SELECTED PAST PERFORMANCES
With small grants from local funding organizations such as 4Culture and Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, Gansango has independently self-produced eight public shows for the Seattle-area public since 2001. Each of these productions reached an audience of 300-900 people. Original choreography, live music, unique costumes and colorful backdrops are hallmarks of the shows, as well as guest performances by visiting artists. Featuring traditional dance from Benin and modern dance styles from West Africa, these ground-breaking and diverse performances have engaged and entertained world culture fans of all ages. Gansango’s performances have challenged audiences’ sense of African music and dance by exposing them to an innovative blending of cultures and highly-rehearsed artistry.
2019 UW Faculty Dance Concert
2019’s UW Faculty Dance concert featured choreographer Brian Brooks and a collaborative new work for large ensemble by Kawasaki Guest Artist Etienne Cakpo. The evening included four premieres faculty members Alethea Alexander, Rachael Lincoln, Dr. Juliet McMains and Jeffery Fracé. Three dance pieces choreographed by Etienne Cakpo were presented by 30 UW Department of Dance students. Etienne’s participation sponsored by the Kawasaki Guest Artist Fund. Meany Hall for the Performing Arts, UW Campus, January 25-27, 2019. Photo by Steve Korn
International Dance Day
Initiating a new celebratory tradition in 2014, Gansango presents “Circle of One,” an annual performance of professional and student works in a Seattle studio on April 29, International Dance Day. A low-cost event for the community, Circle of One mesmerized a standing-room only audience in April 2014 and again filled the house in 2015 and 2016. The tradition continues this year on April 29, 2017 at Open Flight Studio.
Seattle Theatre Group’s DanceTHIS!
Gansango Music and Dance has regularly collaborated with Seattle Theatre Group’s annual world dance showcase celebrations DanceTHIS! and Global Party, including company pieces presented in 2008, 2012, 2015 and 2016. DanceTHIS is STG’s hallmark dance program, featuring teen and community performers collaborating with local and nationally-known choreographers to share their culture through dance.
Giant Magnet 2010 Festival
Gansango Dance presents Benn Lañu (We Are One)
Commissioned by Giant Magnet (formerly Seattle International Children’s Festival), this show spotlighted the vibrant sabar dance and drumming styles from Senegal integrated with song, contemporary choreography, and traditional dance from Benin. Rhythmic drumming, singing and movement created a kaleidoscope of dancers working together as one in this celebration of the joy and drama of our lives through culture. This was Gansango’s second commission from Giant Magnet/SICF, having created Kaleta: A West African Children’s Ritual in 2003. That show went on to play at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C and tour the East Coast.
Tour of 5 Cities in Colombia 2009
Hosted by the Centro Colombo-Americano de Medellin, Gansango Music & Dance toured five cities in Colombia, South America in August 2009 (Pereira, Quibdo, Medellin, Armenia and Manizales). The company led workshops for the public, for university dance departments, met with academic groups to exchange on issues related to Afro-Colombian identity, and participated in Medellin’s annual “Festival of Flowers.”