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The Fascination of Dancing

Saturday, 10 January 2009 , ora 12.32
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake was the first ballet performance on the stage of the National Opera House in Bucharest, this year. The show premiered on the evening of January 10th 2009, while snow was covering the city. Nothing would have better fit the dance of snowflakes outside than the launch of a volume dedicated to 'music, expression, and poetry; in a word, to ballet'. These were the words of musicologist Grigore Constantinescu, co-author of the book The Fascination of Dancing, written in collaboration with musicologist Daniela Caraman-Fotea.

The volume was launched during the break of the afore-mentioned performance, under the auspices of the Music Publishing House in Bucharest and it represents the fulfilment of an action which started approximately forty years ago. Back then, the co-authors, together with Iosif Sava, sketched an initial version of the book.

The work is more than a mere dictionary of the genre as it addresses larger audiences; one of its goals is to educate the young public. As Catalin Ionescu-Arbore (the head of the Bucharest National Opera House) said, The Fascination of Dancing could represent 'a guide to the fascinating world of ballet', a world in which music and motion complement each other.

Grigore Constantinescu: This is an older idea. Almost forty years ago, I created a first dictionary of ballet, together with Daniela Caraman-Fotea and Iosif Sava. We thought about revising this idea in a new form, which encompasses everything we have accumulated over the last period of time: knowing the repertoire, knowing the history of ballet, and the complex areas of interest. Then, together with Daniela Caraman-Fotea, I have rebuilt the ideas of universal and Romanian repertoire, the presentations of composers and creations, so that The Fascination of Dancing can relate to the times we live in, in terms of preparing, gathering information, and, especially, in terms of guiding the young public that comes to watch various ballet performances at the Opera, or to watch DVDs containing recordings of such performances. There is also a separate project, which was born from a collaboration with fellow musicologist Daniela Caraman-Fotea, and which - I hope - will have a sequel: a second volume, dedicated to actors, choreographers, ballet companies, and composers of the genre.
Alexandra Cebuc
Translated by Laura-Cristina Badea
MA Student, MTTLC, Bucharest University