Senegal’s Acogny has Risen Up as a Female Artist who has Defied Stereotypes around her Blackness                        

Africa’s most celebrated dancer and choreographer, Germaine Acogny, turns 80 on 28 May. Born in 1944 in Porto Novo in Benin, Acogny moved with her family and settled in Senegal as a young girl. She is often referred to as Africa’s mother of contemporary dance, because of her long performing, teaching and choreographic career. She has built the legacy of a dance company, Jant-Bi, and her now globally recognised school and dance centre in Toubab Dialaw, Senegal, called École des Sables (Place in the Sand). Acogny has received numerous awards, among them a Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale and a Bessie Award in New York. She has been bestowed with multiple honours from the governments of both Senegal and France.

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