Salia Sanou is a choreographer and dancer from Burkina Faso, born in Léguéma. At a young age he was introduced to the Bobo rituals and traditions, and his early training in African dance was with Drissa Sanon (Ballet Koul Odrafrou de Bobo Dioulasso), Alasane Congo (Maison des jeunes et de la culture de Ouagadougou), Irène Tassembedo (Compagnie Ebène) and Germaine Acogny (Ballet du Troisième Monde).
Salia Sanou was for many years the artistic director of the Choreographic Encounters of Africa and the Indian Ocean, and he was in residence from 2008 to 2011 at the Centre National de la Danse in Pantin. In 2011 he established his own company Perpetual Movements. He is co-founder and co-director of the Center for Choreographic Development La Termitière in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The first of its kind in Africa, this initiative is dedicated to creation and training worldwide.
He has created numerous choreographic works, including Beyond Borders (2012); Doubaley (The Mirror) with Japanese musician Takumi Fukushima; Clamor of Arena created in July 2014 for the Montpellier festival; Kupupura created for Tumbuka Dance of the Mozambique National Ballet, where he was guest choreographer; and Desire for horizon created in Paris in July 2016 for the Theatre National de Chaillot.
He is the recipient of many honors and awards, including first prize for contemporary African dance (AFAA) awarded during the National Culture Week in Burkina Faso; the Trophée Cultures France des Créateurs sans frontières; and he was named an officer in the order of Arts and Letters by the F
rench Ministry of Culture for his choreographic work around the world. He is the author of Afrique, danse contemporaine, published jointly by the Cercle d’art and the Centre National de la Danse de Pantin.
Through his work, Salia seeks to make visible the strength, poetry and musicality of a changing Africa and he aims to create work that reflects real life and the challenges of our time.
“The flow of ideas and cultures are personally very important to me, making us see, hear and understand the creative power as a vehicle of tolerance.” - Salia Sanou
For more information visit his website here
Sanou will began his residency in Minneapolis in October 2017, and created a work with Karen L. Charles's Threads Dance Project, our partner for the 2017 residency. Sanou taught classes for Threads company members, and participate in a variety of community events. In November, Sanou attended technical rehearsals and the premiere of his commissioned work at the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts on Nov. 3-4, 2017.