The dancing tree

Gilda Lazar doesn’t need a long introduction. In short she is now Director of Corporate Affairs & Communication at JTI Romania, Moldova and Bulgaria, associate professor at University of Bucharest where she teaches a course on CSR and Corporate Affairs, and President of the “Friends of the Opera”. She had the pleasure to talk about art discovered in a “different” city.

It is difficult to recommend something in a city in which you don’t live day by day, night after night. However, I know about Chisinau , that’s a city with many ” beautiful happenings ” as Moldavians say. But everything you see or hear in the city over the Prut is different because, firstly you have to feel it and then to understand it. And that happens because of the people.
A few days ago in Chisinau, a random encounter brought another: JTI Meetings at the second edition in Moldova ( the 14th, in Romania), invited on the scene of the National Theatre Mihai Eminescu, “Gigi Caciuleanu Romania Dance Company ” who performed the show D’ale noastre based on texts of the great IL. Caragiale. The premiere took place in Bucharest last year, so I did not watch the show for the first time. After Bucharest, the company started European tour: Paris, Brussels, London, and Sofia under the title Ta Ra Ta Tam. At the end of November, Ta Ra Ta Tam can be seen in Lisbon, with the support of the Romanian Cultural Institute. I also knew Gigi Căciuleanu for a while. The first “meeting” with the choreographer was occasioned by JTI Meetings edition 2011, when he brought to Bucharest Noche Bach, with the National Ballet of Chile. Here’s what Gigi Caciuleanu says about D’ale noastre “I internationalized IL Caragiale, I translated it into my language, the language movement, of surrealism, of modernity. Coane Joitici can be seen anywhere and children like Mr. Goe are in many families , Cațavencu is universal. What is interesting in this show highlights not what characterizes the Romanian society but the universal habits.
But why was D’ale noastre different in Chișinău? Moldavian public, just like the one in Paris, Brussels and London understood Căciuleanu message fully, but differently, with the soul rather than the mind. Those who saw “Nuntă în Basarabia” or who went through Chisinau with a guide passionate about literature and poetry might think that everything revolves around the statue of Stefan cel Mare and the city is reduced at the avenue with the same name. Well, this is not what Chișinău is at all. Chisinau has 17 theaters, much more than Bucharest, and every year the city hosts an Opera Festival and Ballet, where artists from around the world are invited. The hall with the organ is one of the most beautiful buildings in Chișinău. The city of white stone, how it is sometimes called, is surrounded by wineries like Cricova, Mileștii Mici sau Chateau Vartelly. About Mileștii Mici I can say that is an outstanding architectural monument, a vast underground city with 200 km galleries out of which 55 km are used for wine storage, record mentioned in the Guinness World Records. Orheiul Vechi a hermitage carved into the stone, surrounded by Rauț river, bears traces of the old church of the Moldavian nobles but also the Geto -Dacian vestiges. The lovely valleys and the gentle hills that open horizons and heal souls could be found almost everywhere in Moldova.
About Moldovan silence and sincere wonder
Once, I was in the middle of an enthusiastic audience who cheered standing for minutes, after we soothed our thirst with Negru de Purcări wine and we tasted great pies.
What better could happen to me? In the morning of the 4th of November, when Gigi Căciuleanu and his dancers headed to the place that Gigi always wore in the suitcase, the place of his roots Mășcăuți village, I had no idea that the road will not be an easy journey. I found, in Criuleni district, honest, warm and modest people, pure as from another world, amazed by the joy and the luck of welcoming the artist. People in Mășcăuți, teachers and pupils from the local high school named after his great-grandfather, Ion Sârbu – the first Moldavian poet who wrote fables in Romanian with Cyrillic characters greeted Gigi with bread and salt. And the surprises followed: they recited poems but not the poetry of Gigi’s grandfather, but Gigi ‘s own poems; we watched a film in which he and Miriam Raducanu danced retrieval and separation, they asked questions, they wanted to hear stories of his childhood, to know about his memories, joys, pains, faith. They wanted to keep as much as they could from what Gigi Căciuleanu represented for their land . The choreographer entered with emotion in Mășcăuți church, founded by his grand grandfather Alexandru Sârbu; then stopped to Sarbu family mansion and recollected at the graves of the Sarbu nobles. In the court of the mansion , Gigi stopped near a tree with a straight trunk and twisted branches: “I am feeling a lot of emotions; I know this tree from my grandparents’ stories, I’ve always heard about it, that it dances, it is moved by the wind and history. My grandmother always told me about the tranquility, that we now also feel standing next to it.”
Some time ago, when asked about where his roots are, Gigi Căciuleanu responded: “in my suitcase. I feel at home every time I get on stage. The important things are the branches of a tree, the ones which rise to the sky, because I can take the roots with me wherever I go.”
Following the meeting with the places and people of Mășcăuți, Căciuleanu will henceforth take them in his suitcase everywhere in the world. And for us who have had the joy of accompanying him in his emotional journey, we will always have memories of this part of haven and of the purity of the people belonging to a world beyond.
Gigi Căciuleanu next show in Chișinău is OuiBaDa, “so that it is known here as well, that we said: ‘Yes, we can’, before Obama.” And I would warmly recommend you to see it; if possible in Chisinau, rather than anywhere else.