Lizica Codreanu – a reconstruction, on Constantin Brâncuși National Day

  • Documentary
  • CNDB Online

18 min.


145 years after Brâncuși’s birth, CNDB offers you to discover lesser-known creations from his work, such as his collaboration with Lizica Codreanu, dancer and choreographer and one of the important female figures in the avant-garde movement at the beginning of the last century.

In 1922, Brâncuși created a special dance costume for this, put Erik Satie’s Gymnopedias in the pickup and invited her to create a dance in his workshop, among the sculptures. The whole action, bearing a private character, was documented by Brâncuși with the help of a Thornton Pickard camera with bellows and rack, resulting in a total of seven pictures.

Two years after Lizica’s death, in 1995, the director Cornel Mihalache and Greta Solomon reconstruct the costume created by Brâncuși for her, starting from the seven images. The director proposes to the choreographer Vava Ștefănescu a seemingly impossible reenactment: to remake the dance from Brâncuși’s workshop, to Satie’s music. The reconstructed dance, filmed at Poarta Sărutului, is part of the documentary film made by the director, dedicated to Brâncuși.

In 2014, Vava Ștefănescu challenges the students of the Choreography High School in Bucharest to recompose Lizica Codreanu’s dance in the performance “Reenacting Lizica Codreanu”. The costumes were recreated by Cristi Marin, being hand-made. The show took place on the stage of The National Center for Dance in Bucharest, in 2014.

The whole story behind this performance that resulted from Brâncuși’s collaboration with Lizica Codreanu, as well as the two reconstructions from 1995 and 2014, are captured in a short documentary, which we invite you to watch on the occasion of the anniversary of Constantin Brâncuși National Day 2021.

The documentary will be available on our website event page and on Facebook, during the entire day.
For the Facebook event, click here.

Lizica Codreanu
Close friend of Brâncuși, Coco Chanel, Eugen Ionesco and the avant-garde groups in Paris, Lizica Codreanu revolutionized the dance codes of the early twentieth century. She enrolled at the School of Fine Arts in Bucharest in 1918, the same year she also debuted in the program of the first artistic tea of ​​the Society “Friends of the Blind” at the “Carol cel Mare” Theater in Bucharest, alongside Ion Manu, Maria Filotti and Petre Sturdza. After several individual performances in Bucharest (Character Dances, Spring Dance and Rococo Entertainment, March 9, 1919, Eforia Theater), Lizica Codreanu left for Paris, and in 1921 developed an increasingly sustained choreographic activity. The composer Florent Schmitt recommends her to Ideas Rubinstein for performances, she attends Bronislava Nijinska’s classes, getting closer and closer to the main avant-garde groups: Albatros, Dadaists and Surrealists, Tchérez and others. In 1926 she made his film debut, playing the role of Pierot the Lightning in the film Le P’tit Parigot directed by René le Somptier. The same year, she married Jean Fontenoy, a well-known journalist for the Havas agency, with whom she traveled extensively until the second half of the 1930s, when she returned to Paris from Shanghai, divorced and opened a hatha-yoga center, adapting Oriental and Hindu teachings to her own research on body and movement. In 1971, after a last trip to Bucharest, she ended her activity as a psychosomatician, during which time she had as patients, among many others, Eugène Ionescu and Coco Chanel. She died in 1993 in Louveciennes, age 93.

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