Cristian and Sonia Dion Florescu
Includes biographical information from Murray Spiegel
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Cristian Florescu was born in Bucarest, Romania. In his youth, Cristian did five years of swimming competitions. From the age of eighteen, he did five years of parachuting.
He started dancing in 1982 with different Romanian folk ensembles and studied with various specialists, including Theodor Vasilescu. Cristian was principal dancer with the National Ensemble Cununa Carpatilor with whom he toured extensively in Europe, Asia, and North America. In 1990-91, he received his certificate as a recognized solo dancer and choreographer in the field of folklore by the Romanian Ministry of Culture and the ACAFR (Romanian Folklore Choreographers Association). He also assumed the role of director of dance rehearsals for the Folk Ensembles Izvor and Balada and worked as choreographer for the Academic Ensemble Joc in Moldova. In 1993, he joined Les Sortilèges, a professional folk dance company based in Montréal with whom he was actively involved until 2003 as a dancer, teacher, rehearsal director, and choreographer. While in Canada, Cristian has acquired multiple skills in various dance forms including modern dance, ballroom, jazz, and tap, as well as French-Canadian and Irish step dancing.
Cristian arrived (with four other Romanian dancers) in Canada on January 10, 1993 with a work permit to join the dance company L'Ensemble National de Folklore Les Sortileges.
Sonia Dion Florescu was born in Québec, Canada. No member of her family or ancestors is from Romania. She was born in Gagnon, a tiny little town found in 1960 by the Québec Cartier Mining Company for the purpose of iron mining.
Sonia has been a professional dancer for over twenty years. Like her mother and her marriage godmother (France Bourque-Moreau), Sonia studied to become a nurse. She did figure skating for many years and was a figure skating coach in her young adult age. Ever since she was a toddler, Sonia has always been fascinated by ballet or other forms of dance. It was always been her great passion and her dream to become a dancer.
She was lead dancer and choreogreapher for Les Sortilèges Dance Company, Canada's oldest folk dance ensemble, with whom she developed several new productions including Une page d'histoire, un pas de danse, Montréal en danse, and Pour se faire plaisir. Sonia has toured worldwide and has been exposed to a wide range of dance techniques including Romanian Folk Dance, Scottish Highland Dancing, French-Canadian step dance, and ballroom dance.
It was at Les Sortilèges that the two met and formed a professional and personal partnership. The couple were married during the first week's camp at the Stockton Folk Dance Camp in 2010.
Cristian and Sonia have been guest performers with the Collage International Dance Ensemble of Boston, have been regular teachers at l'École supérieure de danse du Québec, and have been selected to be part of the Artists in the Schools program sponsored by the Québec Ministry of Education. In recent years, they have developed a specific interest in working with recreational folk dance groups in Canada and the United States to share their love of Romanian folk traditions.
In recent years, Cristian and Sonia have developed a specific interest in working with recreational folk dance groups. They've been teaching in Brazil, Canada and the United States, Europe (Austria, Belgium, England, Germany, Italy, Norway, Switzerland and the Netherlands), Asia (Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan) to share their love of Romanian folk traditions. They have taught workshops in Canada and the United States and choreographed Romanian suites for performing groups, including the world-renowned Brigham Young University Folk Dance Ensemble in Utah.
The couple has produced two fine CD recordings of Romanian dance music: Romanian Realm Vol. 1 and 2, a DVD of them doing their dances, and a dance notation CD.
Dances Cristian and Sonia have taught include Ardeleana din Câmpie, Batuta la Râ, Brașoveanca, Brâul fetelor din Drăguș, Călașul din Conțești, Coconița, Codrenească din Valea Chioanului, Clopoțelul, Dana (Rom), Dansuri din Firiza, Danț din Groși, De-nceput din Cluj, Di Doi, Geamparalele din Babadag, Haulit din Bucovina, Hora, Hora de la Husi, Hora de la Soroca, Hora de Munte, Horă din Pusta Banatului, Hora Lăutărească, Hora Lăutărească din Dolj, Hora lui Șerban, Hora Nevestelor, Hora Nuntașilor, Hora Pojorenilor, Hora Șchioapă, Ina Ina, Încalcita, Inel Inel de Aur, Întoarsa de la Pŭuliș, Învârtita din Căstău, Joc de Bâ, Joc du Doiu, Jocul Soacrei, Jurelul, Made în Romania, Maki Maki, Maneaua, Nunta din Cluj, Opinca, Opincuța, Perinița, Plaiuri Besarabene, Plaiuri Româești, Plaiuri Româești 2, Plaiuri româești 3, Polca din Bătrâni, Purtata de pe Mureș, Romanața lui Stefăneț, Sârba din Concert, Sârba Zărneștenilor, Sâbeasca, Suita de dansuri din Ardeal, Suita de dansuri din Banat, Suita de dansuri din Moldova, Te Aven Baxtale, Țigăneasca din Arad, and Turceasca.