How do you film a performance?

Open laboratory: "Stars High in Amnesia's Sky (reactivations)" by Mihai Mihalcea

November 7, 12:00


Lately, it has become increasingly urgent for performers to find ways to adapt to the digital flow of information in the online environment. With the SARS-COV-2 pandemic, the scene temporarily moved to digital. The presentation platforms have adapted to the new conditions, requiring artists professional recordings of performances or video adaptations of works intended for the stage. It has become imperative for choreographers and dancers to understand how to visually document their performances or rethink them for new platforms.

We invite you to an open laboratory with Simona Deaconescu (choreographer and director), Ana Drăghici (image director), Bogdana Pascal (visual artist and TV producer), Mădălina Dan (choreographer and author of the performane “Illusionists”), and the performers from the show, in which the video documentation process of a performative work will be discussed in detail.

The laboratory will start from the concept of the work created by the choreographer Mădălina Dan and a visual direction will be sketched connected to the way the performance is received by the audience. Emphasis will be placed on the close collaboration between the choreographer and the image director, types of frames and cinematic angles specific to a dance piece, the dynamics of the editing of filmed performance, the visual rhetoric and motivation behind these choices, and aspects related to the preparation and production of a video format based on a stage work. What changes and what remains from the meaning of the work in its original version, how can we find a common visual grammar with the film crew, how can we transform the work process with the dancers during filming, how can we make a cut, and, last but not least, what can we can transfer from the performative to the visual? All these questions will be debated by the invited artists in the laboratory.

About “Stars High in Amnesia’s Sky (reactivations)”

“We don’t remember, but we rewrite our memories”, says Mihai Mihalcea, returning with detachment to his own work “Stars High in Amnesia’s Sky”, which premiered in 2003.

Created in a context in which in Romanian arts there are appearing more and more works with different aesthetics compared to what one could generally see on the stage, “Stars High in Amnesia’s Sky” is internationally seen as a scenic installation, “an experimental creation that removes itself from dance codes which it refuses to exhibit”.

Introduced as work-in-progress at the Centre National de la Danse – Pantin, the work was premiered at the Hebbel am Uffer theater, within Internationales TanzFest Berlin, in 2003, starring Maria Baroncea, Eduard Gabia and Mircea Ghinea, alongside scenographer Andu Dumitrescu. Following the berlin premiere, Martin Hargreaves, editor at Dance Theatre Journal, wrote in the 19th issue of the London-based magazine about the festival and considered “Stars High in Amnesia’s Sky” as” an intelligent and well-thought performance, whose minimalistic approach highlighted the complexity of the choreographic and political questions it raised”.

The centerpiece of the new work does not necessarily reside in the original one, but rather in the context that led to its creation. It is an exercise of communicating towards a new generation of artists of historical fragments that resides only in the memory of those who took part in those events. In the current setup, mixed on the present’s unstable canvas, there are texts, sounds, images and actions, memories, personal and collective histories, that are rewritten and reactivated via the performance of CNDB Academy of Dance and Performance students, the characters of the work’s current version

Artistic direction: Mihai Mihalcea

Smaranda Găbudeanu, Alina Lupeș, Amelia Motea, Claudiu Silvianu, Mihai Mihalcea

Assistance: Iulia Chindea, Mircea Ghinea
Light design: Alexandros Raptis
Biography Mihai Mihalcea

IMPORTANT: Access to the event is based on the latest regulations on safety measures against SARS-CoV-2. Participants must present their EU COVID-19 Digital Certificate (Green Pass), which must contain: either proof of vaccination against the SARS-CoV-2 virus for which 10 days have passed since the completion of the vaccination scheme with an authorized vaccine in Romania; or proof that it is in the period between the 15th and 180th day after confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 virus infection.


Participation is free within the limits of available seats, and registrations are made by email to until November 6.

Biography Simona Deaconescu

Simona Deaconescu is a choreographer and director of dance films, working transdisciplinary on the border between performance, installation and film. In 2014, she founded Tangaj Collective, a collaboration framework with artists from various fields, through which she explores scenarios about the future of the body, memory and identity. The artist creates performative spaces where nature and technology meet, and the notion of choreography extends beyond the human body. Her performative works have been presented in festivals, galleries and unconventional venues in Europe, Canada and the USA.

She holds a BA and an MA in Choreography at The National University of Theatre and Film Bucharest and a BA in Film Directing at Media University Romania. Simona Deaconescu was nominated as an Aerowaves Twenty18 Artist and received the CNDB Award in 2016. In the last two years she has been a resident artist of the European projects “Moving Digits: Augmented Dance for Engaged Audiences” and “Biofriction” – an international project that promotes bioart and biohacking practices. In 2021 and 2022, the artist becomes “Forecast Mentee”, under the mentorship of French choreographer Mathilde Monnier, as part of a global interdisciplinary network that promotes the transfer of ideas.

