Moldova is a country rich of diverse ethnies and cultures. Moldovans, Russians, Ukranians, Bulgarians, Gagauzians and some more minorities live together side by side. The focus of the Asociatia Obşteasca Vatra-Budeşti is cultural plurality. The aim of the association is to dance into an open and more tolerant society. The young organisation has found its home at Chisinau’s Casa de Cultura. There the folcloristic dancers offer courses to children, teenagers and adults and prepare for their national and international concerts and competitions.
Multi-ethnical dances all over the world
President Igor Blanari has been dancing all his life. With his 24 years he still is a youngster, though. The oncoming lawyer wants to keep up traditional and folcloristic dances, no matter if Moldovan, Russian, Ukranian, Roma, Greek, Bulgarian or Polish. “I used to dance in the “Vatra Ensemble for Popular Dances” and we went to different countries like Canada, Spain, Turkey, Belgium. We always presented a multi-ethnical programme representing our country. Now the Vatra-Budesti association keeps this spirit up,” explains Blanari. Thus, the name Vatra of the former dance ensemble was added to Budeşti, a suburb of Chisinau where the president lives.
Dancing into a better future
In 2002 the association was founded by Igor Blanari and two more enthusiastic dancers. The start was not easy, though, as they had to buy different traditional costumes for each single dance and the journeys abroad were anything else than cheap. Nevertheless, the ensemble soon had successful concerts in Italy and Germany with the support of the authorities of Budesti. “In fact, the situation has not changed to the better. All official institutions appreciate our work, but we hardly get any financial aid,” so Blanari. That is why the president and his followers have to dance at marriages and other lucrative occassions to raise the money for their association. Still, they are highly motivated to keep “Vatra-Budesti” up. Igor Blanari puts it in a nutshell, “Is there a better way for our children than to dance into a better future?” Well, probably not!