Hector Thami Manekehla | ResidencySwitzerland | Dance
May - August 2021 — Dance
South African performance artist Hector Thami Manekehla begins an extended production residency in Geneva, Switzerland from May to August 2021 to develop his piece More and More. The piece emerged during the global shutdown last year when Thami found himself quarantined in Studio 44, the work space of one of the most celebrated performance artist of the last 30 years: Cie La Ribot. Surrounded by the paraphernalia and personal affects of La Ribot’s life and career, Thami began examining the objects, props and costumes and ascribing his own meaning and attachments to them. He explains: “More and More emerged from different realities and circumstances while trapped, during a lack of motivation to create. During a period of laziness, during a time when a body feels like doing nothing. During a time of finding a meaning to create and resisting the new norms for performance artists of virtual showcasing that is taking centre stage globally.” During this time in Switzerland Thami will also participate in a feature film with La Ribot shot by the Swiss director Delphine Lehericey and the new La Ribot project Distinguished Anyways, a living exhibition in the Real Academia de España en Roma.
More and More its a physical poetic offering of a dedicate body, the body offers itself to different rituals as a sacrifice of remembrance between the physical and the spiritual – once upon a time: evoking the presence and absence – the past and the future. Objects are used and remixed during the ceremony as offerings. The body doesn’t offer itself for personal pleasure, but offers itself for the other in remembrance of appreciation. Every ceremony becomes a dedicated presentation of generosity and shared memory of physical appreciation for specific moments in life. How does one continue to remember the most priceless moments with people who have already passed away, and how does one go back in time and recall the small details about an encounter with a sibling, mother, father or colleagues and perhaps a lover? Allowing the self to feel a kind of pain but open to a joy of reflection. The body is put to the limitless encounters of remembering – it bleeds & bleeds & bleeds and continues bleeding to the poetics of sadness & joy in presence and absence. Exposing itself more & more without holding back, more agony, more remembrance, more pain, more realities, more frustration, more life, more death, more consequences, more circumstances, more sharing, more exposure, more isolation, more therapy, more depth, more politics and more poetry of life and more happiness in poetic thinking.
Born in Soweto, South Africa, Hector Thami Manekehla joined Soweto Dance Project in 1998 under the directorship of Carly Dibakwane, were he was exposed to various dance techniques. He has worked with many renowned choreographers and dances from South Africa and around the world. In 2008 he created and directed the award-winning piece KAROHANO with Thabiso Pule and Haja Saranouffie, which was performed in different festivals across Europe, Middle East and Africa until 2010. His work has been shown in many festivals and theatres around the world, including Festival La Batie and Antigel/South Africa What’s Up? in Geneva, New York Live Arts, Theatre De Welt. Rencontre Choreographic Bangolet, Thatre Olympia Bordeaux. Theatre Pole Sud Strasbourg, HAU Theatre Berlin. Dance House Oslo, Theatre Terrasa Barcelona and many more. Since 2016 Thami has been working for Cie La Ribot as an interpreter and dancer for various projects and creations.