Production and Presentation



The CNDB Awards Gala is an annual event to recognize those who have contributed and confirmed the value that contemporary dance and choreographic culture have in society. Beyond any hierarchies, the CNDB Awards celebrate dance and the role of art for people and community.

In 2022, the CNDB Awards Gala also offers the audience the opportunity to see the performance RAMANENJANA, a performative docu-fiction about a dance that literally made history. The show is a co-production Romania – Germany – Madagascar, created by Simona Deaconescu (RO) in collaboration with Gaby Saranouffi (MG/SA).


1863. Antananarivo. Thousands of people enter the city dancing in a hallucinatory way to the magnetic music of the drums. They can keep dancing for days without getting tired, in a powerful mental state that is difficult to define, performing impossible acrobatics and tensing their bodies in improvised movements. It is rumored that they have red eyes and that they want to convey the message of a mother to her son through their rigid movements.

In the general agitation, they are labeled sick, possessed, exploited, mad, pathologically empathetic, unnatural. The dancers are called Ramanenjana and go down in history as a group of people who were part of a choreomania, a mysterious mass dance, often called the «dance epidemic». It is unknown exactly how the disease that causes them to dance is transmitted. It is rumored to be contagious due to superstitions, the sound of music, exaggerated sympathy, or even mosquitoes.

Two months later, the «epidemic» comes to an abrupt halt as the political regime changes and European influence on the island diminishes.

1896. France annexes Madagascar. Ramanenjana floods the city again.

The show critically discusses several versions of the same historical event, questioning the role of dance in society. Working closely with ethnomusicologist and musician Olombelo Ricky, the two choreographers and their team of three performers humorously explore rhythm in text, gesture, movement, and sound.

A performative docufiction by: Simona Deaconescu
In collaboration with: Gaby Saranouffi
Performed by: Haja Saranouffi, Simona Dabija, Maria Luiza Dimulescu
Accompanied by the music of: Olombelo Ricky
In costumes designed by: Cristina Milea
Mentored by: Mathilde Monnier

Duration: 60 min.
Produced by: Tangaj Collective Associationin co-production with the National Centre for Dance in Bucharest and Forecast
Special mentions: performance presented in English with Romanian surtitles

Where and when
Atelier hall, “I.L. Caragiale” National Theatre Bucharest
December 11, 19h00

Purchase HERE

The CNDB 2022 Awards Gala is an event presented in partnership with the “I.L. Caragiale” National Theatre in Bucharest.

The wine of the CNDB Awards 2022 is offered by Caii de la Letea.

Media partners
Radio Guerilla, ARCUB, STB, The French Institute, Observator Cultural, IQ Ads, The Institute

In 2022, the National Center for Dance Bucharest’s Award was granted to the following:
Maria Beatrice Tudor
Arcadie Rusu
Alexandru Boureanu


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