Part of the Romanian Pulse Festival
performance length: 60 min

What can today's artists do to break through the barriers of their art, their life, their identity? This performance combines temporal layers, real and fictional events from the life of a character that simultaneously has two identities: Mihai Mihalcea, born in Bucharest, and Farid Fairuz, born in Beirut.

Farid Fairuz is the outcome of a fictional biography project created by the artist Mihai Mihalcea, who since 2009 creates and performs only under the name of Farid Fairuz. This project addresses issues related to cultural production, religion, sexuality and capitalism. In the biography that Mihalcea sketched for Farid Fairuz, he is a personality in crisis that cannot be pigeonholed, perfect mix of contradictions, at the fluid borders somewhere between exoticist preconception, globalist post-9/11 news-reporting, reinvented urban shamanism, social satire and barely surviving ancestral beliefs. His biography explains his accent, his looks (in part) and eccentricity.

Realia (Bucharest – Beirut) is a performance that combines temporal layers, real and fictional events from the life of a character that simultaneously has two identities: Mihai Mihalcea, born in Bucharest and Farid Fairuz born in Beirut.

The dramaturgy is build upon the tension created through a construct that mixes very personal and powerful memories from Bucharest and fictional elements from Beirut and the other way around. With a physical appearance that he maintains for all the occurrences he takes part in (black, long, shaggy hair and beard, at times a golden cape, as well as a transformed voice with an accent somewhere between Arab and Yiddish), Farid Fairuz warns us: „A few years ago I had to invent myself a character so I can still exist. Now I’m Farid Fairuz and I tell you two things: The Ottoman Empire did not disappear. A part of it has for sure remained inside me; everything in life is connected to pain and pleasure, otherwise I cannot explain myself anything from all this.”

In Realia (Bucharest - Beirut) Farid Fairuz questions the frail limit between the real and the fictional, thus emphasizing a discourse based on the construction of multiple identities. His approach underlines the ability of today’s culture to impose the unreal and the fictional as realities, as components of a realm in which the line between the possible, the virtual and the real no longer function as they once did.

Farid Fairuz (RO/LB)
Until he reinvented himself as Farid Fairuz and assumed a fictional biography and another way to interact with the public space, the artist Mihai Mihalcea was one of the most active in the field of contemporary dance in Romania, after 1989. He was part of the initiators of many projects that led to the international recognition of Romanian contemporary dance and he played a key role in the establishment of structures and institutions that have become landmarks of this area. Between 2005-2013 he was Director of the National Dance Centre of Bucharest, a public institution subsidized by the Ministry of Culture.

He graduated the University of Drama and Cinematography, Choreography Section, Bucharest, and he studied in US and France.

In 2013/2014 he is a fellow of Akademie der Kunste Berlin.

He has been artist in residence in Tanzquartier Wien, Centre national de la Danse Pantin, Hebbel Theatre Berlin, Centre Chorégraphique National de Franche-Comte a Belfort, La Manufacture, Atelier du Rhin - Centre dramatique regional, Colmar. In 2006 he was nominated by Maison d’Europe et d’Orient Paris to „Paris-Europe 2006” for the projects developed within the National Dance Centre Bucharest. Since 2011 he works with Manuel Pelmus and Brynjar Bandlien in a frame called Caminul Cultural.

Mihai Mihalcea/Farid Fairuz has led classes and workshops at: the National Dance Centre of Bucharest, Tanzquartier Wien, Choreography High School „Floria Capsali” in Bucharest, Centre Chorégraphique National de Franche-Comte, Belfort, La Manufacture, Atelier du Rhin - Centre dramatique regional, Colmar, Chisinau State Opera, Music High School Dinu Lipatti Bucharest, Arad State Theatre, and he was invited as expert to run workshops in the frame of „Theatrical practice” organized by Multimedia Centre Teatru74, Targu Mures.

Mihai Mihalcea / Farid Fairuz created performances, interventions and took part in projects developped and presented in France, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Austria, USA, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Portugal, Poland, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland and Slovenia. For November 2014 he will co-curate the festival „DRACULA - GESTERN HEUTE MORGEN? - How much blood can you suck from a Romanian artist?” at HAU Theatre, Berlin.

Other performance:
The blessed who dwell by the garbage dump (2011); Farewell (or the discrete oversights of the limbic system) (2010); My song, best shoes, the cake, first flight, my friends, the passport, and the work I do… (2009); Pissoir with polenta (2010); Untold (2008); Stars High In Amnesia’s Sky (2003); Memory for sale (childhood included) (2002); You come to see the show and you’ll get an extra burger!(2001); The Memory of the Secret Body (1998); Virtual dream (1995); Simplu Balans (1994)

Web pages of the artist:

November 2012 - Realia (Bucharest-Beirut), solo performance presented in premiere at subRahova Bucharest and in the frame
of Temps d’Images Festival in Cluj-Napoca.
Presented in Prague thanks to the cooperation of the Romanian Cultural Institute and the National Dance Centre of Bucharest (CNDB).

Project financed by:

The National Cultural Fund

Photo: Nicolae Burca Photo: Nicolae Burca Photo: Nicolae Burca