At the European level, the first ball­room dance contest was organized in 1901 in Paris (France). In the years after the First World War, ballroom dances were largely performed in all the big cities from Europe. New pro­grams included waltz, tango etc., as well as Latino American dances – practiced by different clubs, societies and ensembles. The activities were organized, especially, for couples.

The dance clubs began to form in the 60’s – ‘70’s. They were receiving support particularly in France, Italy, Germany and England.


For the first time, on the soviet ter­ritory, a ballroom dance contest was organized only in 1957, at the (Students and youth Int. Fest.).

The ‘60’s and ‘70’s brought to Moldova the scent of an as­piration to everything that was new and fresh, but also to the reconstitution of the authentic cultural traditions. The older gen­erations – personalities who for a long period didn’t have the possibility to express themselves – were sending their experi­ences to the youth, who were eager to get involved in certain domains of culture and artistic expression. New theaters were built and new creative collectives were formed in the country. Courses were taught and discussions regarding the possibility to diversify the national cultural and artistic landscape were ini­tiated in educational institutions. The youth were involved active­ly, with passion and abnegation in these activities – people felt maybe, at the subconscious level, that they had to work hard in order to create a base for their growth as personalities, to participate in the formation of a healthy cultural and intellectual climate in Moldova.

An appropriate example was the mentioned above ensem­ble, Tinere\ea, which activated within the Politehnic Institute from Chișinău. The leader of the dance ensemble was Viktor Rijikov (a distinguished artist and a former dancer of the ensemble Joc and at the Opera and Ballet Theater from Odessa). The direc­tor of the folk orchestra was the eminent musician, Isidor Burdin. These two great art masters managed to gather around them dozens of students, many of whom later engaged in profession­al orchestras. Others, after achieving spiritual growth, became music and dance amateurs, in the good meaning of this word: one cannot understand properly the efforts of the great artists if they don’t try to do the same thing and don’t know the essence of their favorite art. This ensemble, in which Petru Gozun acti­vated, was as a prototype for the current club Codreanca.

At those times, the specific of the supposed ballroom or fes­tive dance practiced in USSR was closer to that of the musical dance, both in its aspect and composition. One of the reasons is that the soviet ideology did not admit it as an integrated part of the art in general, and qualified it with cynicism as a bour­geois dance, therefore prohibiting its promotion. The ballroom dance was practiced informally by its admires as a competition of principle with themselves. Still, there existed, officially, sever­al couples which trained individually. Also, there existed some small clubs which activated in Moldova, Belarus, Ukraine, Rus­sia and, a few, more advanced, in the Baltic Republics. The leaders of those clubs launched shy initiatives to organize larger competitions and festivals, at which, eventually, students and the youth could participate. However, their initiatives were blocked by the leadership structures.




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