relationship with one’s own body, with space and the environment.

“(In)visible bodies and stories” adds a new dimension and offers the audience a series of performative tours guided by 10 artists/performers in the field of contemporary dance that activate the choreographic memory of Bucharest. Starting from the experience of their own body and the relationship with the city, the artists will guide the participants to the spaces where, over time, dance has made its presence felt in the life of the Capital. The memory of the creators, the energies and stories that contributed to the construction of today’s choreographic culture, will be reactivated by texts, images, enactments and story-telling. The living body thus becomes a mobile archive that connects spaces/places, histories/events and people from Bucharest, who marked the history of Romanian dance. Each tour lasts between 2 and 3 hours and involves visiting three such places.

CNDB is not proposing a historical approach to formal memory recovery, but acts performatively, engaging participants in a process that involves them physically and emotionally. CNDB offers participants a process of questioning their relationship with the city and a series of exercises to activate their body memory. The dancer’s body, seen as a mobile archive, transmits rewritten fragments of history to the participants and inscribes them in their bodies, renewing the ways of preserving, presenting/representing and circulating knowledge.

The artists invited by CNDB to support these performative guided tours are: Denis Bolborea, Catrinel Catană, Simona Dabija, Simona Deaconescu, Paul Dunca/Paula Dunker, Virginia Negru, Andreea Novac, Maria Mora, Valentina De Piante, Arcadie Rusu.

Project co-financed within the program “București – oraș deschis” 2021.

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