LES BALLETS AFRICAINS was formed in Paris in 1952 by distinguished Guinean choreographer, Keita Fodeba, who enjoyed the support of numerous African heads of state. Les Ballets Africains toured the world successfully until Guinea's independence in 1958 when they were invited to become the country's national ensemble. Between 1958 and the present day, Les Ballet Africains has visited the four corners of the earth sometimes remaining on tour for up to two years at a stretch. On one extraordinary marathon, they appeared in 165 capital cities, presenting an astonishing 695 performances in 750 days, traveling 180,000 kilometer by plane, 33,000 by train and 21,000 by road.
Les Ballet Africains have been recognized and encourage in their role of roving ambassadors, carrying with them on their travels the pride and aspirations of their people. The company's ultimate mission is to foster a greater understanding of Africa with a view to creating favorable conditions for a healthy and fruitful cooperation between Africa and the rest of the world. Whether in Sydney, Rio, Berlin, Tokyo, Moscow or Los Angeles, their performance has always received a tumultuous acclaim, together with an open invitation to return.
Today, with the continued encouragement and support of the National Director of Culture in Guinea, the ensemble is scheduled to begin a 2012-2013 world tour that will span the globe. Under the skilled guidance of Artistic Director, Hamidou Bangoura and choreographer/technical director Sekou II Conde, the 35 strong ballet present their inimitable blend of tradition dance, music and storytelling, laced with superb demonstrations of spectacle, acrobatic, comedy and drama.
4/9/2012: Les Ballet Africains Digital Downloads - AVAILABLE NOW!
We are very proud to now offer digital copies of our videos on the merchandise page, as well as our first HD release, Memoire Du Manding. Each title is sold at a discounted price and available immediately to you with a speedy download to start watching fast! Just look for the new white "Add to Cart" buttons on the merchandise page. After purchase you will be emailed a link with your download.
3/1/2012: Memoire Du Manding Director's Cut
Get a piece of West African history in High Def...Shot on location in Conakry Guinea in 2006, this epic story of the change in power of the Mali empire, is the basis for modern blockbusters such as "The Lion King". We will include the Bonus DVD, shot behind the scenes of the production with every order. Order yours now on the merchandise page.
11/11/2011: Re-Release of Jubillee- The golden 50 year anniversary....
By popular demand we have reissued the DVD and CD from the renown anniversary tour. Get your copies today! We are offering a DVD/CD combo package with free shipping for the Holidays. Stay tuned for future updates as we will be releasing 3 additional titles from the 50's and 60's that have been digitally remastered for release!
3/30/2011: 3/30/11 Florence Montmare, renown western photo journalist, captures rare footage of Les Ballets Africains outreaching and spreading the rich culture of Guinea throughout the planet.
12/8/2008: The latest re-release is available for sale. The Rhythm Of Africa recording contains the soundtrack of a one hour television special produced in July 1990 for Without Walls.
The Selected Program of music is drawn from Guinea's four natural regions, The Highlands, The Coastal Regions, The Forest Region, and Fouta Djellon, illustrating the immense diversity of musical styles accompanying Guinean traditional dances.
Rhythm Of Africa CD is available in combination with Sacred Forest DVD for $23.99 including shipping.
Festival CD: The latest re-release converted through the world famous Pachyderm Studio is available for sale. Featuring legendary rhythms SOKO, TOUTOUDIARRA,MINUIT,NAMBARA,SOUNDIATA,MAKALE,HOROYA,TIRANKE, and FINALE
In 1969, LES BALLETS AFRICAINS celebrate their 22th anniversary. Formed by that worthy son of Guinea, Keita Fodeba, a man of fertile and enterprising imagination, they became, with Independance, THE AFRICAN BALLETS of the GUINEAN REPUBLIC.
A constant search for artistic ideas being at the roots of their success, they have always persisted, in their march forward, in representing the day-to-day authenticity of life in the Africa of yesterday and the Africa of today.
Specially priced for you please do not hesitate to add this gem to your collection today!
includes FREE SHIPPING!
KINGSTON, Jamaica - Cedella Booker, the mother of Jamaican music legend Bob Marley, has died, a family spokesman said Wednesday. She was 81. Booker died in her sleep Tuesday night at her home in Miami, apparently from natural causes, spokesman Jerome Hamilton said.
