Sabrina “Naz” Comanescu is a Canadian dance performer, choreographer, and filmmaker based in Calgary. She works as a dancer for Decidedly Jazz Danceworks (DJD) in Calgary. She has played an influential role in the dance scene in Calgary, performing and teaching a variety of styles, including those reflecting her Caribbean heritage.
Comanescu’s mother is from Trinidad and Tobago and her dad is from Romania. Comanescu was born and raised in Calgary. Her mom danced and choreographed. Her dad played guitar and piano.
Comanescu was first exposed to dance, by being with her mom during lessons, until she turned six, when she started her own lessons. She took her first ever ballet dance class at the age of 12 at DJD. Comanescu was part of the Performing and Visual Arts Program at Central Memorial High School in Calgary. Comanescu became familiar in urban/funk and Afro-Caribbean styles of dance.
Comanescu studied jazz dance at the School of Decidedly Jazz starting in 2013, before joining the professional company of dancers at DJD.
She has been actively involved in Diversity Performing Arts Club of Calgary, which features children and youth in Calgary from various cultures and walks of life. It focusses on Caribbean folk dance, as well as modern Caribbean dance styles such as soca and dancehall
She has performed in Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Halifax, Trinidad and Tobago, Finland and New York City. She’s worked with companies such as House of Dangerkat and ILLFX Entertainment. She also helped form The Bad Girls Club YYC company of dancers.
She started her own artistic collective, Casa de Naz, which allowed her to get into filmmaking. She choreographed and directed six short dance films. They included BONUM, which was created as a commissioned film through the Festival of Recorded Movement in Vancouver. It premiered in the Simon Fraser University Woodward’s Goldcorp cinema on June 17, 2017.
She is one of the dancers shown in the documentary film “Uprooted”, which covers the history and origins of jazz dance.
The photos of Comanescu dancing in costume were taken on June 7, 2008, during the parade that was part of Carifest, Calgary’s Caribbean Carnival. The other was at the +15 Fashion Walk held in Downtown Calgary’s +15 (skywalk) system on February 15, 2008. Comanescu was one of the fashion models working the event.
© 2021 Robert Thivierge