By Michel Mittelman, music and dance researcher
London – On a cold winter night of September 24, 2022, London was lit up by a fiery display of culture, as Desire Avenue, a luxury couture brand, sponsored the exclusive Watch Me Burn Cultural Show at the prestigious Romanian Cultural Institute, located at 1 Belgrave Square, London. The show was part of the Watch Me Burn Culture Festival, a series of events organized by the Romanian Cultural Institute, to celebrate the richness and diversity of Romanian culture.
The culture show was inspired by the Romanian folk tale of the Phoenix, a mythical bird that rises from the ashes after burning itself. The models wore stunning red dresses, designed by Desire Avenue’s founder and creative director, Maria Popescu, who is of Romanian origin. The dresses were made of silk, velvet, lace, and feathers, and featured intricate embroidery and embellishments. The dresses reflected the themes of rebirth, transformation, and resilience, as well as the beauty and elegance of Romanian craftsmanship.
The first part of the event featured a musical performance by the contemporary classical composer, actor, and pianist David Balica and the opera singer soprano Zoltan Adrien Vivien. They interpreted the romance “Din vise dragi, poeme” by Sabin Păutza, with lyrics by Constantin Paiu, and Bertha’s aria “Tu” from the two-act operetta “Let me sing” by Gherase Dendrino.
The show also featured a dance performance by Riccardo Fruttaldo and Evgenia Erofeeva, two professional dancers and choreographers, who interpreted the story of the Phoenix through contemporary movements. The dancers expressed the emotions of love, pain, and hope, as they moved across the stage, accompanied by a live orchestra. The audience was captivated by their grace and skill, and gave them a standing ovation.
The talented Romanian singer Victoria Beregoi closed the live show and kicked off the second culture runway, singing “The Show Must Go On” and “Simply the Best”.
Guests enjoyed the good music and atmosphere with a glass of wine.
The Watch Me Burn Cultural Show was a success, artistically, as it attracted a lot of attention and praise from the media, the public, and the culture and fashion industry. The show also raised awareness and appreciation for Romanian culture and its contribution to the global art scene. The show was a testament to the vision and talent of Desire Avenue, and its founder, Maria Popescu, who said: “I wanted to create something that would honor my roots, and inspire people to embrace their own identity and uniqueness. I believe that fashion is not only about clothes, but also about stories, emotions, and values. I hope that through this show, I was able to share a part of my story, and the story of Romania, with the world.”