LES BALLETS AFRICAINS
Les Ballets Africains, long considered one of the best dance companies in West Africa, have been touring worldwide for over 60 years. The shows represent Guinea’s cultural heritage, history and folklore of West Africa through complex rhythms, songs and dance. The company was created in by choreographer Keita Fodeaba in 1952. Les Ballets Africans has been the national ensemble of the Republic of Guinea in conjunction with the Ministry of Culture since the independence of Guinea in 1958. The organization’s mission has been to create a greater understanding of Africa, while simultaneously dazzling audiences around the world.
Each production consists of a story, or ballet, who’s theme is based on historical and current issues from various regions of West Africa. The production “Mandinka Memories” for example, is an historical account of ancient kingdoms while “The Bell of Hamana” is about protecting the environment, an issue of great importance today around the world. “The Path of Life” focuses on the importance of education while “Heritage” reflects the accomplishments of the African people and the cultural traditions that are passed down from generation to generation.
The Republic of Guinea is situated on the West Coast of Africa. It shares its border with Senegal, Mali, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea Bissau. Guinea is divided into four natural regions: The Forest Region, the Guinean Highlands, Maritime Guinea and Fouta Djellon. Each of these regions people have their own languages, cultures and traditions that have been in place since the time of ancient tribes.