Where the mouth fails, the body excels
The Northern Cape was graced with the presence of a professional dancer and choreographer, Dionisia Ferreira, commonly known as Dimi, who hails from the state of Bahia in Brèsil.
The 56 year-old dancer oozes off a light flowing energy and does not look a year older than 30, “Dancing keeps me fit,” Ferreira laughed. Possessing a degree in psychology, obtained from the Federal University of Bahia in Brazil, she explains how the theoretical study of psychology assists her in executing her practical dance teachings, “I studied psychology so that I could learn how to listen to others, this opened me up various means of helping others. Dance helps one to go deeper in a spiritual aspect, you get to express yourself with your body. I spend 19 hours a week on dance,” she explained. Ferreira also has a Masters in Contemporary Dance from the Université René Descartes in Paris.
Having started dancing at the tender age of 10, she has been dancing for 47 years and cannot say which, amongst all styles of dance, is her favourite as she thoroughly enjoys them all. She has made it her mission to constantly grow her craft and always learn more about dance, “I feel honoured to be in South Africa as it is the motherland. There are dances that are performed here that remind me of home. The Divinity dance is spiritual and one should always ensure that you are analysing your movements when doing it,” she explained. She teaches and choreographs at the Conservatoire Charles Munch in Paris and for several years she has been instructing dance in Escola Contemporâne de Dança in Bresil.
In 1988 Ferreira performed a solo at the Martin Luther Centre, which she named Winnie, after our own South African hero who was at the forefront of the fight against apartheid. She hosted a dance class at the Mayibuye Centre in Kimberley on Thursday, “I am so excited to see how talented the children are here and I am equally eager to learn from them,” she emphasised. Bisi Bangiwe ka Jobela, choreographer for Amandla Dance Teatro said, “It is a great honour to have Dimi showcase her talent to our students, having been to Brazil myself I could relate to the dance she taught our students. It was beautiful to have them learn about a different culture and they thoroughly enjoyed it and danced well”. The students were in high spirits as they sweated it out learning move by move, with immense enthusiasm.
Ferreira hosted a host of workshops at the Sol Plaatje University under the following progressive themes; Contested Bodies, Afro-Brazilian Dances as well as a conversation on (wo)men, resilience, dance and development with the focus on sharing and discussing experiences from Latin America, Africa and Europe.
Ferreira is amped to not just be here to showcase her talent and share the many things she has learnt on her journey of contemporary dance, but also to take the experiences she has gained from being in the City of Diamonds and sharing them back home, and essentially, with the world.