Distinguished African performer/choreographer, Anssumane Sillá, seeks to create a global immersion of music and dance from West Philadelphia to West Africa. In support of his vision, we are raising seed capital to kick off the first trip in 2017. With your assistance, we will create an opportunity for students from the United States to learn from his teachers, principal choreographers of the Ballet Nacional de Guinea-Bissau, Luis Morgado and Jaquelina Ramos Camara.
The first trip in July 2017 will serve to build the foundation that will provide students the opportunity to expand their knowledge of West African culture through music and dance.
By the year 2018, we will have established a sustainable bridge between West Philadelphia and West African artists by creating an annual dance intensive. This immersion will serve to nourish local dance students, to enhance our collective knowledge, and strengthen our community through shared experiences while supporting the invaluable work of artists both at home and abroad.
Since arriving in Philadelphia in 2008, Anssumane has toured numerous states, performing as a dancer and drummer with the Voices of Africa Drum Ensemble. He has been a featured artist for the Pennsylvania Humanities Council Humanities on the Road initiative, choreographer for the Kùlú Mèlé African Dance Ensemble, recipient of “Best in Philly” Dance Class, 2012 and two time awardee of the Folk Art PA grant.
Anssumane choreographed the showcase production for ArtWell’s Gala 2015 where Director Spike Lee and Poet Laureate Sonia Sanchez were in attendance.
In addition to teaching traditional (Bijagos, Balanta, Fula and Manjaco) and contemporary dance styles from Guinea Bissau, he teaches a range of other West African dance styles in studios and schools in various Philadelphia neighborhoods.