Germaine Acogny

Germaine Acogny (Allahé, 1944) is an international dancer, choreographer and teacher. She has become a true ambassador of African dance and culture. This year she was awarded the Golden Lion of Dance at the Venice Biennale.

She founded Dakar’s first dance studio in 1968. She was artistic director of Mudra Afrique, created by Maurice Béjart in partnership with former president of Senegal and poet Leopold Sedar Senghor. In 1980, she wrote her first book, entitled African Dance (Kunsterverlag Weingarten, 1994) which has been published in three languages.

In 2004 Germaine Acogny established the École des Sables, the International Center for Traditional and Contemporary African Dance in Senegal. She has performed her work upon the most renowned stages of the world, such as the Theatre de la Ville de Paris, the Shanghai Contemporary Dance Festival, the Melbourne Festival, the Sydney Opera House, and the Biennale de Lyon.

Her career has been recognised with many distinctions, among them: Pioneer Woman, by the Senegalese Ministry of Family and National Solidarity and Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite, Officier des Arts et des Lettres and Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Legion d’Honneur, by the Republic of France. The African magazine Jeune Afrique chose Acogny as one of the 100 individuals who define Africa.