Simona Deaconescu developed a practice in dance film by placing the body in unfamiliar places, using sequence frames and a dystopian atmosphere. She made the dance film “Silent Places” (in collaboration with cinematographer Oleg Mutu) and “Sonder” (in collaboration with cinematographer Tudor Vladimir Panduru), which were selected and awarded at over 40 profile festivals around the world. In 2015, together with the film producer Anamaria Antoci, she founded BIDFF – Bucharest International Dance Film Festival, a platform dedicated to the meeting between performing arts, cinematography and new technologies, which in 2020 won the AFCN Award for International Cultural Cooperation.

Biography Ana Drăghici

Ana graduated in film imaging from UNATC in 2008, then studied for a master’s degree in film imaging. She is currently a master’s student at the Faculty of Philosophy. She has shot several short films (with directors such as: Iulia Rugină, Eva Pervolovici, Sebastian Mihăilescu, Tudor Botezatu, Raya al Suliman, Yotam Ben-David, Laura Marques), she has been an operator for the film “Aurora” (directed by Cristi Puiu) and she signed the image of several feature films (with directors Bogdan Theodor Olteanu, Paul Negoescu and Ruxandra Ghițescu). In 2009, she founded the association Graphis 122, through which she supported a series of independent cultural projects, and in 2016 he founded the Film+ program. In 2016, she was appointed a member of the working group with a consultative role in the process of elaborating cultural policies and the strategic plan of the National Film Archive and since 2018 she is a member of the European Film Academy.

Biography Bogdana Pascal

Bogdana Pascal is working and living in Bucharest, Romania, where she graduated Fine-Arts High School (costume and set design), National University of drama and film (Multimedia) and got a Masters Degree at Centre of Excellence in Study of Image (CESI) with a thesis regarding the history of romanian contemporary dance. During studies, her interest in contemporary dance was reflected in student short works which were selected and presented, sometimes awarded, in European student festivals.

She has been working as avideo artist and freelance artistic director, getting competence and experience in dance video editing  – she had a lot of collaborationswith dancers, choreographers and other artists in international projects.

She works as a TV producer for Romanian Television. Gaining over 20 years of professional experience, she created several original tv formats: Performdance – weekly dance production (over 100 video episodes broadcasted), Kinetika-body laboratories – experimental video-dance productions – short movies, Work in progress – series of weekly documentaries dedicated to contemporary dance and young artists, Contemporary dance evening (2009/2021) – full length multi-camera dance performances hosted by National Center of Dance Bucharest. Dancemakers, dance show presented as a dialogue between 2 dancers/choreographers from different generations and artMakers, a series of weekly reportages dedicated to Romanian independent contemporary artists from visual art, music, dance and theatre. As a producer she broadcasted National Selection Contests for Eurovision Young Dancers competitions in 2013 and 2015. In present (2021-2022) she is producing a tv format named 22 Century [kalopsia], a series of creative shorts exploring a large range of creative domains, such as dance, design and performing arts.

Biography Mihai Mihalcea

Mihai Mihalcea is an artist and choreographer who lives and works in Bucharest. He co-founded the group “Marginalii”, the first independent group of contemporary dancers post-1989 and also initiated and contributed to projects such as the Multi Art Dance Center, the National Center for Dance Bucharest, the subRahova space, the Cultural Center, which have made a major contribution to the international recognition of Romanian contemporary dance.

The choreographic works he created between 1994-2009 under his own name have been presented in institutions and festivals such as Tanzquartier Vienna (AT), Tanz im August Berlin (DE), Paris Quartier d’Ete (FR), Springdance Utrecht (NL), Bucharest National Theater (RO), La Filature – Scène nationale de Mulhouse (FR), and were noted in Le Monde, Berliner Zeitung, Liberation, Danser, Ballet-Tanz International, Dance Theater Journal, La Repubblica, etc.

Between 2005-2013 he held the position of director of the National Center for Dance Bucharest, an institution he co-founded, becoming one of the key structures in the formation of generations of artists and choreographers in Bucharest. For the projects carried out within the CNDB, he was nominated for the “Paris – Europe 2006” award by the Maison d’Europe et d’Orient Paris.

In 2010 he assumed a new artistic identity, that of Farid Fairuz, under which he worked until 2020, and made choreographic works and performances for video and photo camera that were presented in both the contexts of visual arts and dance contemporary, in institutions and festivals such as Kunsthalle Gent (BE), Black Box Theater Oslo (NO), Buckenthal Museum of Contemporary Art Sibiu (RO), Rencontres Choreographiques de Seine-Saint-Denis (FR), Brush Factory Cluj (RO), HAU Berlin (DE), Bucharest National Dance Center (RO), Akademie Der Künste Berlin (DE), Kunsthalle Bega, Timișoara (RO), etc.

The artistic production created within the “Farid Fairuz” project was purchased by MNAC – National Museum of Contemporary Art Bucharest (RO). From 2020 the artist returns to his original name.

Event created within the project Courtyard dances.

Co-financed by
Administration of the National Cultural Fund (AFCN)
The project does not necessarily represent the position of The Administration of the National Cultural Fund. The Administration of the National Cultural Fund is not responsible for the content of the project or the manner in which the results of the project may be used. These are entirely the responsibility of the funding recipient.

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