International Week Celebration – Black Heritage – “Edutainment” – World Music
The rich and exciting traditions of the West African country of Ivory Coast are brought to life in the Kotchegna Dance Company’s irresistible performance. Audiences from three continents and all age groups have delighted in their repertoire of up to sixty regional dances and songs. In addition to drum and dance, leader Vado Diamonde can perform his mind-blowing stilt walking, a tradition passed down for generations in his family.
Vado Diamonde has danced since the age of four, mastering over sixty different regional dance and drumming traditions of his native Ivory Coast, as well as other nearby West African countries. While still a teenager he was recruited by the Ballet National de Cote d’Ivoire where he both performed and choreographed for over 15 years. He toured extensively with the ballet, performing throughout Africa, Asia, Europe and Australia.
In 1989 he established L’Ensemble Kotchegna D’Abidjan, which has resided in the United States as the Kotchegna Dance Company since 1994. He continues to strengthen his experience as a choreographer, artistic director, teacher and performer. Vado is also a master drum-maker.
“I just wanted to thank you again for suggesting Kotchegna to perform at St. Joseph’s College. They were absolutely amazing! They captivated the entire room and had everyone dancing in their seats. The students couldn’t wait to get up and dance with them! It is always a pleasure working with Conscious Campus.” Magie Hassanin/Assistant to the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students & Multicultural Student Life St. Joseph’s College
“Vado Diamonde, a stilt walker, managed high kicks, as well as a back walkover in thrilling and suspenseful slow motion.”
GIA KOURLAS, The New York Times