I’ll never forget how, in 2012, while on holiday in Toulouse, I came face to face with a poster that both infuriated and delighted me. It read: « The Arts of Central African Republic (CAR) – an expression of dance!» How dare they? I thought to myself. How dare they start organizing Central African dance workshop here of all places? And now? Now, that I don’t live here anymore. It wasn’t fair! Yet, I was thrilled.
I didn’t blink. I didn’t wait. I signed up. For the first time in my life, I would learn to replicate the steps of my ancestors. The feels were all so real. My CAR-culture is not easily accessible in Europe. And I am as responsible as anyone else.
I’ve always been fascinated by the diverse cultures from the Mandingue region that’d reached Europe. Now, that I dance the steps of my people. That my body expresses itself in a way I didn’t think possible; people believe I’m from there. That I grew up there. I didn’t. I guess my « border free » approach must have something to do with it (by the way, if you haven’t checked out my somewhat more official presentation, go and check it out).
Inspired by that workshop, I decided to write about those cultures that need preserving and caring. With the help of a dear friend of mine, I wrote a first article. It was published in February 2013 in UnitedExplanations. I talked about how we can learn to appreciate traditional Central African Culture through dance. Of course, it was through dance.
The article was well received and I was flooded by message of support, encouraging me to continue on this endeavour. But, as it often does, life happened. You are confronted to obstacles, insurmountable mountains that block the way. Deserts have to be crossed. Sharks have to be fought. And you wake up one morning, four years later, and your pen is still waiting to be picked up.
It’s 2017 and the muse is back. She has survived the trail, the desert and the sharks and she i
s hungry for more.
This is why I’m now presenting you my webpage, blog included and so much more to come.
Dancing is my outlet. I’ve tried hip-hop, salsa, bachata, rock and a bit of roll but there is nothing that will resonate within my soul the way traditional African dances do.
I ain’t gonna write up a list of all the traditional dances in CAR and Mandingue country, I am « border free » remember?
However, I’m starting this project because of a deep desire to share all my love for traditional dances from all around the world.
So, what do you say: Wanna join me for a waltz? All right then, meeting point every 3/4 months right here: don’t miss out!