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"Not About Romanian Cinema: POONARC" premiere is now in Transylvania. Coming to Danspace Project, New York June 4 to 13.

"Not About Romanian Cinema: POONARC" in a developmental workshop production at Kaatsbaan International Dance Center, Tivoli, New York, April 2008. (Photo by Ayumi Sakamoto.)

Danspace Project will present Yoshiko Chuma and The School of Hard Knocks/ROOT CULTURE in "Not About Romanian Cinema: POONARC" June 4 to 13 as part of its City/Dans series at St, Mark's Church.

POONARC was performed in early May as the lead project of Arad Fun International Underground Festival of Theater and Film in Western Transylvania, where the audience stunned the performers with their intense and sustained applause. After three weeks of developing the project, the anticipation was great and the project was a huge success. Currently POONARC is touring Romania to Timisoara, Hungarian Theatre of Cluj, Odorheiu Secuiesc Dance Festival, and the Bucharest National Dance Centre.

Theo Herghelegiu, performer and writer from Romania, at the rehearsal in Arad. (Photo by Nick Vaughan.)

As a dialogue between artists from three countries -- Japan, the United States, and Romania -- the piece is a part of The School of Hard Knocks’ multi-year research and performance project entitled “A PAGE OUT OF ORDER.” This ongoing dance/installation project creates platforms for in-depth cultural exchange between artists and has taken the company to Albania, Macedonia, and the Manipur region of India.

This piece is inspired by films from the “golden age of Romanian cinema” and the company’s subsequent visits to Romania to better understand the context for contemporary Romanian film and art.

POONARC includes text by Romanian playwright, Theo Herghelegiu, Jake Margolin and the international cast. Film footage is distilled from two Romanian films, Stuff and Dough by Cristi Puiu and 12:08 East of Bucharest by Corneliu Porumboiu The set design by Nick Vaughan is inspired by "John Cage-Variations VII" from the DVD film series, "9 Evenings: Theatre & Engineering" (1966), issued by Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.). Music and songs are created and performed by Koichi Makigami and Sizzle Ohtaka. Sound design: Soichiro Migita and Jacob Burckhardt. Lighting by Rie Ono. The extraordinary cast of dancers, actors and musicians include Yoshiko Chuma, Sorin Calota, Andreea Duta, Ursula Eagly, Theo Herghelegiu, Kristine Lee, Jake Margolin, István Téglás, Sizzle Ohtaka and Koichi Makigami.

Photo by Ayumi Sakamoto showing seven-foot aluminum cubes.

POONARC was created, in part, while in residence at Morishita Studio, Tokyo with support from Saison Foundation (Japan), Kaatsbaan International Dance Center in partnership with Danspace Project's Creative Residency Program supported by the New York State Council on the Arts (USA), and Casa de Cultura a Municipuilui Arad (Romania). The creation of POONARC: A Page Out of Order: Not about Romanian Cinema is made possible in part by Danspace Project 2008-2009 Commissioning Initiative, with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Participation of US artists in Romania is supported by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through USArtists International with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Trust for Mutual Understanding. Participation of Romanian artists to the USA is supported by Romanian Cultural Institute in New York. The music for POONARC was commissioned by American Music Center Live Music for Dance Program. Partially supported by National Endowment for the Arts, a Federal Agency.


illustration by Hidetomo Mita

Not About Romanian Cinema: POONARC

June 4 to 13, 2009
Presented by Danspace Project as part of the City/Dans series
St. Mark's Church, 131 East 10th Street (at 2nd Ave.), Manhattan.
Thursday through Saturday:
pre-show begins at 8:00 pm; performance at 8:30 pm.
$18.00 ($12.00 for members).
Box office (866) 811-4111

Supported by Japan Foundation -

Press contact: Jonathan Slaff & Associates

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