Lahydi Dance Theater

Guinean music and dance

Students at Lahydi Dance Theater’s Oakland Guinea Dance Conference.Master Guinean dancer Alseny Soumah created Lahydi Dance Theater in 2004 to create a venue where instructioin in the traditional music and dance of Guinea and other West African countries would be available to all.  The Lahydi Dance Theater is a performance company consisting of former members of Guineas’ most prestigous ballets.  Lahydi Dance Theater also produces an annual dance and drum festival, the Guinea Dance & Drum Festival, during which griots from Guinea, Sengal, and Mali who reside in the San Francisco Bay Area and across the United States come together to offer workshops, performances, and participate in a culminating dundunba (celebration or party). A particular focus on outreach to local teens and youth provides new students an opportunity to be exposed to the traditional arts.

Lahydi Dance Theater received grants in 2012, 2010, 2009, and 2008 from ACTA’s Living Cultures Grants Program to support its annual festival.