Tag Archives: romania

Paul Neagu – “sculptor, painter, poet, and larger-than-life character”

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“Sculptor, painter, poet, and larger-than-life character”, this was the introduction for the photo exhibition of Laurentiu Garofeanu “Paul Neagu, A portrait” at Romanian Cultural Centre London in 2009.

Paul Neagu, an innovator in art, is maybe the most important Romanian artist since Constantin Brancusi. He was born in Bucharest in 1938, he spent his childhood in Timisoara and studied painting at the Institute of Art ‘N Grigorescu’, Bucharest. In 1969, during the communism, he emigrated in France and then, at the invitation of Richarf Demarco, came to London.

In England he started his career by lecturing at Chelsea School of Art and Hornsey College of Art, becoming known for his artistic work. After gaining British citizenship in 1977, he has been widely recognized for his input in British sculpture.

Actually, I saw for the first time artworks by Paul Neagu in the exposition “From Henry Moore to Hirst: 60 years of British sculpture”, exposition hosted also by The National Art Museum, Bucharest in 2005. Paul Neagu was presented there as one of the representatives of British sculpture.

The work of Paul Neagu impresses by the variety of materials used in sculpture and the capacity of surprising the movement in static composition, practically the decomposition of the move in static compositions.

The artistic work of Paul Neagu was recognized also in awards: „Tony Cobbeld” (1976), the award of the Arts Board Great Britain(1973, 1978), Blue Ribbon Medal (Kongo Hosyo) from the Japanese Government in 1996 and a Leverhulme Trust research award in 1997. He received scholarships at Arts Council Great Britain (1975) and at The Pollock-Krasner Foundation USA (1990, 1991 and 2004). He taught also at Royal College of Art London (1976 – 1986) and at „Concordia” University Montreal (1982 – 1983).

Many of his artworks were bought by the Tate Gallery, London where can be seen as public collection. Among others his works can be found also at The British Museum, Albert Museum London; Tochigi Museum, Japain; Le Fond départemental d’art contemporain, Seine Saint-Denis, Bobigny, The Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, Dublin, Le Musee Cantonal de Beaux Arts, Lausanne, The Philadelphia Art Museum, Philadelphia, USA.

After the Romanian Revolution in 1989, he periodically returned in Romania and in 1992 he re-obtained the Romanian citizenship. In 1996 he donated 140 pieces to the Romanian Patrimony, that can be seen in The Romanian National Art Museum Bucharest, Romanian Museum of Contemporany Art Bucharest and The Museum of Banat Timisoara.

Two monuments, art-works by Paul Neagu are placed inRomania, “Crucea secolului”(“The Croix of the century”) in Bucuresti and “Crucificare”(“Crucifixion”) in Timisoara.

Serriously ill, he died at 66 years, in 2004 in London. As Constantin Brancusi in his will, he wanted to be burried in Romania, his grave being now at Timisoara.

photo: romanianculturalcentre.org.uk, sculpture.org.uk, ampt.ro, flickr.com, fotografiievenimente.ro

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„Calusarii” – a custom kept more than 2000 years

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From the ethnogenesis point of view, we, the Romanians, are “Daco-Roman” descents. Romanian continuity on the actual Romania’s territory starting with the Latinisation of the autochthonous population (Dacians) by the Romans.

Dacia Traiana was included among the imperial provinces in 106 AD, after the victory of Trajan emperor. After that, Trajan’s Column in Rome was raised to celebrate the success of Romans.

What we can easily notice in the bas-reliefs of Trajan’s Column is that the port of the native population, Dacians, is almost the same with that of the Romanian peasants, in great discrepancy with the Roman’s port, obvious changed.

The Dacians were in the pre-Christian period the only population in Europe that had only one God, Gebeleizis (a monotheism exception in the polytheist civilised world of Greeks and Latins). Also, another interesting aspect is that the Dacians  were laughing at the funeral in order to celebrate the beginning of a better, superior live after death.

All the elements of continuity, preserving the traditions, make from Romania a place of profound authenticity.

One of the customes remained from the Dacians, practically unchanged in the last 2000 years is „Calusarii” ( „The hazel’s nuts”).

The dance „Calusarii” is related to the feast of Sun, a magic dance that have as motif the nut of hazel, called „calus” in some regions of Romania. The rite of this dance gives special forces to its participants, that have after that the power to bring good to people, animals, harvests. In a phase of the dance, one of the participants enter in the center and fall after he is touched with a hazel branch, taking upon him all the evil.

