CULTURAL EXCHANGE TRIP
Dance. Art. Discovery.
December 23rd 2023 to January 6th 2024
INCLUDES DANCE, DRUM, ACCOMMODATION, DINNER.
Melissa Hié grew up in a musician family and was a member of the family band from a very young age. Her father taught her how to play several instruments : balafon, barra and djembe. This enabled her to acquire a strong knowledge of African traditional rhythms and develop her own soft and melodic touch. At nine years old, she chose Djembe as her main instrument. She then began playing in various formations and bands as a percussionist.In order to reinforce her skills, she continued to discover other instruments such as the conga. She further developed her artistic skills (singing, dance, computer music) through several collaborations, including major projects with artists such as Damon Albarn and Fatoumata Diawara. Today, she enjoys experimenting with music in unexpected ways and explores various genres ranging from jazz to electronic music.
West African Traditional Dancer, Abdou Bayefall, was born in Senegal. At the age of 17, as the youngest member of the prestigious dance company “Ballet Sinomew,” he appeared on his first international stage in Morocco and then people started to call him “Fils du Ballet, ” a godsent child of ballet. On that stage, he was caught up in the eyes of Baaba Maal (famous Senegalese singer) and joined his tour as a dancer.
After that, he transferred to “Ballet Africa 2000” in Spain. In the next two years, he played three different roles as a dancer, a performer of Thiakaba and a drummer on the stage. also he played an active part as a dance teacher.
After returning to Senegal, he joined “Ballet la Linguere, ” Senegal National Dance Company, and worked as the dancer and choreographer for three years. Then the Government of Senegal gave him the international license as dance professor. The five types of dance he can teach includes Djembe Dance, Sabar Dance, Sourouba Dance, Thiakaba (dance on one foot with stilts), Coumpo Dance (dance of Jola tribe) .
He came to Japan for the 2002 World Cup performance. After that, he moved the main base of activities to Japan, and as the dancer and drummer, he holds his workshops and performance on the stage around the world.
He is one of the outstanding dancers who will inherit the traditional Senegalese dance to the younger generation.
Coming from a large family of artists and current Artistic Director of the National Ballet of Senegal “LA LINGUÈRE”, and also Choreographer of the great private Ballet “WAATO SIITA” of which he is one of the founding members, he is today recognized as one of the best Senegalese dancers and choreographer thanks to his talent, his innovative and creative side.
He built his notoriety by enhancing the performances of the great singer Youssou NDOUR and the Super Etoile Band.
What’s more, all the stars of show biz go crazy and want him in their music videos. His style amazes as much as it detonates and he is recognizable among a thousand. He is Pape Moussa SONKO, a pure artist. An outstanding dancer, his talent is even recognized outside our borders.
With the dance occupying a prominent place in the artistic landscape, Pape Moussa has, so to speak, achieved a master stroke. Through a choreography combining Tradition and Modernity, frenzied dance steps and acrobatics, the appointed dancer of Youssou NDOUR has surpassed himself in his art.
For the critics of the profession, he has quite simply achieved a feat. In fact, the very famous “NEW YORK TIMES” newspaper even wrote an article in which he was full of praise for the professional dancer.
Pape Moussa is now part of the inner circle of our cultural ambassadors. Those who hoisted the national flag high and undoubtedly participated in the promotion of the Senegal destination internationally.
Marie Basse Wiles is a cultural icon of traditional dance,music and culture. She has been a resident and an artist in the Bedford Stuyvesant community of New York state for over 31 years. As a born Senegalese national artist, she has taught classes in New York City and across the continent for the last 35 years. Her legacy lies in 29 years of hosting the Maimouna Keita School of African Dance international dance conferences and concerts throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan. Marie began her career as a principal dancer with the National Ballet of Senegal in 1973. Her membership in dance, theatre and choreography lasted seven plus years. Shortly after moving to the USA, she made Brooklyn her home and began facilitating classes in the African diaspora in the city and surrounding boroughs, the United States and abroad.
Maimouna Keita School of African Dance will celebrate 31 years of hosting one of the largest conferences and concerts, April 7-9, 2023 in Brooklyn, NY. The conference attracts hundreds of people from all over the world to partake in a four day immersion of dance and music. Members of the MKSAD performing company will prepare for an authentic, enthralling concert performance that will showcase the traditional relevance of dance and music, arts and culture and its impact.
Marie has trained and encouraged several renown artists with global residence to master the rich traditional artforms of West African dance and music. In addition, she has hosted annual dance tours to her country Senegal with extended tours to Mali, Gambia and Guinea. As Maimouna Keita School of African Dance embarks on this 30th anniversary milestone, we have launched a 31 | 30| 30 fundraising campaigns. Here is how you can thank Marie for her tireless service and ambassadorship to the African Diaspora. Sila Djiguiba -The Path of Hope has ensured that all students, dancers, musicians and performers under her tutelage learn from yesterday, live for today and hope for tomorrow. We thank you in advance for your donations.
❖ 31 years of authentic performances and detailed instruction and celebration
❖ 30 companies and individuals – (a minimum of 30 each per month)
❖ 30 dollars on the 30th day of each month through April 30
The top four donor levels will be placed in the program and all other levels of giving will be categorized and listed in the program. The Diamond and Gold level will be seated in the reserved section at the concert. Gifts greater than listed are welcome and appreciated.
Levels of Giving
Diamond $300 2 reserved concert tickets and 2 free workshop/tee
Gold $270 2 reserved concert tickets and 1 workshop/tee
Silver $240 1 concert ticket and 1 workshop/tee
Bronze $210 2 workshops/tee