Etienne Cakpo (guest performer), a professional dancer and choreographer from Benin, is the director, lead choreographer and dancer of Gansango Music and Dance. Etienne has been building his repertoire of traditional and modern dance for nearly 20 years. In addition to conducting personal research to learn regional dances and musical traditions in his country, he has worked in remote areas of Benin with international ethnomusicologists, musicians and filmmakers. Etienne has performed with artists from many countries, including Haiti, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Senegal, France, Mali and the United States. He currently lives and works in Seattle. Etienne has been a teacher for DT since 2004 and a guest choreographer and performer at DT in 2002 and 2006. gansango.com
Lora Lue Chiorah (African/Sukutai Music and Dance Ensemble choreographer) has taught for the Washington State Arts Commission for over 20 years, sharing her knowledge of music, song, dance, story-telling and children’s games. She has performed for the past 27 years either with Lora and Sukutai Music and Dance Ensemble or with Dumi and Minanzi Marimba Ensemble. Lora was born and raised in Zimbabwe. She now lives in Seattle, where she has worked as a recreation specialist for the Seattle Parks Department for 25 years, primarily at Langston Hughes Cultural Arts Center. Her group, Sukutai Music and Dance Ensemble performs traditional and contemporary music from Africa with vibrant music, colorful costumes and dances with high-energy footwork and quick, lively drumming. Lora instructed for the 2006 and 2007 DT Intensive and choreographed and performed in the 1999 and 2006 performances. STG and Spectrum Dance presented Sukutai last December at Kane Hall. myspace.com/sukutai
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