• Welcome to the website of the French Institute of South Africa!

  • Bienvenue sur le site de l'Institut Français d'Afrique du Sud !

African dance is invited to the Dance Umbrella 2013 with Germaine Acogny

By choreographer Germaine Acogny (Senegal-France)   
at the Market Theatre, Newtown 
Wednesday 11 & Thursday 12 September @ 19:30  

Photos © Antoine Tempé

Internationally renowned Senegalese-French choreographer, also known as the mother of African dance, is returning to South Africa to show her latest creation, the solo piece Songook Yaakaar (Facing up to Hope), in  collaboration with her “artistic family” Pierre Doussaint, Fabrice Bouillon,  Bernard Mounier and Fred Koenig.

Germaine Acogny speaks again with her body, her gestures, her dance - but not only this. She also talks and she knows talking as well, and laughing and shouting and whispering. She makes you meet her Africa, its leaders, its people, the life today. She shows that there is hope in spite of disasters and ignorance.  

As part of the Dance Umbrella, Germaine Acogny will take part to a face to face interview after her performance at the Market Theatre on Thursday 12 September and will be leading a master class on Friday 13 September at 10.00am at Moving Into Dance.  


Venue and booking information

Market Theatre, 56 Margaret Mcingana  Street, Newtown - safe parking
Bookings at Computicket  on www.computicket.co.za or 011 492 2033

For more information about the Dance Umbrella's programme - click here.  

Presented at the Dance Umbrella 2013 in partnership with the French Institute of South Africa.  
www.ifas.org.za | www.facebook.com/institutfrancaisculture

About Germaine Acogny

Senegalese and French, she founded her first dance studio in Dakar in 1968. Thanks to the influence of the dances she had inherited from her grandmother, a Yoruba priest, and to her studies of traditional African dances and Occidental dances (classic, modern) in Paris and New York.

Between 1977 and 1982 she was artistic director of Mudra Afrique (Dakar), created by Maurice Béjart and the senegalese president and poet Leopold Sedar Senghor. In 1980, she wrote her first book untitled “African Dance”, edited in three languages.

Once Mudra Afrique had closed, she moved to Brussels to work with Maurice Béjart’s company, she organised international African dance workshops, which showed a great success among the European audience. This same experience was repeated in Africa, in Fanghoumé, a small village in Casamance, the south of Senegal. People from Europe and from all over the world travelled to this place.

Germaine Acogny dances, choreographs and teaches on all continents, becoming a real emissary of the African Dance and Culture. Her work and personality is highly respected in Africa and worldwide.

Together with her husband, Helmut Vogt, she sets up in 1985, in Toulouse, France, the “Studio-Ecole-Ballet-Théâtre du 3è Monde”.

In 1995, she decides to go back to Senegal with the aim of creating an International Center for Traditional and Contemporary African Dances. In 1997, Germaine Acogny becomes Artistic Director of the « Dance section of Afrique en Creations » in Paris, a function she held until September 2000.

In 2004 Germaine Acogny established the ECOLE DES SABLES, International Center for Traditional and Contemporary African Dances in Senegal, which is a place for professional education, a forum of exchange and a meeting place for dancers from Africa and across the world. Every year since 1998, three-month professional workshops for African dancers and choreographers are organised. About 30 dancers from all over Africa meet, exchange and work together each time.

In 2005 she was invited as regent at UCLA (University of Los Angeles).

Her solo “Tchouraï”, created in 2001, was successfully touring until 2008. She has presented it in France (Theatre de la Ville, Paris), Germany, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Italy, the US (New York, Chicago) and in China (first Contemporary Dance Festival in Shanghai).

In 2003/2004, she created the piece “Fagaala”, for her company JANT-BI, based on the genocide in Rwanda. It is co-choreographed with Kota Yamazaki/Japan for 7 African dancers, a fusion between Butoh and traditional and contemporary African Dances. It had already three very successful tours in the US, and was performed in Europe, Australia (Melbourne Festival, Sydney Opera House) and in Japan.

In 2007, she and Kota Yamazaki receive a BESSIE Award (New York Dance and Performance Award) for “Fagaala”.

Later that year, the great challenge was the choreographic part of the OPERA du SAHEL, an important African creation, initiated and produced by the Prince Claus Fund in Holland. It premiered in Bamako in February 2007 followed by performances in Amsterdam and Paris and a first African Tour in 2009.

In 2008, another choreographic work was organised as a collaboration between Jant-Bi company (7 male dancers) and Urban Bush Women company (7 Afro-American female dancers) from New York. This new creation “Les écailles de la mémoire – Scales of memory” was created by her and Jawole Zollar, the artistic director of Urban Bush Women and had a great success during several touring in USA and in Europe.

Her last creation, the solo « Songook Yaakaar » had its Premiere at the Biennale de la danse in Lyon in September 2010.


About the Dance Umbrella 2013
Celebrating 25 years of dancing all over Johannesburg!  

The first Dance Umbrella platform was presented 25 years ago in February 1988.   How much we have danced since then…   This year, Dance Forum in partnership with the Johannesburg Arts Alive International Festival once again offers you the opportunity to enjoy exciting, new and commissioned works from both local and international choreographers.   Dance Umbrella 2013 includes five international companies, 15 new works from South African choreographers along with the Stepping Stones programme which features 30 choreographers.

For more information about this year's Dance Umbrella's programme, click here.


Arts & Culture - Events & News

  • 2019 Absa latelier competition
    Events & News

    L'Atelier Competition 2019: Registration now open until 31 May

    L'Atelier Competition 2018: registration now open! ENTER HERE ABOUT The Absa L'Atelier art competition is one of Africa's most prestigious art competitions, and 2019 sees the 34th iteration of the competition. The Absa L'Atelier art competition rewards young visual artists, aged 21 to 40, with the… Read more
    Exhibitions & Workshops

    Ubuhle Bendalo - An Urban Art Residency

    UBUHLE BENDALO - AN URBAN ART RESIDENCY The French Institute of South Africa is proud to announce the first edition of Ubuhle Bendalo, an urban art residency devoted to street art in all its forms, curated by Breeze Yoko. Street artists Sitou Matthia and Doudou' Style are coming all the way from… Read more
  • 2019-season-banner2
    Events & News

    The 2019 cultural programme is out!

    The 2019 cultural programme is out! Following our media launch, our 2019 cultural programme is out! Discover our exciting highlights and much more. TERRITORIES OF MIGRATION: Cities such as Johannesburg emerged from massive transfers of populations in the late 19 century, and recent migrations even… Read more

Follow us:


Join the Culture Newsletter


Tel. (+27) 11 403 0458
Fax. (+27) 11 403 0465