Skip to main content

Les Enfants du Soleil West African dance

Les Enfants du SoleilAll right, the Ndaje West African dance festival and dance performances came to Cambridge, fired up the stage, created chaos, combustible energy and an ever lasting sizzling hot impression upon its audience…and left viewers wondering: where has all of the action gone?Beyond the earth rattling, universe shattering performances by international greats such as: Djeneba Sako (Mali), Malang Bayo, Babacar M’Baye, Marie Basse-Wiles, Pape N’Diaye, OUsmane Sall, Mor Talla Sam (all from Senegal) and Mamady Sano (Guinea), these master performers and teachers have traversed to New York City, and will again be scorching onlookers during their 2009 August festival.
Les Enfants du Soleil is a relatively new dance company, directed by Pape N’Diaye from the National Ballet of Senegal which is already gaining international momentum. Because its members are comprised of professional dancers from the USA, as well as master dancers from Guinea, Mail and Senegal, they effortlessly combine sacred traditions from abroad with jazz and modern genres from America. Some of the notable characteristics of this promising new company are the raucous (and authentic) djembe and sabar drummers (also from West Africa), the elaborate costuming, embedded story telling (from ancient civilizations), and contemporary, high-spirited movements with intricate footwork. Whereas African dance is often correlated with hip and rib gyration (of which there is plenty to share), this company expands its repertoire to include even the most flowing and elegant movements.
Some audience members from the June 2009 Cambridge performance said “it was like being in Africa,” and “I was totally lost in the moment, which lasted the entire 90 minute performance.” As an audience member myself, I can attest that not one seat was empty, and the standing ovations earned from a tuff Boston audience is further evidence that this group is TOO good to be missed. For more information on the NYC August conference, go to And, as always, enjoy the show!