Tebby Ramasike

Tebby Ramasike
South Africa
Cohort 1 : 2002-2004
Website: TeBogODance

Choreographic projects:

  • ‘Silent Moments’
  •  ‘If you can’t chain my soul then chain the world’



(The abstract below forms a sketch of current creative work in progress, which forms part of the European Cultural programme 2007-2013 – (EUCLID) and based on the research work by Tebby Ramasike.

The text below focuses on my recent research on dance, choreography and a cross-pollination of dance idioms, based on my thesis under the working title, The Spiritual Body as a Tool of Communication in a Global Society – An Artistic Venture into Developing New Cultural Meanings, by a Cross-Pollination of Dance Idioms and Semiotics, during my Master degree studies, at the Dance Unlimited Programme, in Arnhem, The Netherlands.

This research takes a form of a journey, a spiritual journey for that matter, going deeper into a search of a soul, with reference to the body, communication, cultural exchange through dance and choreographic approach, enhancing a movement vocabulary implemented with elements drawn from dramatics (theatrical elements), emotions/sensations, a relationship to the society/audience and a desire to portray a story through dance. In this spiritual journey of the body, as well as it is a search for my cultural identity in the global society, in which cross-pollination with other cultures is portrayed through the language of dance and the body movement in its sacredness and implementations.

The focus here is about how to communicate my own culture with other cultures in the present day. To find own language and strategy in this crosspollination and a platform to merge this work, a dance fusion, in today’s global society, as manner of speaking, in its realms to integrate and pursue multiculturalism. In my approach of rediscovering the cross-pollination of African Dance with other dance forms – drawing solely from the spiritual and ritualistic modes, not in the traditional or ethnic form but creating a new language in which to explore the similarities and differences, reducing, if not cutting all boundaries, in developing a new language in which the soul becomes a common device of communication through movement and dance – with references to our historical and traditional roots which still play an important role in my deepest belief as an African – the identity that cannot be shed apart by any development into the modern world.

An exploration of how the body manifests itself in a spiritual journey in encompassing the norms of ritualistic ceremonies in the traditional sense, thus enhancing the cultural norms of the global society. This journey, takes form thru ritualistic dances and music of the African origin, relation to the traditional and contemporary African art. The sense of communicating this passage of rites to the African society living in the western culture and yet appealing to the western culture itself, takes us on a journal of discoveries and explorations, thus raising some questions.

-What are the norms of the African rituals appealing to the western culture? -How can we get the western society to understand this ritualistic passage? -Has the traditional body lost itself to the global society or can we, as Africans living in the western society, still hold on to our traditional norms and African roots? -Is it an ethnic appeal or a traditional modernity? -What aesthetics do we apply in portraying the ritual ceremonies in today’s world, so as to get the western to come to a full understanding and appreciation?

As we can perceive that dance, media-performance and music are some of the domains of contemporary art in Africa, where transgressions and interactions can be found not only in the African continent and the African Diaspora itself, but also in the virtual and mediators spheres as a new space for representations. These artistic interspaces are vital in fields for the negotiation of artistic positions and for the location of the artists in the global art and media world. We look at a cross-pollination of art forms – particular attention brought to dance, art and music. We look at the fusion of the traditional form and the contemporary form and the adherence of the socio-political issues in the arts both in the past and present. How is this perceived within the global society and how this is affecting the progression of the arts in a ritualistic and/or traditional sense and modern form? The placement of dance through the body, the position of music and art as tools of communication, should be given a platform of reinvention to appeal to the African origins within the global society. A close look at the relationship of these three art forms reveals how we perceive one language in retrieving may be the “lost” root of the rites of passage, in the modern language.