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BABA [ back ]
Master Drummer | Dancer
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Raymond Sylla has worked internationally for over thirty-five years as a choreographer, historian, teacher and musical arranger. For the last six years he has served as Artistic Director of ORISA - African Dance and Music for a New World, a multicultural performance group that expresses West African culture through dance, music and drama.

Originally from Dakar, Senegal, Mr. Sylla's unique style and expertise stems from his study and training in traditional African dance, music and culture of various ethnic groups of West Africa. In his anthropological endeavors he has traveled to many African villages, meeting with the leaders, elders and others who are the keepers of the histories, traditional dance and music styles. The songs document information he received from many who have since passed.

Mr. Sylla was granted a choreography fellowship from the Ohio Arts Council and service residencies through the Arts-in-Education program. He acts as a Visiting Artist Critic for the Ohio Arts Council and as an African Art Advisor for the Senegalese Association of Ohio. He also presents professional artists of West African dance and music in addition to his work as Artistic Director of ORISA.

As a professional arts educator and historian he has taught in cities throughout the United States and is dedicated to the preservation and sharing of his culture through the living art forms of music and dance.

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Instructor / Faculty


Antioch College Dance Department.....Yellow Springs, OH
Sinclair Community College.....Dayton, OH
Dennison University.....Dennison, OH
Wittenberg University.....Springfield, OH
Bamidele Dancers and Drummers.....Amherst, MA
African-American Drum and Dance Ensemble.....Cincinnati, OH
Po Tolo Studio Complex.....Cincinnati, OH
The McClendon Institute for Learning.....Dayton, OH
The Dayton, Columbus and Cincinnati Public Schools.....OH
Maimouna Keita Dance Conference.....Cleveland, OH
TRI Dance Club-Cleveland Dance Conference.....Cleveland, OH
Woodstock Drum and Dance Conference.....Woodstock, NY
Kankouran West African Dance Conference.....Washington, D.C.
The Rainbow Family trip to Africa.....Conakry, Guinea; Dakar, Senegal
Tokyo Workshop of Drum and Dance.....Tokyo, Japan
Access to Afreeka Drum and Dance.....Buffalo, NY
Sankofa Festival, Langston Hughes Center.....Buffalo, NY
Art of Black Dance and Music.....Cambridge, MA
Li Sangua Ya Bato Drum and Dance Camp.....Woodstock, NY
Arts-in-Education.....Kenmore, NY
The Buffalo Public Schools.....Buffalo, NY
The African-American Cultural Center.....Buffalo, NY
The Langston Hughes Institute.....Buffalo, NY
Guniea Fania Dance Conference.....Oakland, CA



Choreography


Ballet Afrikans de Diabel Gueye.....Senegal, West Africa
Boka N'Deye African Dance Troupe.....Boston, MA
Art of Black Dance and Music.....Cambridge, MA
Ohio Dance Festival.....Columbus, OH
Muntu Dance Theater.....Chicago, IL
Columbus Dance Works-Wexner Center.....Columbus, OH
Antioch College Dance Concert.....Yellow Springs, OH
African-American Drum and Dance Ensemble.....Cincinnati, OH
African Beginnings Children's Troupe.....Columbus, OH
Cleveland African-American Arts Museum.....Cleveland, OH



Performances


Ballet Bougourabou.....Senegal, West Africa
Arts by the Riverside.....Findley, OH
Cleveland Museum of Art "Voices of the Ancestors".....Cleveland, OH
An Afternoon with Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa.....Cincinnati, OH
Mayoral Inauguration Ceremony.....Dayton, OH
San Diego Animal Park.....San Diego, CA
Walt Disney's Epcot Center.....Orlando, FL
Katherine Dunham's African Festival.....East St. Louis, MS
New Orlean's World Fair.....New Orleans, LA
Dayton Black Culture Festival.....Dayton, OH
Massillionian Museum.....Washington, D.C.
1998 Kwanzaa Celebration-African-American Museum.....Cleveland, OH
Canada Dance and Drum Festival.....Guelph & Hamilton, Ontario



Artistic Director


Ballet Afrikans de Diabel Gueye.....Senegal, West Africa
Ballet Bougourabou.....Senegal, West Africa
Boka N'Deye.....Boston, MA
Obarada-Yo Dance Theatre.....Cincinnati, OH
ORISA-African Dance and Music for a New World.....Columbus, OH
Gouye Bokk Kane.....Senegal, West Africa



Presented


Marie Basse Wiles, Choreographer
Maimouna Keita Dance School of New Jersey

Malisa Diop, Master Dancer
National Ballet of Senegal

Alassane Saar, Master Dancer
Silimbo Dance Company of Senegal

Fatou
Silimbo Dance Company of Senegal

Marima Sibo
Silimbo Dance Company of Senegal

Meshak Sela, Musician
Muntu Dance Theater of Chicago

Babou Sagna, Master Drummer
Casamance, Senegal

Omani, Dancer
Muntu Dance Theater of Chicago

Po Tolo West African Dance Conference
Cincinnati, Ohio

Assane Konte, Artistic Director
Kankouran, Washington, D.C.

Medoune Gueye, Musican Director
Kankouran, Washington, D.C.

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This Artist was selected for incusion in the Pennsylvania Performing Artists on Tour roster.
Pennsylvania Performing Artists on Tour
Funding may be available to support engagements in DC, DE, MD, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, VA, WV and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Contact PennPAT.org for more information.

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