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Romanian National Day

2010. 27 July

( The series of special events dedicated to Romanian National Day at EXPO 2010 Shanghai opened Sunday, July 25th, at 17:30hrs local time (12:30hrs Bucharest time) with a concert performed by Master Grigore Leşe on the stage erected in Europe Square at EXPO 2010.

For 90 minutes and audience of over 500 sat for an outstanding performance of genuine Romanian folklore and ancient music – a repertory that captivated the audience and bridged the cultural and language barriers.

The artist ranged between genuine Romanian folk songs that mark important moments in life (birth, baptismal, marriage and funeral) to contemporary ballet against a background of ancient music.

“I was a bit nervous, for singing in an open-air square instead of a concert hall. In a set-up like that people will come, look at the show, look around, shop a little, admire something, talk about it, and go away. And yet the audience felt attracted, they stayed to see the show, they gathered to listen to our music. They gathered because I selected a performance that combined some musical structures from Asian culture,” the artist confessed to the Romanian Pavilion’s Press office.

“I played with traditional instruments – the tilinca, the flute and an instrument that calls people to get together, the semantron. The semantron is something that connects us to each other, connects that which is seen to that which is not seen, connects that which can be known to that which cannot be known. I brought some genuine people here, and some genuine music. What the audience saw and heard on the stage is what can be seen and heard in the villages these people come from,” the master artist explained.

Tomasz Rogowski, Consul General of Poland in Shanghai, who attended Sunday’s performance, appreciated the artist’s show as one of the best so far at EXPO 2010.

“It was genuine, in the best sense of the word. A show that stays with you afterwards, the artist who sang is a consummate artist. In a globalized world, where everything tends increasingly to be the same, Romania gave us today something entirely different. Shows like this present unadulterated values, I was fascinated throughour the performance.

About the way the Chinese audience perceived the show, the Polish official noted that “some things are just universal.” “It doesn’t matter whether one is Chinese, African, European or American. Some things transcend the cultural and language barriers. It’s about the feeling this music transmits. Congratulations! It was something really special!” Consul General of Poland in Shanghai said.

At the end of the performance Shi Hang Rui, a 17-year old teenage girl, said she had been really impressed with the Romanian artist’s show. “It was a wonderful show and I am grateful to the artists. Especially the moment when they played the semantron, that was very impressive,” the EXPO 2010 visitor said.

Master Grigore Leşe’s show contributes to asserting the Romanian identity at EXPO 2010, with a display of the creativity of the Romanian nation and bringing together several cultures whose universal common denominator is the authenticity of folklore.