What is Plai?
If we were to only have a look in Romania, we would find different kinds of music, something for everyone’s fancy. If we are to broaden our horizon and take an interest in the furthest parts of the globe, we would see that each nation has its own specific music and musicality, that there are so many artists, so many instruments with very special sonorities, so many ways to make and feel music, that it feels like a pity not to try at least to bring some of it here. Year after year, we have tried to bring on stage at PLAI just a part of the music of some nations, artists that feel sound and make it touch the audience. Al di Meola or Paco de Lucia, with their guitars, Yungchen Lhamo, with the sound of Tibet, Mariza, with Portuguese fado, Esma Redzepova (Macedonia), Sainkho Namtchylak (Tuva), Dobet Gnahore (Côte d’Ivoire), Fanfare Ciocârlia and Grigore Leşe from Romania, Jean-Luc Ponty (France), Ternipe (Hungary) are just some of the artists that performed at PLAI, our guests, that came and brought with them music from all over the world.
From the beginning we have considered that art cannot be absent from a place or event that has been thought out to bring joy and beauty. That’s why art is such a big part of PLAI. We have theater, painting, books, photography, film, workshops, and various art forms, more or less conventional. Traditional art, represented by pottery, folk costumes, embroideries, blended together with ceramics painting, contemporary theater or circus art. Because each is, in its own way an art form, either by being a simple reminder of tradition, and traditional customs, either as an expression of new, of diversity or a blend between the two. We try to offer a little bit of everything, so that each one of you finds something that brings joy to the soul at PLAI.
Promoting the multiculturality of this area is, knowing the history of this place, almost an obligation. Because when you say Timişoara or Banat you think about all the ethnicities and cultures that have lived here together, and this place is the result of this cohabitation, not of some with some, but of all of them together. Therefore it was absolutely natural to have Hungarian, Serbian, German, Czech or French cultures present. We went further than that and brought cultures that weren’t so known in our country or at least they weren’t that promoted here: Peruvian, Portuguese, Dutch, Israeli and other cultures came to PLAI. Consulates, Embassies, Cultural Institutes come here every year, each of them bringing what they consider that should be known about their people and culture.