The Illusionists

  • Dance & performance
  • Invitation-based access
  • Part of Dance me to the End of… – exercises, distances, proximities

50 min.

Identitate spectacol iluzionistele




at CNDB „Stere Popescu” hall


The National Dance Center Bucharest announces the first representation of The Illusionists show – by Mădălina Dan, from the Dance me to the End of… program in which revisiting the recent history of the Romanian contemporary dance becomes an exercise and practice for the development of CNDB Academy of Dance and Performance.

The Illusionists premiered in 2009, in the former location of the National Center for Dance Bucharest – the Round Hall at the National Theatre of Bucharest – and in 2020 came the turn for a new generation of performers to showcase this work by the choreographer Mădălina Dan. 

Considering the legal requirements for preventing CO-VID19, regarding the maximum number of participants to a public event, participation to this event will be possible only by invitation, the final selection being done by the artistic team. 

Mădălina Dan:
I kept thinking about The Illusionists show –  considering the shows rerun after 11 years, through a connection with the children’s playful stage before reaching adulthood and the psychological integration, characterized by a state of constant play and mirage, through ease, innocence and enthusiasm in perceiving and transforming the world.
I think about The Illusionists as a ludic state, prolonged, associated with childhood.

As adults, the body’s magic and the mirage of playing fade away, become a background, an automatism, taxonomies and simplifications. 

When working on The Illusionists I approached the indiscriminate thought process of children, one based on different relationships and logic, in which reality and imagination, invisible and visible, possible and impossible merge.

Though a syncretic approach – movement, sound, speech, object-based visual and sound structures – having the body as the main generator and translator of the imaginary/ perceived/ emotional language, The Illusionists suggests a a game between what is imagined and what is transmitted as form and representation, between what is present or absent on the stage, visible and invisible, abstract or concrete.

The magic lies somewhere in the middle, between the performers and the viewers/ receivers and it is an active process, communication being based on overlaps in rhythm, intensity, colors, forms in space, bits of images, emotional state.

In the show, the illusion (imagination) is seen as a freedom of spirit, a mystery with its own logic of being, as a free emotional and perception game in which the rational is overridden.

The demarche in The Illusionists is related to understanding the body (perceptive, sensorial, emotional, imaginative, kinesthetic) as the main driver for creativity, the one that “builds” new worlds with each new experience, image, story.

Meeting The Illusionists again, after more than 10 years, drives enthusiasm, new discoveries and reflections. From the current perspective, re-doing the show offers me the opportunity of having a more mature approach on the artistic demarche from back then, on one hand, and, on the other, to assume and highlight the feminine identity and reality from the show.

Revisiting the show also means returning to older choreographic interests and pursuits: researching new ways to express oneself through motion, questioning the stage norms, composition methods applied to improvisation, syncretic approaches for expressing through movement, sound, object or text.

I am glad that through re-doing this show I have the opportunity to meet and work with very interesting and talented dancers and performers, from different age groups. The cast is mixed, including both students from the  National Center for Dance Bucharest Academy but also dancers from the Romanian dance community. The shows material and approach create a bridge and an arc over timp, between the female performers from the original cast – Carmen Coțofană, Maria Baroncea, Mihaela Dancs and the new cast – Alexandra Bălășoiu, Andreea Belu, Smaranda Găbudeanu, Georgia Măciuceanu, Laura Murariu, Virginia Negru. This revisiting offers me the opportunity to integrate the show in a different way in my artistic and biographic course, to analyze it as an artist, based on what I created after 2009.

The time dimension, of the life stages, of the body-mind-soul which transforms itself, of the emancipation through affect, the visibility of the female identity in the artistic space, the cross-generation links are all aspects that appear, creating a link with the wonderful artists/ partners/ collaborators/ choreographic references from other shows and projects: (anti) aging– Mihaela Alexandra Dancs,  Mothers of Steel – Agata Siniarska, Genesys – Miriam Răducanu and Ștefania Ferchedău.

Concept and artistic direction: Mădălina Dan
Choreography: Alexandra Bălășoiu, Andreea Belu, Smaranda Găbudeanu, Georgia Măciuceanu, Laura Murariu, Virginia Negru, Madalina Dan.
Costumes: Paula Dunker
Production assistant: Georgia Măciuceanu
Scenography & costumes assistant: Smaranda Găbudeanu
Light design: Alexandros Raptis
Graphics: Daniel & Andrew

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

Piece created within the frame of the project Restituiri – performând efemerul (Restitutions – performing the ephemeral).

Co-financed by
Administration of the National Cultural Fund
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.

Special mentions

The performance on July 8 is a work-in-progress version.

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