rsaflagBiography - Tebby Ramasike,

tebbywtramasikea South African choreographer, dancer/performer, dance teacher & researcher and cultural activist, was born in Johannesburg in 1965.
He started dance at a very early age training in different dance styles, firstly in both Ballroom & Latin and eventually in Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, Tap and African. Having previously worked as an actor-dancer and model on stage and television, in 1991 joined Bophuthatswana National Ballet, later known as North West Dance), as one of the co-founding members, touring with the company to Germany and Canada. In the beginning of the 90s his dance works which were mostly influenced by the Kabuki theatre and dramatic elements of story-telling or characterisation, were said to be in the context of Butoh (which he then knew nothing about). But this led him to discover Butoh in the mid-90s, connecting and studying with different Butoh practitioners, exploring the meanings, principles and essence of Butoh. This became an important aspect in his ongoing research alongside the African ritual dances.
He travelled extensively during a period of research, collaborations and performances. As a dancer he worked with internationally acclaimed choreographers and teachers.
He was nominated for and won a number of prestigious choreography and dance awards, winning amongst others - Best Choreographer (Technikon Natal), AA Life Vita Pick of the Fringe (IGI Life Vita Dance Umbrella), Pick of Fringe Group (FNB Dance Umbrella), SASAD’s Best Choreographer & Most Outstanding Male Dancer and was one of the seven nominees for South Africa’s prestigious AA Life Vita Contemporary Dance Award, as well as being a finalist in the International Ballet & Modern Dance Competition in Japan where he represented South Africa. He was the first South African recipient of the International Choreography Scholarship from the Michel Tesson Performing Arts Trust in South Africa and subsequently awarded a study grant by the Creative Arts Foundation.
After working professionally in several theatre and dance companies in South Africa and abroad, he came to Europe in 1995 to pursue studies in New Dance Development and Choreography at the European Dance Development Centre (EDDC) in Arnhem, The Netherlands, between 1995 & 1997. During this study period he was invited to research and work on a dance project at Boreas Farm in Hebron (upstate New York), where he was a co-founder of the improvisational dance group, ZsuTebV’Ut (comprising of four dancers), which toured New York City, Massachusetts, Vermont, Manchester (New Hampshire) and The Netherlands. in Manchester (VT) the group had the privilege to collaborate with painter, Susan Smereka and junk musician/percussionist, Donald Knaack. In turn, they were invited to teach workshops at colleges in Saratoga Springs, Boston and Vermont. Since 1997 he has been working in The Netherlands and internationally.
After establishing himself as a dancer, choreographer and dance teacher in Europe, in 1999 he founded TeBogO Dance Ensemble (TBO), with a vision focusing on the role and the spiritual essence of the dancing body as a tool of communication, bringing dance to the people as both a performance, socio-cultural and educative platform. Personally, focusing on a cross-pollination of cultures in relation to dance and other related arts. Since its inauguration, he has been invited to perform and teach extensively in Europe and
abroad, in countries such as Japan, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Portugal, Belgium, Italy, Spain, South Africa, Poland and Luxembourg, to mention but a few.
In 2002 he was granted an opportunity by the Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst, for a 'choreografie opdracht' (choreography assignment), in which he invited Japanese Butoh performer & teacher, Sayoko Onishi, to collaborate with him, in their project, “The Animal Inside Cultures”, which explores the principles of Butoh and African Dance. This dance work led him to his major choreographic research in 2002, pursuing a master degree from the Dance Unlimited Programme in Arnhem, The Netherlands, thus graduating with a Master of Choreography in 2004. His research is based on “The spiritual body as a tool of communication in a global society – which has its focus on an artistic venture into developing ‘new’ cultural meanings by a crosspollination of dance idioms and semiotics”. During this period he worked closely under the mentorship of Henriette Verburgh. Since 2004 he has focused on developing the concept of Afro-Butoh, (in the context of the 'New Butoh'), exploring the elements of Butoh and African ritual dances in their spiritual form.
