How do you film a performance?

Open laboratory: "Illusionists" by Madalina Dan

October 28, 18:00

DDC Cum filmezi un performance Iluzionistele


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 “Illusionists”

“Illusionists” premiered in 2009. In 2021, the work signed by Madalina Dan returned to the stage with a new generation of performers.

The work is an extension of the playful stage of life in its first chapters, characterized by play, innocence and continuous enthusiasm in perceiving and transforming the world. It rejects the automatisms, taxonomies and simplifications that take the place of magic in adult life and returns to the logic and relationships that make reality and the imaginary, the invisible and the visible, the possible and the impossible intertwine in the undifferentiated thinking of children.

Recreating the performance gives the author the opportunity of having a more mature approach on the artistic demarche from back then, but also to assume and emphasize the feminine identity and reality, by researching new ways of expression through movement, questioning stage conventions, compositional methods applied in improvisation, syncretic approaches to expression with movement, sound, objects, text.

Concept and artistic direction: Mădălina Dan
Choreography: Alexandra Bălășoiu, Andreea Belu, Smaranda Găbudeanu, Georgia Măciuceanu, Laura Murariu, Virginia Negru, Madalina Dan

Alexandra Bălășoiu, Smaranda Găbudeanu, Georgia Măciuceanu, Laura Murariu, Virginia Negru

Costumes: Paula Dunker
Production assistant: Georgia Măciuceanu
Scenography & costumes assistant: Smaranda Găbudeanu
Light design: Alexandros Raptis

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 October 27.

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 Mădălina Dan

Mădălina Dan is a graduate of the “Floria Capsali” Choreography High School in Bucharest and of the National University of Theater and Cinematography in Bucharest – choreography department; she also graduated from UNATC with a master’s degree in dramatic writing.

From 1998 to 2003 she was a member of the dance company “Oleg Danovski” from Constanța. In 2008 she participated in the scholarship program for contemporary dance “DanceWeb Scholarship” – Vienna. Mădălina Dan was a guest artist at the Arizona State University School of Dance and an associate artist at the National Center for Dance Bucharest Center in 2016. She studied in Berlin at HZT (Hochschulübergreifende Zentrum Tanz Berlin) on the SoDA (Solo / Dance / Authorship) program.

Her works have been presented at Springdance Festival Utrecht, Balkan Dance Platform – Novi Sad, eXplore Dance Festival – Bucharest, Temps d’Images – Cluj, SouthBank Center & Chisenhale Dance Space – London, Fabrik Potsdam, Hebbel am Uffer – Berlin, TanzFabrik- Berlin, Tanzquartier Wien, Dance Theater Workshop – New York, Firkin Crane-Cork, Alta Theater – Prague, Art Stations Foundation – Poznan, Sophien Saale – Berlin, FFT Düsseldorf, Impulse Festival, Mulheim, Lyon Dance Biennale, Schauschpiel Leipzig, Hellerau – Dresden etc.

In 2015 she was among the winners of the CNDB Awards, for her contribution in dance and performance through shows, workshops, creative laboratories and mentoring projects.

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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