A dance with similar movements is find only in Egypt, a place where for a short period was developed a monotheistic pre-christian religion having in center the sun.

Everyone that is seeing „Calusarii” is immediately attracted by the power of its rhythm, the force of movements, the beauty of the colourful customes and the magic of the symbols.

photo: blogspot.com, lenusa.ning.com, adevarul.ro

Angela Gheorghiu – 20 years at Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House

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I wanted many times to write about Angela Gheorghiu, but it’s so much, what to say first? …

Instead of introduction, in the world of ratting, I’ll say something I’ve read often: Angela Gheorghiu is “one of the most important artists of the classic music”, “one of the best-selling artists” nowadays.

Angela Gheorghiu has more than 25000 “friends” on Facebook; I’m, of course, one of them and recently she shared an interview of her for the Romanian television … so, I’ll start from this interview to speak about her… the destiny of Angela Gheorghiu, as she said, doesn’t started on a big stage, it started in Adjud, Romania where she was born in 1965 and started learning music. Then she graduated the Art College and The Conservatory in Bucharest. In 1985 she started the apparition at The Romanian Television.

During the Romanian Revolution, “between the noises of bullets” as she remembers, she received a call about the first invitation to an international event. So, this in how, in July 1990, being in the last year at the Conservatory in Bucharest, she was singing in Amsterdam, then in Basel and then, in 1992, at Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House, London as Zerlina in Don Giovanni. After her debut, the BBC Chanel changed the program in order to transmit the amazing Covent Garden’s show with Angela Gheorghiu.

How is possible so soon, so young, such an important part in Covent Garden?

Only for a phenomenon is possible; and this is what Angela Gheorghiu is, a phenomenon of universal classic music.

After Coven Garden’s debut, followed the Vienna State Opera, Milan’s La Scala New York’s Metropolitan Opera … and here I’ll stop in the places listed because she played and plays actual everywhere … and I’ll list only some of her awards: Deutscher Schallplattenpreis, Diapason d’Or Awards, Choc du Monde de la Musique, Cecilia Prize, the Echo Award, the Italian Musica e dischi, Foreign Lyric Production Award, the USA Critics’ Award, … Angela Gheorghiu won also the title of Female Artist of the Year at the Classic Brit Awards in 2001 and 2010. She was appointed an Officer and Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres by France and Romanie. Angela Gheorghiu was also with “La Medaille Vermeille de la Ville de Paris” in France, Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Arts in Iasi and the Star of Romania, in the highest rank by the President of Romania.

Being many times called capricious because of her obsession for details and perfection, Angela Gheorghiu decided years ago to dedicate her life to stage and public, working only for this. She lived always with the idea of “what she is” and not “what she can become” believing in her destiny. She was also many times her own teacher, she worked many times alone, learning alone the plays.

About Romania, Angela Gheorghiu is saying that “Romania is her blood” and also, some of her important benchmarks are Romanians: the first voice recorded that impressed her was the one of the Romanian Virginia Zeani. She will always thank to two Romanians that marked her career, Iosif Sava and Luminita Constantinescu. Angela Gheorghiu was very reserved with her private live, but an interesting and nice thing is that her husband, the famous Roberto Alagna, learned Romanian, the language of her country, as she wished.

Another beautiful present for her native Romania is singing one or two Romanian songs in every of her concerts.

A gesture of profound generosity was her initiative in the promotion of Romanian young talents, many being invited to play in her spectacles worldwide, like Teodor Ilincai, Stefan Pop, Iulia Isaev, Vlad Mirita, Marius Manea, Irina Iordachescu.

Two pop projects and clips in Romania were “Numele tau” (“Your name”) with Stefan Banica and, more recently, “Nu mai e timp!” (“There’s no time!”) with the pop-rock band Holograf. She also participated in Romania in the concerts for the Days of Bucharest.

In 2011, Angela Gheorghiu accepted the proposal of recording the album “Homage to Maria Callas”, not an easy task regarding the difficult repertory and the responsibility for the “great” Maria Callas. An unprecedented clip was turned in Romania as part of this project, a clip that puts together “on the same stage” the interpretation of Habanera by Maria Callas in 1963 and by Angela Gheorghiu in 2011 … “the queens of opera music finally together”, one of the comment on YouTube.

