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Cassa Cassa, rencontres dansées de l'Afrique et de sa diaspora
Germaine Acogny, a leading figure in contemporary African dance and the founder of the École des Sables in Senegal, has longed for many years to bring together choreographers from Africa and the diaspora.
In 2007, the École des Sables invited for the first time thirty-five choreographers and musicians of African origin for the project « Rencontres dansées de l’Afrique et de sa diaspora » (« Danced Encounters of Africa and its Diaspora »). This remote place became for two weeks the site for exceptional exchange. Each artist who has accepted the invitation brings his or her own personal universe. They unfold it under the others’ gaze, in a quest for the nature of the links that unite them with Africa; they put it into a dialogue with their partners’ universes, searching for the mutations of form and meaning which their dancing has undergone. It is with a desire for communion and sharing that these unique trajectories meet at the École des Sables; it is between the bush and the ocean that they reunite with their collective history.
Source: Élodie Lefebvre
Senegalese and French, she participated from 1962 till 1965 at the formation at the Simon Siegel’s school (the director was Ms Marguerite Lamotte) in Paris and received a diploma of physical education and harmonious gymnastics. Then, she founded her first dance studio in Dakar, 1968. Thanks to the influence of the dances she had inherited from her grandmother, a Yoruba priest, and to her studies of traditional African dances and Occidental dances (classic, modern) in Paris and New York, Germaine Acogny created her own technique of Modern African Dance and is considered as the “mother of Contemporary African dance”.
Between 1977 and 1982 she was artistic director of MUDRA AFRIQUE (Dakar), created by Maurice Béjart and the Senegalese president and poet Leopold Sedar Senghor. Once Mudra Afrique had closed, she moved to Brussels to work with Maurice Béjart’s company, she organised international African dance workshops, which showed a great success among the European students. Together with her husband, Helmut Vogt, she sets up in 1985, in Toulouse, France, the “Studio-Ecole-Ballet-Théâtre du 3è Monde”.
After having been away from the stage for several years, Germaine Acogny has her come back as a dancer and choreographer in 1987. She works with Peter Gabriel for a video clip and creates her solo “Sahel”. In 1995, she decides to go back to Senegal, with the aim of creating an International Centre for Traditional and Contemporary African Dances achieved in 2004 - L’Ecole des Sables - a meeting point for dancers coming from Africa and from all over the world, a place of professional education for dancers from the whole of Africa with the aim to guide them towards a Contemporary African Dance. In 1997, Germaine Acogny becomes Artistic Director of the « Dance section of Afrique en Creations » in Paris, a function she held until September 2000.
Her solo “Tchouraï”, created in 2001 choreographied by Sophiatou Kossoko, was successfully touring until 2008. In 2003/2004, she created the piece “Fagaala”, for her company JANT-BI, based on the genocide in Rwanda. Since January 2015 she submitted the Artistic Direction of the Ecole des Sables to her son Patrick Acogny.
Source : Ecole des sables 's website
More information : ecoledessables.org
Artist and filmmaker Élodie Lefebvre was born in Toulouse in 1974. Her mother is a Flamenco dancer and her father an architect. She discovered experimental video while studying at the Toulouse École des Beaux-Arts. Halfway between installation and moving image, her work is deeply imbued with the experience of the body. Her documentary films open up a space to share and exchange with other artists, their rapport to creation and the physical or symbolic place from which they hail. The first one, "Au coeur des sables" (2001), is set at the École des Sables, founded by Germaine Acogny. "Cassa Cassa", the second installment of their collaboration, captures one of the "danced encounters" held at the school, where the sensibility and engagement of choreographers from Africa meet those of their peers from the African diaspora.
Source: Élodie Lefebvre
École des sables
Germaine Acogny is a leading figure in African dance. With l’École des sables, founded in 1996 at Toubab Dialaw in Senegal, she pursues her objective; to teach the new generations of African dancers and to initiate them to contemporary dance, without discarding their traditions. For three months in 2001, Germaine Acogny and her guests, choreographers Flora Théfain (Togo), Bud Blumenthal (USA) and Bernardo Montet (France), presented their vision of choreography to thirty students from seventeen African countries.
Choreography : Gregory Maqoma / Cie Voyani / Afrique du sud - Errol Grimes / Cie Errol Grimes dance group /Barbades - Clément Kapo / Cie Ballet National / Bénin -Tatiana Damasceno /Brésil - Ruis Moreira / Cie Sera que?/ Brésil - Salia Sanou / Cie Salianiseydou / Burkina Faso - Jean Miche Fonkam / Cie Phénix / Cameroun - Fred Bendongué / Cie Fred Bendongué / Cameroun / France - James Carlès /Cie James Carlès / Cameroun / France - Nadia Beugré / Ex Cie Tché tché / Côte d'ivoire - Junaid Jemal / Cie Adugna / Ethiopie - Lena Blou / Cie Trilogie /Guadeloupe - Nicole Lumarque / Ballet National / Haïti - Odak Onyango / Kenya Performing art group / Kenya - Fumi Adewole / Nigéria / UK - Lola Adodo / Nigéria / UK - Arir Andriamoratsiresy / Cie Rary / Madagascar - Adedayo Liadi / Cie Ijodee / Nigéria - Flavia Chevez Le Messurier / Pérou / UK - Longa Fô / RDC - Andreya Ouamba / Cie 1er Temps / Congo / Sénégal - Germaine Acogny / Cie Jant bi / Sénégal - Patrick Acogny / Cie Jant bi / Sénégal / France - Kaolak Pape Ibrahima Ndiaye / Cie Kaloack Danse / Sénégal / Tchecoslovaquie - Flora Théphaine / Cie Kossiwa / Togo / France - Hyacinthe Tobio / Cie Les jeunes tréteaux / Tchad - Jawole Zollar / Cie Urban Bush women / USA - Nora Chipaumire / Zimbabwé / USA - Gilbert Douglas /Tumbuka dance Cie/ Zimbabwé / Australie.
Original music : Aymeric de Tapol (direction) / Joao Paulo Tiago – Brésil / Francisco Tiago – Brésil / Gilberto Amancio - Brésil Allan Blou – Guadeloupe / Félix Flauzin – Guadeloupe / Raoul Jr Denis – Haîti / Abdoula Diop – Sénégal / Djibril Bâ – Sénégal / Ndey Sec – Sénégal / Oumar Fandy Diop – Sénégal / Ousman Sene – Sénégal / Pape Badara Fall - Sénégal
Production / Coproduction of the video work : Association Jant-bi
Duration : 52'