With The Ecstatic, Jeremy Nedd mixes two historically important South African subcultures. On the one hand, there is Pantsula, a subculture expressed not only as a powerful dance form well known for it’s high-speed virtuosic footwork, but also a dress code, language, music, and a particular philosophy of life that is all it’s own. An expression that during Apartheid gave a voice to a whole generation. On the other hand, Jeremy draws inspiration from Praise Break, an exhuberant form of praise. A moment… a pause… a break in the context of the Christian Pentecostal Church service, where the dancing body, voice and music energetically coalesce and as a result blur the difference between ecstatic and cathartic. What happens when the aesthetics of these two worlds converge? What happens in this transcendental moment of “break”. Within the dance piece The Ecstatic, six Pantsula dancers turn to the motions that lead up to the praise break in order to find out, and break open a new space all their own.
The Ecstatic was realised in collaboration with Impilo Mapantsula, a professional organization and global network of high-level professional dance artists who specialise in pantsula. They promote the development of pantsula dance and culture, create formal standards, and act as an industry representative. The organization aims to document and protect the living legacy of pantsula and support dancers in professionalizing and further developing their art. Impilo Mapantsula creates learning opportunities and supports artistic creation and self- expression through educational, artistic and professional programs, with an emphasis on job creation, international collaborations and exchange programs.
Concept & Choreography: Jeremy Nedd & Impilo Mapantsula / Performance & Choreography: Kgotsofalang Moshe Mavundla, Tommy Tee Motsapi, Bonakele Mambotjie Masethi, Sicelo Malume ka Xaba, Sello Zilo Midiga, Vusi 2.2 Mdoyi / Technic & Lighting: Thomas Giger / Stage Design: Laura Knüsel / Music & Composition: Xzavier Stone & Modulaw / Audio design: Fabrizio Di Salvo / Head of Production (Switzerland): Ursula Haas / Head of Production (South Africa): Daniela Goeller / Dramaturgy: Anta Helena Recke / Production Assistants: Kihako Narisawa & Lucas Del Rio Estevez / Outside Eye: Deborah Joyce Holman & Maximilian Hanisch.
A co-production of Kaserne Basel, Arsenic Lausanne and Theater Tuchlaube Aarau, supported by Fachausschuss Tanz & Theater BS/BL, Südkulturfonds, Pro Helvetia, Schweizer Kulturstiftung, Migros Kulturprozent, Ernst Göhner Stiftung, Stanley Thomas Johnson Stiftung, Jacqueline Spengler-Stiftung, Schweizer Interpretenstiftung, and Wilhelm und Ida Hertner-Strasser Stiftung.