Ramanenjana is a docufiction performance about a mysterious ‘dance epidemic’ which swept Madagascar for four months in 1863, bringing thousands of people to the streets to dance nonstop to the magnetic music of the drums. Examining conflicting accounts of the event, the work traces its political and religious implications, and how colonialism may have spread misconceptions about an extraordinary movement – and questions the role of dance itself in society. Choreographers Simona Deaconescu (Romania) and Gaby Saranouffi (Madagascar) collaborated with Malagasy ethnomusicologist and musician Olombelo Ricky and three versatile performers to create a witty and intriguing exploration of dance, disease, and revolution.
Post-show artist talkback January 20
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Presented with PuSh International Performing Arts Festival
Choreographers: Simona Deaconescu & Gaby Saranouffi
Musician: Olombelo Ricky
Performers: Haja Saranouffi, Maria-Luiza Dimulescu, Simona Dabija
Mentor: Mathilde Monnier
Costumes: Cristia Milea
Video documentation: Simona Deaconescu, Kevin Deris, Carmen Tofeni
Video editing: Cristian Pascariu
Light design: Alexandros Raptis
Created following discussions with Olombelo Ricky, Michel Razafiarivony, Ray Amandreny Benoit Randrianasolo, Serge Henri Rodin, Domoina Ratsara, guide Sebastian
Based on accounts described by Andrew Davidson, William Ellis, Marc Finaz, Andrian Janfy, G.H. Stagg, Pierre de Vaissière
Co-produced by Tangaj Collective, CNDB – The National Center for Dance in Bucharest, Forecast Berlin
Co-financed by the Administration of the National Cultural Fund
Supported by I’TROTA International Dance Festival, Goethe-Institute Bucharest, Goethe-Zentrum Antananarivo, The French Institutes in Romania and Madagascar, The Romanian Cultural Institute, /SAC @ MALMAISON, Grizzly Film residencies – PACT Zollverein, IFM – The French Institute in Madagascar.
World premiere: 2022 at Radialsystem, Berlin, Germany.
Photos by Adi Bulboaca