This year, 20 years from the debut of Angela Gheorghiu at Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House, London, a spectacle dedicated to her and Roberto Alagna will take place in order to celebrate this event.

photo: roportal.ro

say something nice

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The word “Romanian” lost its value in the last few years … something that it is obviously wrong.

I don’t want to say that we, the Romanians, are better than others, I know we aren’t … but we are just like them, I’m sure of that … we are challenging, talented, smart … and really cool.

And I think it’s not correct that a group of people who make bad to represent the image of a country … they should be punished and helped to integrate … not published as examples.

I met people from different parts of world, they were all amazing by their uniqueness, I just love them. Instead, not many love the Romanians, but only because not many really know the Romanians.

Romania at Eurovision 2012 – Mandinga

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www.mandinga.ro

“This group represents excellency in cultural confluences in a show without frontiers, able to charm the most exigent audience. The balanced base of Romanians and Cubans members ensures the unique artistic fluency of this band. The blend of sounds, the virtuosity and impeccable visual construction turn any MANDINGA appearance into a spectacular show.

4 albums released: De corazon – 2003 My sun – 2005 Gozalo! – 2006 Donde – 2008

Winner in Best Live category at Romanian Music Awards 2009 MANDINGA has an average of 300 live shows per year and countless tv appearances, usually as guest star of entertainment shows.

MANDINGA has: its own international festival Salsafest www.salsafest.ro successfull shows in Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Cuba one gold record in 7 years, MANDINGA maintained its unchallengeable position as best latino band from Romania.
MANDINGA received international authentication, sharing the stage with the most important names in latino music. Buena Vista Social Club, Manolito Simonet y Su Trabucco, Arturo Sandoval, Bamboleo, Rafaga, Havana Lounge, Billy Cobham, Luis Conte. The single “Goochi” featuring Luis Vasquez (SUA) conquered international tops in Spain, Switzerland, Peru, Bulgaria, USA and Romania.”

www.mandinga.ro

I hope we’ll vote Mandinga at Eurovision 2012!

Gheorghe Leonida – Romanian contribution to “Cristo Redentor”

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Visiting in Romania Bran Castle, Peles Castle, The Museum of the Technique or The Romania’s Art Museum, you can find works of the sculptor Gheorghe Leonida like  “Eve”, “The Reader”, “The Wounded Soldier”, “Prometheus” , “The Gymnast”, “A Seated Woman”, “Saint George Killing the Dragon”.

But  Gheorghe Leonida’s name became famous after his contribution at the statue “Cristo Redentor” (“Christ the Redeemer”)  in Rio de Janeiro, edifice classified in 2007 as one of the seven new wonders of the world.

From a family who gave Romania also other great personalities (inventor Dimitrie Leonida and one of the world’s first women engineers Elisa Leonida), Gheorghe Leonida was born in Galati, Romania in 1893. He studied sculpture at the Fine Arts Conservatory in Bucharest, than he continued his studies for three years in Italy where he gained also a prize with his sculpture “Reveil” (the Dream). Gheorghe Leonida lived than in Paris where his work “Le Diable” (the Devil) was awarded the Grand Prize.

Becoming famous in France as portraitist,  he was included by Paul Landowsky in the team that started working at the gigantic statue from Rio de Janeiro in 1922. Gheorghe Leonida contributed to portraying Jesus Christ’s face, which made him famous worldwide.

The communist regime in Romania banned Gheorghe Leonida especially for his work entitled “Queen Marie’s Bust” which depicts queen Marie of Edinburgh, the wife of King Ferdinand. That is why the work of Gheorghe Leonida was not publicized in Romania for many years.

“Cristo Redentor” (“Christ the Redeemer”) 

“Christ the Redeemer” is a statue of Jesus Christ located at 700 meters altitude on the Corcova Mountain, overlooking Rio de Janeiro city. It is considered the largest Art Deco statue in the world and 5th largest statue of Jesus in the world: 39.6 meters tall, 9.5 meters pedestal, 30 meters wide, 635 tones. “Christ the Redeemer” is now more than a monument is a symbol of Christianity worldwide.

The statue was designed by the local engineer Heitor da Silva Costa, sculpted by the team conducted by the French sculptor Paul Landowski and built by a group of engineers and technicians in reinforced concrete after the plans of Albert Caquot. The construction took nine years, from 1922 to 1931.

Christ the Redeemer was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in a list compiled by the Swiss-based The New Open World Corporation in 2007 and declared a protected monument by the National Heritage Institute in 2009.

photo: logoi.com, srt-zone.ro