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Yao Eby

Yao Eby
  • France
  • Choreographer
  • Interpreter

Yao Eby spent his formative years steeped in the traditional music and dances of his village in the Ivory Coast. He then travelled to Paris to pursue his dance training, followed by a spell at the American Center (1983-1984) which inspired him to explore jazz, contemporary dance and traditional forms from other African nations (Guinea, Senegal). He then spent a series of periods in residence in New York with the Djoniba Drum and Dance Center and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, learning how to reconcile these two distinct techniques using the Dunham method (celebrating the spirit of African dance with techniques drawn from contemporary dance). In 1989 he also trained at the School of Dance and Cultural Exchange in Abijan. After completing his national diploma in jazz dance (1990) he moved to Reunion, where he ran the Redomdanse dance academy and taught African dance at the university (1990-1994). In addition to his responsibilities as Professor of jazz dance at Université Lyon 3 (1995-2008) and African dance at the National School of Music in Villeurbanne (since 1996), he has taught African dance at the Conservatoire de Lyon since 2007. In 1998 he founded the association Y-VOIR, dedicated to promoting the arts in all their forms and helping to fund the development of schools and sanitation facilities in the Ivory Coast. As a dancer, choreographer and teacher, Yao Eby has devoted his career to exploring the creative possibilities of traditional dance in contemporary culture. In the process he has earned a solid artistic reputation with a dozen original works to his name.

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