His mission is to bring dance to the community in providing educational programmes and performances, as well as opening up a platform for an inter-cultural dialogue, artistic exchange, supporting the ideas of - a cross-pollination of dance idioms (in creating a fusion), - the thinking dancing body, - an understanding freeing the body, mind & soul and in finding a connection with one’s inner beauty and humanity through dance and that of story-telling through dance. Currently the ensemble is renamed  TeBogO Dance - TBO, with the structure that has thus changed to a freelance and collaborative company.
In 2007 he was invited at the University of Bayreuth, Germany, for the workshop/symposium "Shifting Centres - artistic positions and recent dynamic in contemporary art with focus on dance, performance and music in Africa.”, where his documented research project, "The Spiritual Body as a Tool of Communication in a Global Society", was read. In 2013 he was a co-author of an article on ‘Reverie’ for a a chapter ‘Collaboration’ in the book, ‘Inventing Futures’ published by ArtEZ Press. He collaborates with other choreographers, dancers, filmmakers, musicians, designers, photographers, visual artists and other creative artists who share the same artistic visual aspect and a desire to be challenged in sharing something that is personal and bringing that to the general public.
Choreographically he has put together rich repertoire, which includes “Close Encounters: Blank Faces” (1998-99), “Journey: I Come and Stand at Every Door” (1999), “A Different Place To Be ...” (2000), “Me … You & Them” (2001), “FACTOR X: Instruments of Darkness” (2001), “FACTOR X: The Last Night Out” (2001) - choreographed mainly for Noura Rezgui, “The Animal Inside Cultures” (2002) – in collaboration with Sayoko Onishi, “If You Can't Chain My Soul, Then Chain The World” (2004), “Cries from the Shadows of
Darkness” (2005), “THE UNTOLD STORY: Song Of The Earth” (2009) – a research project in collaboration with Cristina Benedita, “THE SOUL OF AFRIKA: A Homage To My Ancestors” (2010), to mention but a few, and his latest Butoh solo, “IN SEARCH OF A SOUL: A Blind Man’s Cry … the appeal”, which premiered at the Butoh Festival at Espace Culturel Bertin Poirée de Tenri in Paris (2011) and the extended version was performed in Barcelona (2014), during which a prologue 'Pasaje del Silencio' of the next series of “IN
SEARCH OF A SOUL”, was created and performed, per invitation of Rosana Barra of the Festival Barcelona en Butoh.
Currently, he is working on a long-term and on-going interactive multidisciplinary crossover collaborative project, under the work title: “THE WALKING THROUGH: A Journey … A Memory … A Recollection …The Meeting”, of which two parts in the series of “AN ODE TO THE MOON” (2011), were created and performed at Palazzo Rinaldi, Noepoli, in collaboration with Cristina Benedita (Portuguese choreographer, voice artist & performer), Susanna Caprara (Italian soundscape composer) and Susanne Zapf (German violinist).
Tebby, as a cultural activist has forged to open up a platform of discussion in dance, arts & culture related issues through social networks, symposiums, festival gatherings and artistic residencies (of which Palazzo Rinaldi Artists' Residency in Noepoli, Italy has been of a vital importance in opening its doors for dance. As a dance educationist, is available to extend teaching dance classes and workshops not only to professionals but to the general community as well as to perform and choreograph for individuals and groups. He is also available for bringing dance to schools, in which he introduces dance to school-going pupils as an extra curricula, in this sense also creating educational dance projects, outreach projects as well as youth and community-based dance programmes. He teaches different styles of dance in a fusion with a solid base in African dance. i.e. Afro-Fusion, Afro-Butoh, Afro-Contemporary, Afro-Jazz, Ethno-Hip Hop, etc.
My mission is to bring dance to the people, for dance belongs to the people, no matter their cultural or religious background. Dance is a communicative vehicle in a socio-cultural sphere and helps to break down many barriers ! Thus, through my performances and teachings he strives to reach out to an audience not only to entertain, but to educate & re-educate, to invent & re-invent, to share & offer, to challenge and invite them in this spiritual journey through dance, movement and story-telling, pushing boundaries reach out to the general public !
Go to top
Copyright © 2024 Tebby Ramasike - TeBogO Dance