Pantsula, a historically significant South African subculture, is expressed not only as a powerful dance form known for its high-speed virtuosic footwork, but is also evident through the dress code, language, music, and a particular philosophy of life that is all its own. It’s an expression that during Apartheid gave a voice to a whole generation.
Praise Break, a mode 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 that is all their own.
The presentation of this work is made possible with the support of Pro Helvetia, The Swiss Arts Council