Booker, a Jamaica native, was 18 when she married Norval Marley, a British man 32 years her senior. Their son brought Jamaican reggae music to international prominence, becoming its international image. Bob Marley died in Miami of a brain tumor in 1981 at age 36.
"Mrs. Booker was the matriarch of a movement so powerful that the mystical qualities of the Marley musical legacy remain strong and potent," Jamaica Information Minister Olivia Grange said. After Norval Marley died in 1955, Booker married an American man and settled in Delaware. She wrote two biographies of her famous son and recorded two albums, "Awake Zion!" and "Smilin' Island of Song.
"She was a star in her own right," Jamaica Prime Minister Bruce Golding said in a statement. "Her life was one of hardship, struggle and eventual fulfillment, and through it all, she exuded hope, strength and confidence.
Everyone in St. Ann's parish knew Booker as "Mama B," said Harry Shivnani, a family friend and general manager of Bob Marley's mausoleum.
"She loved cooking," Shivnani said. "Mama would make you the best pudding ever. Robert Lalah, a columnist for the Jamaica Gleaner, interviewed Booker in February while she celebrated her son's birthday.
"She was a typical Jamaican grandmother," he said. "She was very warm, very friendly. Booker is survived by two children and several grandchildren, including Ziggy Marley, who won four Grammys with the Melody Makers, a band that included brother Stephen and sisters Sharon and Cedella.
2/29/08 - Les Ballets Africains releases for the first time on CD "Orgie de Rythme de Couleurs". On sale now in our Merchandise settings for $9.99 plus FREE SHIPPING. And remember all orders $40.00 or more recieve a BONUS DVD by Valdas Kotovas from behind the scenes of the Filming of Memorie du Manding!!!
12/18/07 de Keita Fodeba Vol. 6 released: Another volume in the classic releases from Les Ballets Africains. Includes Elongame, Abama, Cumasi Mocambo, N'Balia.
Audio CD $9.99
11/16/07 Archivist Matthew M. Mueller digs up 6 VINTAGE Albums from the 50's and 60's to be digitally Remastered at the World Famous Pachyderm Recording Studio in Cannon Falls MN USA. The first Release Les Ballets Africains de Keita Fodeba 1967 is available now for the Holidays at a low price of $9.99. Les Ballets Africans de Keita Fodeba vol. 6 is next to Launch with Les Ballets Africains de Republic of Guinea to release later in December. Keep your eyes peeled for additional new developements. Order now to recieve before the years end!!
11/15/07 Holiday Sale! All CD's are $9.99, All DVD's are $19.99, Orders include FREE SHIPPING! Plus! Order $40 or more in Merchandise and automatically recieve the BONUS DVD Documentary on the making of "Memoire du Manding" by Valdas Kotovas
8/15/07 Negotiations are underway for the intended filming of two titles in 2007. The performances are chosen and specific details are being examined. Hamidou Bangoura is working diligently with Producer Matthew Mueller to finalize plans to enable another successful year archiving the Ballet's incredible offerings.
7/7/07 - LES BALLETS AFRICAINS PRESENTS TO THE UNITED NATIONS 1968: This gem of previously unreleased footage of the 1968 performance for the United Nations in New York City was located in Brazil and remastered to DVD. Available now for $19.99, this DVD offers FREE SHIPPING. Order Now!
5/27/07 - Satisfied customers purchasing the new "Memoire du Manding" DVD are emailing their comments. Here is one happy buyer from Reggio Emelia, Italy, Valeria Rossi who wrote, "Dear Mr. Mueller, I received the "Memoire du Manding" DVD and CD and I must really say that it's simply fascinating and incredible! The opera left me breathless! You did an excellent work, congratulations!"
5/18/2007 - Sacred Forest DVD now available in Merchandise section. Also, 2007 Tour T-shirts and Memoire Du Manding CD and DVD both available. Buy now and get FREE SHIPPING!
As the final performances of the 2007 spring tour settle into Chicago- Memorie DU Manding proves to be one of the best shows to date. Receiving critical acclaim and passing the test of America our sites are set for the rest of the planet. Brazil is on the immediate radar with a three week festival tour coming together. Then our focus will become England and Europe. After that we look towards Australia and Asia with an intended return to North America in the fall of 2008. The plan is to have this World renowned company touring solid for the next two years. There are plans in place to reshoot old performances Heritage and Jubilee and to shoot for the first time Evolution and two other older shows from the 70's. We are also in negotiations to shoot a full length feature film about the Ballet. Please continue your appreciated support and film investment opportunities are available. Also take a look at the merchandise page as there are many new items to choose from!
