Diamano Coura West African Dance Company's Home Season
Diamano Coura West African Dance Company commemorates its 42nd Anniversary
with public performances to honor the company's long-standing commitment to community, cultural traditions, and education.
The highly acclaimed company will perform Saturday, November 25th at 8:00 PM at the Malonga Casquelourd Theater, 1428 Alice Street in Oakland, CA.
Background. Diamano Coura West African Dance Company is dedicated to the preservation, education, and appreciation of traditional West African music, dance, theater, and culture. Since its inception in 1975 Diamano Coura, under the direction of Emmy Award winner Dr. Zak Diouf and Artistic Director Naomi Diouf, has implemented its mission through ongoing workshops, performances, youth programs, touring engagements, lecture demonstrations, community outreach, and creative partnership programs with renowned artists and performing companies. In addition, Diamano Coura strives to portray West African music and dance specifically as forms not simply for entertainment or exhibition, but rather, means by which communities educate, communicate, organize, and preserve their ancestral past. Diamano Coura in the Senegalese Wolof language means "those who bring the message."
Dr. Zakarya Diouf is the Founder and Director of Diamano Coura West African Dance Company. He received his Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from U.C. Berkeley and was director of the Mali Ensemble, a multinational company representing the unity of the West African countries of Mali, Senegal, and Guinea. He has done extensive research into African music and dance along with choreographing some of the best dance and dramatic pieces for renowned companies including the San Francisco Ballet. In 2005, along with the Honorable Ron V. Dellums, Dr. Diouf was honored with the Community Leadership Award by the San Francisco Foundation for his vision in unifying the African cultural arts community, for serving as a mentor and educator of young artists, and for his artistic contributions to the development of African-based performing arts. On June22, 2013 he received the Malonga Casquelourd Lifetime Achievement Award from the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival.
Naomi Gedo Diouf has assisted and choreographed works for numerous performing companies including the Dutch Theater Van Oosten in the Netherlands and Belgium, and U.C. Berkeleys Drama Department. In 1998 and 1999, Mrs. Diouf collaborated with the San Francisco Ballet in the premiere of Lambarena, an African and classical ballet fusion piece for the Ballet for Utah, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Ballet of Florida, the Singapore and South African Ballet. A strong advocate of arts-in-education, Mrs. Diouf has worked with the Arts in Education programs in the San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Richmond, and Alameda School Districts to promote cultural literacy. She was named Distinguished Teacher by the Berkeley School Fund and has received numerous awards and recognition. She currently teaches West African dance and culture at Berkeley High School to over 200 students per semester.
Where are they now? Diamano Coura continues to embody an ever-evolving entourage of carefully trained male and female senior company dancers, actors, singers, acrobats, musicians, stilt walkers, and visual artists representing the African diaspora.
Malonga Casquelord Theater (View)
1428 Alice Street
Oakland, CA 94612
|Kid Friendly: Yes!|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|