Artist Profile - Abdoulaye Sylla
Abdoulaye Sylla, master dancer and drummer from Guinea, West Africa, delights everyone with his energetic style and infectious smile. He grew up winning numerous dance competitions in and on behalf of his country. Abdoulaye performed around the globe with Les Ballets Africains, Guinea’s national dance troupe, and with Les Merveilles D’Afrique. He has performed and taught traditional dance and percussion at hundreds of venues throughout Africa, Europe, and the Americas. In 1994 Abdoulaye relocated to Connecticut where he was an adjunct professor at Trinity College and a Master Teaching/Performing Artist with the CT Arts Commission. Locally, he leads Message From Guinea, is on the WASAC teaching artist roster, 4Culture touring artist roster, and works with Powerful Schools and Arts Corps.
Abdoulaye received 2014 GAP funding for the creation of 21 authentic African costumes for children of various ages. The schools/programs typically don’t have sufficient resources to provide costumes for the students. The goal is to give the students and the audience an authentic experience of Guinean music, dance, and culture. For the audience, costumes unify the performers, create a mood, communicate essential information and deepen the cultural experience. Costumes help performers embody their characters and feel their parts. By wearing costumes, the children will see themselves as part of unified whole and get to have a more complete experience of what it feels like to be a performer.