Sankofa is a Twi word from the Akan Tribe of Ghana that loosely translates to, "It is not taboo to go back for what you forgot (or left behind)." This performance is an expansion of Kaolack’s MFA thesis work.
Sankofa is a phrase that encourages learning from the past to inform the future, reaching back to move forward, and lifting as we climb.
This performance is an expansion of Kaolack’s MFA thesis work. Within his field of dance, he aims to create spaces that push proximity, cross borders, and tell stories. This work is focused on pushing the boundaries of space and time and fully embodies the spaces in which we inhabit—supported by local dancer, Veeva Banga and her group.
Over the years, he has acquired experience in performance, choreography and knowledge through his study of the Acogny technique and Nora Chipaumire’s works. From these experiences and inspired by the Senegalese Ndaga, he created his own dance vocabulary and continues to investigate and unpack its potential as a technique. Kaolack’s work is entirely focused on pushing boundaries off space and time, liveness and fully being in the spaces we inhabit and claim as our own, while making space for spirit to be present. It is also about the transmission of embodied knowledge. Our bodily knowledge, the animist information rooted in Indigenous cultural dance practices that are connected to ancestral wisdom. And finally, it is about deconstructing the notion of decolonization by creating images that are mesmerizing and futuristic.
Pape Ibrahima Ndiaye (Kaolack)
Born and raised in Senegal by his grandmother, Pape Ibrahima Ndiaye, a.k.a. Kaolack, has studied and performed as part of the Jant-bi company at Ecole des Sables, Senegal, from 2000 to 2010 and is a MFA candidate at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. In 2008, he won the Danse l’Afrique Danse Choreographic competition from Africa and the Indian Ocean in Tunisia with his solo J’accuse’ in Tunisia. In 2011, he moved to Czech Republic with an emerging solo practice, teaching experience and rich choreographic skills. In 2014, he started working with Nora Chipaumire on portrait of myself as my father, which opened his mind and furthered his understanding on the aesthetics of the Black body, Black African performing bodies and the radical Black African presence.
Is a South Sudanese native who's been living in Portland, Maine since 2005. Her dance journey began at the age of 6, participating in traditional Zande dance in the South Sudanese community. She was emersed into dance locally by being selected to join Casco Bay Movers and PATHS while in high school where she studied Hip Hop, Modern, and Ballet. After concluding her time, Veeva returned to her roots and started practicing various forms of African dance. She has been awarded 2 artist residencies with Indigo Arts Alliance, and the Rebel Grant fund for her “Dance For A Nonprofit” work. Veeva has honed a passion for sharing her cultural dance with people locally. She has an opportunity to play with a mix of styles in Afro Beat that can offer a different approach to dance in Maine.
Orino started dancing when he was about 10 years old, back in his country (Rwanda). When he got to America, he danced solo until he was introduced to a youth dance group in 2019. He has performed at numerous weddings and events in New England. He teaches dance at PATHS (Portland Arts & Technology High School) and was awarded a residency in 2022 with Indigo Arts Alliance.
Ziggy honed his skill of dance in the streets of Rwanda. There he trained regularly with his troup of energetic Afro Beats/ Amapiano dancers. He has a fire that ignites while on stage. His passion for his craft shows through his captivating stage presence, intricate footwork and bboy style movements. He has won numerous awards and battles in Rwanda. He migrated to the US in 2019 and plans to continue his dance journey in the states. Ziggy performed with Kaolack during his residency with Indigo Arts Alliance.