Ramaningana, a performance documentary inspired by the events that came to define the 1863 “dance epidemic” in Madagascar that helped overthrow the political regime that favored colonialism, will have its national premiere on April 14, at 7.30pm at the Bucharest National Dance Center Festival. (CNDB), a new show followed on April 15, at the same time.
The event precedes the international premiere on April 9 at the Radialsystem in Berlin, one of Europe’s finest contemporary art venues.
Documentary fiction show prepared by choreographer Simona Deconescu, in collaboration with Malagasy choreographer and cultural activist Gabi Saranovi, and starring artists Haja Saranovy, Simona Dabiga and Maria Luisa Demolescu.
The song “Ramanenjana” deals with one of the world’s largest “dance epidemics”, which occurred in 1863 in Madagascar, when European colonization made its presence felt on the island, and Radama II, son of Queen Ranavalona I, who ruled at the age of 33, succeeded her On the throne she abolished most of her mother’s strict regimes against foreign occupation and Christianity.
The event, which has been described as a phenomenon in which thousands of people dance in a coma from February to May, ended abruptly the day after King Radama II was assassinated by the nobles. Choked in his sleep, he presented his death to the people as suicide, and his wife who took the throne made a deal with the nobles and ministers of Madagascar to lead the country in cooperation with the government.
A taboo subject in Madagascar even today, Ramanenjana is in scientific studies mass hysteria, mass hysteria, a political gesture, or an act of rebellion by dancing against French colonialism.
The show, which speaks three languages and comments on conflicting testimonies about dance, disease, and revolution, collects and discusses several versions of the same historical event, and questions the role of dance in society. He works closely with ethnomusicologist and musician Olympello Ricci on fictional texts inspired by the writings of Andrew Davidson, William Ellis, Mark Vinaz, Andrianjanvi and J. Gestures, movements and voices in Christina Melia’s costumes.
The show “Ramanenjana” has a futuristic vibe, with costumes by Romanian designer Cristina Melia created by upcycling technique, while the dance language, based on a mixture of political gestures and African dance, calls into question the audience’s reception. The Ramaningana phenomenon in Western culture, from healing rituals to a mass dance, spreads like an epidemic.
Combining performative and multimedia elements, fact and fiction, archival documents and contemporary testimonies, the presentation takes place in a comfortable setting, open to debate and discussion.
This new show, conducted under the direction of the famous French choreographer Mathilde Meunier, continues choreographer Simona Deconescu’s research on “Historical Dance Epidemics”, a research that began last year with COREOMANIACII, a performance on the dance epidemic in Strasbourg in 1518, which is considered a , in 2022, is part of the popular Aerowaves group, addressed to 20 promising young choreographers of Europe.
Two conferences dedicated to RAMANENJANA will be held in Bucharest:
On 29.03.2022, from 19:30, at the National Center of Dance in Bucharest – “Ramanenjana, from research to performance”, a conference and open discussion were held with Simona Deaconescu and Mathilde Monnier. During the event organized with the support of the Institut Français de Romania, the artists will address the phenomenon of Ramaninajana as a possible way to study politically and socially engaged contemporary dance, as well as the challenges of exploring such a topic on stage at the present time. international context.
On 12.04.2022, from 18:00, in the Goethe booth – “Ramanenjana, Diary of a Performing Collaboration between Europe and Africa”, a conference and presentation of a project with Simona Deaconescu. At the Goethe-Pavilion Conference, the choreographer will present the results of his research during his stay in Madagascar, how he reached out to the local community to find out the origin of the Ramanenjana phenomenon, and how he developed and coordinated the project, in a particular context. complex for such an approach.
The show will be presented in August in Durban (South Africa) and Maputo (Mozambique) as part of the Jomba! Experience contemporary dance and in September and October in Antananarivo, Magunga and Diego Suarez (Madagascar), as part of the Etrota International Dance Festival.
Simona Deaconescu is a Romanian choreographer working in multiple disciplines, on the border between show, installation, and film. Simona examines social structures, between fantasy and reality, sometimes with irony and black humor. He completed his BA and MA studies at the Department of Choreography at the National University of Theater and Film in Bucharest. She has been awarded the Vienna danceWEB Scholarship (2014), Bucharest National Dance Center Award (2016), nominated as Aerowaves Artist in 2018 and 2022 and Springboard Danse Montréal Emerging Choreographer in 2019. For the past two years, she has been artist-in-residence at European Numbers Projects Mobile and biological friction. In 2022, Minty Stokes was an Associate Artist at the National Dance Center in Bucharest. His work has been selected and exhibited at famous festivals, dance and theater scene, cinemas, galleries, museums and architectural sites, reaching audiences in Europe and North and South America. In 2014, she founded her own dance company, Tangaj Collective, and since 2015 she is the co-founder and artistic director of the Bucharest International Dance Film Festival.
Gabe Saranovy is a dancer, choreographer and art director at ITROTRA Art X Connection. Saranovi lives and works between South Africa and Madagascar. She was awarded the Knight’s Medal in Arts, Letters and Culture by the French government.
Saranovy is one of Madagascar’s most influential dance pioneers. He developed a new concept of strategic cultural policy that benefited the people of Madagascar and opened doors for many Malagasy artists. In July 2020, he received the Standard Bank Ovation Award with CORPS/BODY, choreographed by Moeketsi Koena. As a promoter of Malagasy art, Gaby Saranouffi has performed extensively on national and international tours, such as Asian Improvisation (KR), Tanz M Auguste (DE), Montpellier Dance Festival (FR) and Dance Umbrella Africa (SA). He has also taught at several prestigious dance schools, including the National Conservatory of Music and Dance in Paris, the Regional Conservatory of Reunion Island, and the Bern Conservatory.
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