100 years since invented by Romanian Tristan Tzara, DADA still appears as a necessary, irresistible, and hugely enjoyable creative philosophy. We are celebrating this famously idiosincratic artistic formula, infused by massive doses of nihilistic humour, with a theatrical revival of some of DADA’s best short plays.
Directed by London-based Romanian director and visual artist Cristian Luchian and performed in English by a volcanic Romanian ensemble, the show brings to life Tzara’s ‘Handkerchief of Clouds’ and ‘Gas Heart’ in a tornado of acting virtuosity, astonishing visuals and evocative music by DJ Tyrell.
When Romanians say yes, they don’t just say yes, they say yes yes, in their language da da. Sounds familiar? What about now: DADA?
The dada movement was sparking exactly one hundred years ago as a revolt against the First World War whose roots, Dada artists thought, where monstrously grounded in the lands of capitalism. Dada artists believed humanity lost its values and therefore needs a cultural revolution where the old norms of society should be reimagined. But not before everything would be demolished and ashed away.
We are embarking on a great venture, trying to bring to life some of the Romanian inspired artistic vision of Dadaism. And we are doing it by staging a collage of two plays by Tristan Tzara (the Romanian for Sad in Country), one of the founders of the movement and one of the most important pioneers of Performance Arts. We would love to be Happy in Country and to get our DADA blood boiling of creativity, and we will be indeed if we manage to produce this intriguing piece.
This project was born from our desire to celebrate Romanian contribution to the European culture and we feel this is particularly essential in a diasporic context for two main reasons: It connects us back to the home culture upholding our belonging to a community with shared history and traditions while keeping our Romanianess alive outside the borders of our country. In the same time it gives us a sense of being part of a broader cultural project and reminds us and our new hosting communities about the common values that we share traditionally in Europe.
Therefore we celebrate, and as artists, we do it in the only way we know best: we create performance art that carries powerful messages and illustrates our specific ways of making art. Therefore the project is a statement of belonging, a site of shared knowledge and creativity and a platform for the Romanian diaspora in London to broaden its interactions with the UK audience through a cultural medium.
‘Handkerchief of Clouds’ & ‘Gas Heart’
Performers: Cristinel Hogaș, Cristina Haraba, Gabriel Mansour, Maria Alexe, Alin Balascan, Andrei Costin Assistant Producer: Anca Doczi Luchian Director: Cristian Luchian Music: DJ Tyrrell Video design: Cristian Luchian
“A manifesto is a communication addressed to the whole world, where there is no other claim than finding the means to cure the political, astronomical, artistic, parliamentary, agricultural and literary syphilis. It might be kind and decent, it is always right, it is strong, vigorous and logical. And by the way of logic, i find myself very nice.” – Tristan Tzara