About The company:
Ballet Warraba is an international dance company that performs in the tradition of African "ballet" to bring ancient wisdom to contemporary life. Mainstage performances and educational programs infuse all audiences with the joyful and transformative energy inherent in West African celebrations. Join this diverse group of artists for a sensory journey that spans continents, dissolves ethnic boundaries, and touches the heart of human experience.
About BONYA- Respect!
In a small, African village or a global society, respect is the core value that holds the community in balance. West African cultures teach us that even when we have nothing else to give, we must give respect: to our peers, our elders, nature, the spirit world-and most of all, to our mothers, for all they have given us. Artistic Director Fatim Minor collaborates with Bolokada Conde and Kevin Meyame to bring this passionate message home with explosive dance, stirring music and moving ritual. The result is a genuine celebration of life that you can't afford to miss!
"exciting, rousing, passionate and energetic...
You may find it hard to sit still in your seat, the pounding rhythms... are contagious."
-The Indie, April 2004, Rena Wright
"Most notable about the performers is the professionalism of their choreography, their flowing and colorful native costumes, authentic instruments and apparent adoration for their art."
-Asheville Citizen Times, October 20, 2002
-Constance C. Richards
FATIM MINOR (Artistic Director/ Choreographer)
Ms. Minor has dedicated her life to the study of dance, music and culture of Guinea, West Africa. She has lived and traveled there many times, including a yearlong residence, and takes trips annually. Fatim's primary teachers include Damaye Soumah, lead dancer for les Percussions de Guinee, and Sekouna Sylla of Ballet Djoliba. Fatim currently works as the Artistic Director and Choreographer of Ballet Warraba.
BOLOKDA CONDE (Musical Director/ Premiere Soloist)
Bolokada Conde played jembe before he could walk. Born in Kissidougou, Guinea, he was called to Conakry by Les Percussions de Guinee as a Premiere Soloist. Bolokada is famous in his region and in Conakry as a master folklorist and was given land by the Mayor of Kissidougou. In the past 3 years he has toured the US and many other countries with Les Percussions de Guinee and gained an international reputation as one of the most exciting jembe players alive. He is also featured on the IMAX movie Pulse: a STOMP Odyssey and two CD's. Bolokada is currently the Musical Director and Premiere Soloist for Ballet Warraba.
TIANI TARR (Assistant Musical Director)
Tiani Tarr is co-founder of Ballet Warraba in Asheville, NC. Mr. Tarr studies balaphone with Bakaly Camara and has traveled to Guinea numerous times, including a year-long residence. Mr. Tarr is also a student of Drum Masters Bolokada Conde and Koumgbanan Conde, formerly with Les Percussions de Guinee.
ALKALY CAMARA (Master Balaphonist)
Alkhaly Camara is the world's premier balaphonist. His seven decades of experience have seasoned divine talent into a master musician who consistently awes audiences. In his long career, Mr. Camara has traveled the world with the most celebrated African dance companies including Ballet Djoliba and Les Ballets Africains of Guinea. He has toured Asia, North America, Europe, Africa, Australia, and South America and recorded with acclaimed artists including Bembaya Jazz, Les Percussions de Guinea, Sekouba Bambino, Fode Kouyate, and Momo Wandle. Mr. Camara is truly one of Guinea's most valuable cultural treasures.
DAMAYE BOUNTOU SOUMAH (Lead Dancer)
Damaye Soumah is one of the most celebrated dancers in Guinea. She has been called from one National Ensemble to another because of her spirited dancing and her beautiful voice. In her career Damaye has been a member of Les Ballets Africans, Ballet Djoliba, Federation de Conakry, and Les Percussions de Guinea and has performed throughout the world including France, Cuba, South Korea, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, the USSR and the United States. Damaye is the Lead Dancer and Assistant Choreographer for Ballet Warraba.
KEVIN MEYAME (Lead Dancer/ Musician)
Kevin Meyame is a native of the Man region of the Ivory Coast in West Africa. He has trained extensively in traditional Ivorian dances as well as Contemporary African dance. As a member of the Artistic Ensemble Tanably, Kevin has performed and taught throughout France and the U.S. He has now relocated, making him Asheville's first resident artist from the Ivory Coast. Mr. Meyame is the Lead Dancer for Ballet Warraba for his second year.