JEREMY NEDD / IMPILO MAPANTSULA
Pantsula is an important South African subculture that forms the identity of young people growing up in townships. The pantsula tradition includes not only its own language, music, clothing style and philosophy of life, but also an explosive dance form characterized by fast and virtuosic footwork. Literally translated, pantsula means "waddling like a duck.
The roots of the pantsula community date back to 1940 in Sophiatown, the legendary Johannesburg suburb known for its famous artists. Sophiatown was destroyed during apartheid, but pantsula managed to give an entire generation a voice then and bridge the transition to democracy. The subculture has since gained international recognition, and has made its way from the dusty streets of townships to theater stages around the world. Becoming a member of a pantsula crew offers talented young people much-needed social security and promising career opportunities.
In "The Ecstatic," pantsula culture meets the religious world. 'Praise break' is a break during a religious service where God is praised through music and dance. In 'The Ecstatic,' six pantsula dancers from the Impilo Mapantsula company make such a 'praise break' their own, in choreography by American Jeremy Nedd.
Choreographer-performer Jeremy Nedd was born in Brooklyn and currently lives in Switzerland. Nedd has worked for the opera house Semperoper in Dresden (2010-2012) and for Ballett Basel (2012-2016). As a guest performer, he is affiliated with Schauspielhaus Zurich, where he has collaborated with Trajal Harrell. He has also presented productions at Kaserne Basel, ROXY Birsfelden, Arsenic - center d'art scénique contemporain (Lausanne), Palais de Tokyo (Paris) and Münchner Kammerspiele.
Impilo Mapantsula is a worldwide network of professional dancers specializing in pantsula. Representing pantsula culture, they aim to promote its development. The organization aims to document and protect the living legacy of pantsula and to support dancers in professionalizing their art. Impilo Mapantsula supports artistic creation and self-expression through educational, artistic and professional programs, with an emphasis on job creation, international collaborations and exchange programs.
"Exuberant virtuoso footwork with horror-like edges"
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 and light: Thomas Giger - stage: Laura Knüsel - music/composition: Xzavier Stone & Modulaw - audiodesign: Fabrizio Di Salvo - head of production Switzerland: Regula Schelling, produktionsDOCK - head of production South Africa: Daniela Goeller - dramaturgy: Anta Helena Recke - production assistance: Kihako Narisawa, Lucas Del Rio Estevez - outside Eye: Deborah Joyce Holman, Maximilian Hanisch - co-production: Kaserne Basel, Arsenic Lausanne, 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, Wilhelm und Ida Hertner-Strasser Stiftung
seSotho, seTswana, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Engels gesproken /Sotho, Tswana, Xhosa, Zulu, English spoken