About you (a version)

Concept and choreography: Vava Ștefănescu
Choreography assistant: Carmen Coțofană
Soundtrack: Sorin Romanescu
Photo-video: Cătălin Munteanu
Light design: Alexandros Raptis

With: Diana Solomon and Cătălin Munteanu

The performance is presented within the project Distances and proximities.

Produced by: The National Center for Dance Bucharest

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 is dedicated to my parents” Vava Ștefănescu

In this new version of the show, the choreographer Vava Ștefănescu changes the format of her own choreographic solo, returning this time on stage, together with both performers with whom she worked in the versions presented this year at CNDB.

A performance which Vava Ștefănescu created in 1997 and dedicated it to her parents, “About you” is also the work that launched the choreographer on the international stage, being invited at that time in many international festivals (Aerowaves – London 1998, Manoever – Leipzig 1999, etc.)

Over time, the show took various forms. If at the premiere in the Atelier Hall of the Bucharest National Theater, in 1997, she was accompanied on stage by live electric guitar, later, the performers were multiplied, the spaces in which the performance took place changed, also becoming an experiment performance set in a grocery shop and even an attempt at a radio dance show.

In the performances from 2021, until now, the choreographer revised the work calling it “About you (a version)” and worked on its re-enactment making two versions of the solo, with Diana Solomon, Laura Murariu and Cătălin Munteanu, graduates of the CNDB Academy of Dance and Performance.

In the version we are inviting you to now, the choreographer has chosen a new formula, in which she returns to the stage, together with both performers she has worked with.

Moreover, as in the original version, the audience has the opportunity to vote on the order of the scenes before the show starts, and most votes designate the first scene of the four: Child, Street, House and Love. The fifth scene, The Horse, is always the last and is an improvisation starting from the energy accumulated until that moment.

“It was very important for me then this game of random dramaturgy, as there are 24 variants of sequence of scenes. If then the stake of the whole show was put on dramaturgy in all the elements that constituted it, today, the form found together with the graduates from the CNDB Academy shifts the stake on “what the body can say”. I was looking for a certain radicalization of the work process, of the research exercise, as well as of the general aesthetics of the result – of the performance.

In the original work, the choreographic discourse integrated for each scene an installation with several photos made by Cosmin Bumbuț and some from my father. In the current version I tried to keep this element (of the photo), but in the same way of radicalizing the image. For this version, Cătălin Munteanu makes a photo-video montage and is the witness, in an almost journalistic way, of the body. The instant photographic image has its independent course, it has its voice – like a parallel spectacle of the three-dimensional.

It is, therefore, a completely new show, which opens the 4 themes – The Child, the Street, the House and the Love of the performers and the audience alike, and (perhaps) question human identity.” Vava Ștefănescu

Vava Ștefănescu

Vava Ștefănescu is a choreographer and dancer with a rich and very diverse artistic experience. She graduated from the “George Enescu” High School of Choreography, has a master’s degree in cultural management – International Artistic Cooperation at the University of Paris VIII UFR Arts, has benefited throughout her career from numerous scholarships, international internships and artistic residencies. She has created over 50 shows, traversing multiple universes and stage approaches, from choreography for theater to the most radical performance forms. Her creations have been successfully presented on stages in Romania or abroad.

The extended pedagogical experience is based mainly on the student’s fine observation, on the potential of each one to generate a unique choreographic material, on the creative uniqueness in conjunction with the specific artistic context. In Vava Ștefănescu’s artistic preoccupations, the transmission has a central place and is a two-way road, a process in a reciprocal system.

1995-2001 UNATC assistant at the Choreography Department, 2004-2007 guest professor at UBB Cluj, Miklos Bacs class. She holds internships in contemporary dance technique, artistic composition or seminars at festivals, dance companies, universities throughout the country and abroad (Irvine University, Drama Department, CA, USA, CESI within UB, Main d’Oeuvre Center for Contemporary Art, Paris, Summer School For Media Science PhD, Mainz et al.)

Awards: Ministry of Culture’s Prize for Choreography for “16 lessons about the disasters of carnal love”; Choreographer of the Year in Istanbul, for the choreography of the show Bacantele (2009, directed by Mihai Mănuțiu); in 2016, the President of Romania awarded her with the Order of “Cultural Merit” with Knight rank, Performing Arts category.