Of course, when you sing about a typical national folk dance in a European contest, you also have to show it to the TV public - and that's exactly what Nelly Ciobanu and her team of four male dancers are going to do on the night of the Second Semi-Final. Today, in the first Moldovan rehearsal, the press could already savour what Hora is about after all: Four dancers performed it together, taking each other by the hand or along the shoulders and dancing around the lead singer. At the same time, national ornaments reminding of embroidery patterns as well as a stylized dancing couple were shown on the LED screens in front of a black background. Nelly Ciobanu sang Hora Din Moldova mainly in Romanian language, with only one chorus remaining in English. She gave a very confident and vocally strong performance, and together with her dancers, really cheered up the small audience in the hall.
Nelly Ciobanu made her professional debut in the Morning Star competition in 1994, which ended with a spectacular victory for the then 19-year-old singer: she was awarded the first prize and generated lots of interest both from the audience and from the professional music world. In 2001 Nelly Ciobanu received the rank of Honoured Artist Of Moldova. Since 2007, she has hosted one of the most popular TV music programs in Moldova Vedete La Bis (Stars Encore). On the 14th of February this year, Nelly won the national final for the Eurovision Song Contest 2009 convincingly against 19 competitors and will be the 5th Moldovan artist ever to sing in Europe's favourite music show!
In the press conference, Nelly Ciobanu first explained the origins of the Hora dance, which exists under different names in all countries of the Balkans. She said that this dance was performed together by different peoples to demonstrate friendship and peace. A journalist asked why Nelly had performed bare-footed in the first rehearsal today - she answered that it was just because of the slippery stage floor and she would prepare her shoes in order not to fall during her second rehearsal. As Nelly was too hungry to go on with the press conference, the conference host quickly brought her a sandwich from the cafeteria before he went on.