Thank You for a fantastically successful winter 2007 North American TOUR!!!
2/2/07 Les Ballets Africains' first two shows of the tour at Keene University in Newark, New Jersey and New York's Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts went off without a hitch. Two consecutive sellouts and happy supporters of the group symbolized the spirit of the 2007 tour.
Overcoming heavy scrutiny from the US Embassy and the Consulate in Guinea, the group was able to maintain their tight schedule to perform a flawless show less than 12 hours off a flight that was already a week delayed. Current events and political conditions in Guinea nearly caused cancellations and re-scheduling.
The 2007 tour dubbed, "Memoir Du Manding", is powerful and entertaining. The brilliant choreography and arrangements, colorful and complex costumes create a touching and memorable story. The world-class production allows for a stirring and unforgettable performance.
The DVD movie of the same title is available at the www.lesballetsafrcains.com website or on location at the merchandising booth.
1/26/07 Memoire du Manding -- The newest performance is available on CD and DVD February 1st. Pre-order the limited edition DVD/CD Combo now and get a discounted price of $29.95 plus FREE SHIPPING.
1/1/07 Ballet Africains to tour North America, click here for February 2007 stops.
12/8/06 New photos (above) have been submitted by Matthew Mueller from Guinea, West Africa where a film crew is on location collecting images for an upcoming documentary on Les Ballets Africains.
Kemoko Sano, African music and dance ensemble director and choreographer, died May 25 in Conakry, Republic of Guinea, from complications of diabetes, according to his patron and friend Louise Bedichek.
Born in a village near Macenta, in the Forest Region of Guinea c. 1939 (he was unsure of the year of his birth but knew his birthdate to be earlier than 1942, the date recorded when he entered school), Kemoko Sano became a leading figure in the performing arts in Guinea in the decades following Guinean Independence in 1958, when the traditional performing arts received full government support and were used both to galvanize the identity of the new nation and to present it to the outside world. After his troupe in Macenta won first prize in the national arts festival in 1964, Kemoko Sano was brought into the Ballets Africains, the first and best-known of the Guinean national dance troupes. A fall during a performance in Paris the same year left him paralyzed, an accident from which he made a full recovery after his return home to Macenta. Twenty-five years later, Kemoko Sano was the doundoun player atop a float of 115 Guinean percussionists in Jean-Paul Goude's parade extravaganza La Marseillaise in Paris for the French bicentennial in 1989.
Kemoko Sano headed the second national dance troupe, Ballet Djoliba from 1973 – 86. As Choreographer of Les Ballets Africains from 1987 to 2000, he created new works in collaboration with his colleagues, as well as rehearsing, performing, and making the animal costumes for the programs on international tours of that company to Europe, Ghana, Mexico, Colombia, Australia, and to North America in 1991 (la Clôche de Hamana), 1993 (Silo), and 1996 (Heritage).
After state support and management of performing arts troupes ended, Sano founded his own troupe, les Merveilles in 1986, which performed at Alice Tully Hall in 1999 and at the World Financial Center in 2001 under the sponsorship of the Traditional Center for Music and Dance, at Symphony Space in 2003 presented by the World Music Institute, and at the Franco-Guinean Cultural Center in Conakry earlier this year. Alumni of Les Merveilles are currently performing outside Guinea in Circus Baobab (Guinea/France), Afrika! Afrika! (Germany), Legends of West Africa (United States), and teaching (Karamoko) in Japan.
Kemoko Sano taught music and dance as Fulbright Artist-in-Residence at San Francisco State University in the spring semester of 1994 and at Long Island University/C.W. Post and SUNY at Stony Brook in 2000 – 2001.
The Dance Collection of the New York Public Library has ten hours of video footage from a trip Sano made with Hamidou Bangoura of Les Ballets Africains to the interior of Guinea in 1991. Over the past year, Sano collaborated with Hamidou Bangoura on the creation and rehearsing of a new evening-length work for Les Ballets Africains, Mémoire du Mandingue.
Kemoko Sano is survived by numerous children, the youngest of whom, Makhissa Sano, age 6, lives in Oakland, California.