What could still tell us today the more than 200-year old epic of The Gypsies' Camp, written by the nomad Ion Budai-Deleanu? Are there any contemporary meanings we could grasp beyond the allegoric web of a text whose foreword was quick to warn that „by Gypsies we also mean other people"? It took a while for this first heroic poem written in Romanian to strike into the public consciousness, especially since the book was discovered in Lemberg, and published by Gh. Asachi long after the author himself had died. But despite these circumstances, The Gypsies' Camp managed to win the hearts of its very first readers, by an inexhaustible comic vivaciousness, by its proverbially charming language, but also by astutely hinting at serious themes under the mask of laughter. Budai-Deleanu knows how to call into question inequalities and prejudices, and is able to reflect thoroughly upon various systems of government and a good citizen's responsibilities. The writer simultaneously mocks and glorifies heroism and love, as if suggesting we shouldn't let ourselves completely enthralled by these ideals.Director Alexandru Dabija works with fragments from The Gypsies' Camp, but builds up a focused performance, which captures the force and the charm of the original, and minutely explores the intricate significations tiered throughout the years in the famous heroic poem. In the Centenary Year, every spectator is asked to turn to himself, to ask himself about the meaning of history, about tolerance, identity, and otherness. How is The Gypsies' Camp on stage? Like a torrent of versified popular language, full of humor and historical colour, a performance that teaches us how we can and must rethink our future, by envisioning it from our past and present.
|Saturday, March 2 2019|