• Dance
  • Live + Online
  • Run Ended


Showing on Jan 19-21; Online Jan 19-Feb 4

Playing at Scotiabank Dance Centre

A wide shot of three performers looking directly into the camera in various poses. The performer in the centre is a woman looking directly into the camera. She is in a wide stance, holding up one finger on each hand. The performer on the left is twisting her body towards the center. The performer on the right is a man lunging forward with both his arms raised behind his back.

Tangaj Collective - Simona Deaconescu & Gaby Saranouffi (Romania/Madagascar/Germany)

Ramanenjana is a witty, captivating docufiction performance about a dance event that made history. 

In Malagasy, Ramanenjana means something that makes you rigid but also makes you strong, but the dance was pathologized, labeled part of a “dance epidemic” by historians. In fact, the mass dance is rooted in a sacred ritual performed by thousands of people in reaction to Western and Christian influence. 

In Madagascar in 1863, thousands of people danced in the capital city for weeks to drums, as if hallucinating. This intriguing show examines the conflicting accounts to demonstrate how colonialism may have spread misconceptions about the extraordinary movement and raises important questions about the role of dance in society.

Informed by years of research, Ramanenjana blends reality and speculation, archived documents and contemporary testimonies, physical gesture and ecstatic motion.

Artists Simona Deaconescu and Gaby Saranouff were interviewed on the PuSh Play podcast by Gabrielle Martin, Director of Programming. Listen to the podcast episode here.

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Artist Bio

Tangaj Collective – Simona Deaconescu & Gaby Saranouffi (Romania/Madagascar/Germany)

Simona Deaconescu is a Romanian choreographer and filmmaker working across genres and formats. Shifting between fiction and objective reality, her work investigates liminal corporealities by meticulously looking at social constructs, sometimes with irony and dark humor. She founded Tangaj Collective, an interdisciplinary art and science company, and serves as the artistic director of the Bucharest International Dance Film Festival.

Born in Tamatave, Gaby Saranouffi is a Malagasy choreographer and art activist currently residing in South Africa. She is one of the most influential female artists pioneering contemporary dance in Madagascar, serving as artistic director for the I’TROTA International Dance Festival and the Vahinala Dance Company. Saranouffi draws inspiration from Madagascar’s tumultuous history to cultivate a distinct aesthetic in her choreography.


Scotiabank Dance Centre

677 Davie Street, Vancouver


  • January 19: 8:00 & Online
  • January 20: 8:00 & Online
  • January 21: 2:00 & Online
  • January 22: Online
  • January 23: Online
  • January 24: Online
  • January 25: Online
  • January 26: Online
  • January 27: Online
  • January 28: Online
  • January 29: Online
  • January 30: Online
  • January 31: Online
  • February 1: Online
  • February 2: Online
  • February 3: Online
  • February 4: Online

Runtime: 60min, no intermission

Post-show talkback: Jan 20

Free artist lecture: Jan 21, 4:00


In-Person: $37
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Streaming: $30
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Icon signalling a performance with surtitles

In English, French, and Malagasy with English surtitles

View Visual Story Guide


Choreographers Simona Deaconescu & Gaby Saranouffi Musician Olombelo Ricky Performers Haja Saranouffi, Maria-Luiza Dimulescu, Simona Dabija Mentor Mathilde Monnier costumes Cristina 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, Andrianjanfy, 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