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