International Master Drummer to join Ballet Creole

Ballet Creole, one of Canada’s leaders in African-Caribbean contemporary dance, opens its 28th Spring season on Friday with a stellar cast which will include Master Drummer, Amadou Kienou. a descendant of the Dafin people of Mali.

Kienou will join Ballet Creole onstage from May 11-13 for the production of Cry Freedom which will pay tribute to Chloe Cooley, an enslaved woman in Upper Canada, whose actions in 1793 served as the catalyst for the passing of the first legislation in the British colonies to restrict the slave trade.

Cry Freedom, will be presented at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto as part of the dance comnpany’s NextSteps series.

Kienou, a griot (an oral historian charged with preserving and transmitting his people’s history, culture and values), will “lend his artistry to the live music score for  the company’s new work,” says a news release from Ballet Creole.

“The music and choreography are inspired by and will reflect aspects of Chloe’s story, capturing her bravery, the repercussions of her actions, and how it relates to the Canada we currently live in,” it notes.

Active on the Canadian dance scene since August 1990, Ballet Creole has been recognized as a Company where “multicultural traditions blend with profound theatrical expression.”  Its high-energy works range from African ritualism to abstract modern, with a repertoire driven by the rhythm of the drums.