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Choreographer Silvia Macrea: Romania has offered me the best folklore in the world

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Silvia Macrea, manager of the 'Cindrelul - Junii Sibiului' Folk Ensemble, is one of the most famous Romanian choreographers and a cultural ambassador of Romania throughout the world.

The professional folk ensemble 'Cindrelul - Junii Sibiului' is Romania's oldest folk dance ensemble and one of the oldest in Europe, boasting over 48,000 performances, 700 tours in Romania, the entire Europe, North America, Asia and Africa, 300 national and international awards, Silvia Macrea tells us. She carries on the legacy of her father, who founded 'Junii Sibiului' in 1944.

"Romania has taught me to love the folk dance and has offered me the most beautiful and varied folklore in the world, with thousands of traditional costumes that differ from one region to another, from one county to another and even from one village to another,'' she says.

"For me, Romania is the land where I learned to dance, where I took in the traditions and folk songs. It's the land where I find flawless beauty in the dance of the 'juni' groups, in the smile of children learning their first dance steps, in the joy with which people put on their traditional garb. For me, Romania means the nature we sing in the lyrics of folk creators and in the sound of the pan flute. Romania's National Day is the moment when we celebrate the beauty of this place and the fact that we are all connected by a sweet language, a rich culture and a soul that beats Romanian. That is why the joy of the Romanians who join us on every December 1st is unique. Every year, on Romania's National Day, we organize an extraordinary folk show in Sibiu under the banner 'We are Romanians!' Artists from all over the country join in one voice to wish Romania and Romanians 'Many happy returns!' from Sibiu; Romania is also united with Bessarabia, because 'Junii Sibiului' and the Chisinau Fiddlers Orchestra stand together in the spotlight in a grandiose show, specially conceived for everyone who feels Romanian," the choreographer told AGERPRES.

For Silvia Macrea, "home" is only here, in Romania, where she creates every year shows and festivals of international scope.

"I am a Romanian born in a tradition-loving family, my father founded 'Junii Sibiului' in 1944, my mother danced in this ensemble for many years, and I took over as a family duty the mission of carrying on the 'Cindrelul-Junii Sibiului' Professional Folk Ensemble, first as a choreographer, and then as manager of the 'Cindrelul-Junii' Sibiu County Center for the Preservation and Promotion of Traditional Culture. Throughout this period, I put in effort to keep up the 'Junii Sibiului' brand, to build up its name into reputation and to take the specifics and the name of Romania all over the world. That's why I'm glad that for years now I've been teaching Romanian folk dances to foreigners: culture and dance specialists from Asia, America and Europe are interested in our dances. They are extremely excited, and I show them how beautiful my Romania is," Silvia Macrea recounts.

"'Junii Sibiului' draws on traditional dances and songs, customs and folk costumes from all of Romania's ethnographic areas. Under Silvia Macrea's unmistakable signature, the artistic concept offers genuine forays into the richness of traditional culture, while at the same time adjusting to the requirements of the 21st century through the use of video projections and modern technical means," said the spokesperson of the 'Cindrelul - Junii' Sibiu County Center for the Preservation and Promotion of Traditional Culture, Maria Barna.

The 'Junii Sibiului' Folk Ensemble was invited to perform in festivals of global scope, at international tourism fairs and world exhibitions such as Expo Hanover 2000, Milan 2015, Dubai 2020, in TV shows in the country and abroad, at events that marked Romania's recent history, such as the symbolic handover of the key to Sibiu - European Capital of Culture in Patras, Greece, 2006, the 2008 NATO Summit in Bucharest, the 2012 UEFA Europa League Final in Bucharest, the informal summit of the EU heads of state or government in Sibiu, 2019.

Its value earned the ensemble international and national recognition through numerous awards, the most important of which is the Cultural Merit Order in the rank of Knight, Category D - Performing Arts, conferred by President Klaus Iohannis. Also, the President of Romania awarded Silvia Macrea the Cultural Merit Order in the rank of Knight, Category F - Promotion of Culture, "as a sign of appreciation for the important activity put in the service of promoting Romanian values, both in country and abroad, as well as for the merits in the discovery and valuing of traditional civilization".

"Apart from the more than 300 awards received, 'Junii Sibiului' were the messengers of Romanian folklore at international sports and political events, performing in 2008 in front of the officials present at the NATO Summit in Bucharest: U.S. President George Bush and his wife, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Turkey President Abdullah Gül, Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi. In 2012, at the UEFA Official Dinner, they were applauded by Michel Platini, Gheorghe Hagi, Anghel Iordanescu and Miodrag Belodedici, and in 2019 they danced before the heads of state or government present at the EU Summit in Sibiu. 'Junii Sibiului' were also assigned to perform in the farewell ceremony organized for His Holiness Pope Francis at the Sibiu International Airport on June 2, 2019," the cited source also shows.

In March this year, the professional folk ensemble 'Cindrelul - Junii Sibiului' was a successful cultural ambassador for Romania at Expo 2020 Dubai.

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