Dances of Guinea

A relatively new course to the College, Dances of Guinea, West Africa, may be unfamiliar to most. Here we ask Morley tutor Souleymane Compo to describe the characteristics of the dance.

Traditional rhythms and dances have been passed down for centuries in the villages across Guinea Conakry. Each ethnic group has their own rhythms and dances to mark different occasions. After Guinea gained independence in 1958 the President Sekou Touré developed a prestigious national ballet to showcase the finest Guinean artists around the world. Since then, many more Guinean ballet troupes have flourished in the country, inspiring new generations of artists to study and develop this proud national heritage worldwide.
Abram Diallo is a Guinean dance master who trained with the renowned Ballet Fareta in Conakry. He has been teaching and performing in Europe since 2006.

The dance form is high energy, helping to increase fitness and strength. Guinean ballet involves choreographed sequences of steps, combined to tell stories through movement.
The dance is accompanied by traditional African drumming on the djembe drum. The dance movements and drumming work together in unison – the lead dancer’s steps signal to the soloist which phrases to play, while the pace and tempo are set by the dundun – bass drums. Other musical instruments are played in the ballet, such as the Balafon – wooden xylophone, Kora – African harp, and African flute. These are played by traditional ‘Griots’ families of musicians. Ballet also incorporates traditional songs.

Dances of Guinea will introduce you to a selection of the traditional rhythms and dances of Guinea Conakry in West Africa, supported by live African drumming. You will learn the core movements, sequences and songs to accompany each rhythm, while having fun and improving your fitness.
Below are some examples of the dances.

https://youtu.be/SCPGqx4NtHQ

https://youtu.be/6ASXnYMlu8g

https://youtu.be/beCDpQ6JVDg

A relatively new course to the College, Dances of Guinea, West Africa, may be unfamiliar to most. Here we ask Morley tutor Souleymane Compo to describe the characteristics of the dance.


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