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Jurnalul National (Observator, Editorial), The Firebird


On the National Theatre’s stage dance 100 children, aged between 10 and 22 […]. As they jump sprightly, playing with one orange, they seem like they are part of the Peter Pan story. They are flying to Neverland.

Even though they have never danced before, they perform a difficult piece, Stravinsky’s Firebird, forming pieces of décor with their bodies. It’s just them on the stage, surrounded in magical lights.

The audience counts over 1.000 people, some of them sitting on the stairs, since the National couldn’t hold them. Among them, Constantin Balaceanu Stolnici, Monica Ghiuta, Vava Stefanescu, Amalia Enache and Dragos Bucurenci. Representing all generations. In the air there is incredible tension and emotion, making the breathing vibe.

It took place last Saturday, as a part of an unbelievable project: the first community dance show in Romania. In other words, children from all social categories, some with hearing or intellectual disabilities, others who graduated from very famous Secondary schools, they were trained in dancing for one month, by two German choreographers.
They learned out of exercise and feeling that, on stage, there is no difference between them, no matter how many clothes they have in their dressing or how many mobile phones they own.

It has not yet been invented a machine to measure the confidence they gained after this show, both the favored ones and the less fortunate.

At the end of the show, one of the boys who had a more difficult part was sobbing. The audience stood, shouting ‘Bravo’, for more than five minutes, while he, on the stage, kept crying. I still don’t know whether it was because of the tension from the show, or if, in his mind, he believed he had done something wrong during his performance.

The Firebird is a project produced in Romania by the wife of Germany’s ex-ambassador in Romania, Mrs. Monique Gruber, with the help of Alexandra Arnautu, from If Magic. The show was performed once in Bucharest and once in Sibiu, but I believe it could be performed many times, because, besides the emotion, it delivers a haunting lesson.
The children in the show weren’t transformed into dancers over night, they don’t have the moves of professional dancers, nor sophisticated choreographies, but they dance with such abnegation and they are so united by their emotion, that the audience is irritated by not being able to tell the challenged ones from the so-called normal ones.
And that is the most beautiful lesson about our preconceptions.


Author: Cristina Bazavan