Alioune Diagne

Alioune Diagne (1982) is a choreographer, dancer, and performer who was born and still lives in Saint Louis, Senegal. As artistic director of his Compagnie Diagn'Art and the yearly international festival Duo Solo Danse, he is one of the new and up-and-coming key figures in the contemporary dance scene in West Africa. Self taught as a dancer, he attended the visual arts academy in Dakar for two years, finally devoting himself to dance, following classes with Salia Sanou and Seydou Boro (Burkina Faso), Kettly Nöel (Mali), Germaine Acogny, Ciré Beye, and Hardo Ka (Senegal).

After two solos (Blabla, 2008 and This line is my path, 2009), he created the successful group performance Banlieue in 2012 about life in the ghettos of Senegal. Banlieue had a run of over 27 performances including the CaDance Festival 2013 in The Hague, in Aix-en-Provence, and in 19 countries on the African continent. Alioune danced in the solo Flora by Kenzo Kusuda in Korzo and in the performance Fagaala by Germaine Acogny.

The subjects in his performances show a strong commitment and offer a contemporary view on themes that concern this young Senegalese creative artist. His style is distinguished by a relentless inventiveness and use of humour, at the same time interwoven with moments of intensity and tranquility.

At the highest level of Crosstown the most talented dancers work together with professional choreographers. This year, urban newcomer Sheree Lenting and the Senegalese Alioune Diagne go to work with seven Crosstowners. The individual, energetic, and personal movement style of the dancers is cherished and taken as a point of departure. In addition, cross overs between various dance styles are sought after as much as possible. 

African folk tales come to life in this new dance performance by Senegalese dance maker Alioune Diagne. The funny and clever Luc de Haas goes in search of adventure. On his way he meets animals such as Bouki the Hyena and Anansi the spider. This dynamically upbeat performance, danced by two dancers from Senegal, mixes hip-hop, breakdance, modern and African dance. 

The Senegalese ‘Battling Siki’ won the world title in boxing in Paris 1922, and became the first black boxing champion ever. He moved from Rotterdam to New York, where he was gunned down at the age of 28. Though his life story is unknown in his own country, the Senegalese dancer Alioune Diagne brings this boxing hero to life again. Siki not only fought in the ring, he also battled the prevailing racist zeitgeist. He dashingly fought for equal rights in Europe and the US in the nineteen twenties. In an impressive mixture of dance and boxing, Diagne creates a dialogue between himself and Siki, between then and now.

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