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LES BALLETS AFRICAINS was formed in Paris in 1952 by distinguished Guinean choreographer Keita Fodeba, who enjoyed the support of numerous African heads of state. Les Ballets Africains toured the world successfully until Guinea's independence in 1958, when they were invited to become the country's national ensemble. Between 1958 and the present day, Les Ballets Africains have visited the four corners of the earth, sometimes remaining on tour for up to two years at a stretch. On one extraordinary marathon, they appeared in 165 capital cities, presenting an astonishing 695 performances in 750 days, traveling 180,000 kilometer by plane, 33,000 by train, and 21,000 by road.
Les Ballets Africains have been recognized and encourage in their role of roving ambassadors, carrying with them on their travels the pride and aspirations of their people. The company's ultimate mission is to foster a greater understanding of Africa with a view to creating favorable conditions for a healthy and fruitful cooperation between Africa and the rest of the world. Whether in Sydney, Rio, Berlin, Tokyo, Moscow, or Los Angeles, their performance has always received a tumultuous acclaim, together with an open invitation to return.
Today, with the continued encouragement and support of Dr. Saidou Dioubate, the National Director of Culture in Guinea, World Music Productions is organizing a new round of world tours starting in North America in 2004. Under the skilled guidance of director general Italo Zambo and choreographer/ technical director Hamidou Bangoura, the 35-strong ballet present their inimitable blend of tradition dance, music, and storytelling, laced with superb demonstrations of spectacle, acrobatics, comedy, and drama.
Mamoudou Conde, official representative of Les Ballets Africains, has been involved in the arts since his birth. His interest in, and dedication to, the arts have earned him an international reputation of excellence. Les Ballets Africains was established by the legendary artist Keita Fodeba, Mamoudou's charismatic relative. Paying homage to his cultural heritage, Mamoudou is recognized and awarded worldwide for his contributions, development, and promotion of African dance and music.