SOFA Spotlight: Etienne Cakpo, The Artist Who Resurrected The African Traditional And Contemporary Dance

Etienne Capko - Spirit Of Africa

Originally from Benin, Etienne Cakpo is the Artistic Director and lead choreographer/dancer of Gansango Music and Dance. Etienne has been building his repertoire of traditional and modern dance for over thirty years. As director of Gansango Music & Dance, Etienne leads the company’s work with dozens of public libraries, schools and independent arts agencies locally and nationally to make performance of dance and music from Africa available to a wide range of audiences, including young children.

Etienne and his Dance Company Gansango has independently self-produced eight public shows for the Seattle-area public since 2001.  Each of these productions reached an audience of 300-900 people. Original choreography, live music, unique costumes and colorful backdrops are hallmarks of the shows, as well as guest performances by visiting artists. Featuring traditional dance from Benin and modern dance styles from West Africa, these ground-breaking and diverse performances have engaged and entertained world culture fans of all ages. Gansango’s performances have challenged audiences’ sense of African music and dance by exposing them to an innovative blending of cultures and highly-rehearsed artistry.

Gansango is directed by Etienne Cakpo, originally from Benin and now a choreographer and teacher based in Seattle, Washington. Gansango company collaborating artists perform regularly in the Seattle area, nationally and internationally for audiences of all ages.

The company performances fuse music and movement from across the African continent, drawing heavily from the dance and music traditions of Benin, Ghana and Togo, among other countries. Instruction and shows often feature traditional dance from Benin, including ritualistic dances, regional social ceremony dances, such as the Chenkoumé dance from Savalou, and royal historical dances such as the Zehli dance from the late 1800’s.

Gansango’s independent productions include:  a Tour Of 5 Cities in Comumbia in 2009, Giant Magnet Festival in 2009, Dance This in 2008, 2012, 2015, and 2016, International Dance Day 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, Gbéplé: The Spirit of Union, 2001, Jijoho: Dance of Peace, 2003, La Calabasse, 2007, Horizon: A line that doesn’t exist, 2010, Mikwaabo nɖù Benin, 2012, DanceGarden, 2015, Crossroads Africa, 2015, Wedou-Wedou, 2016, Africa Remix, 2017.


7 thoughts on “SOFA Spotlight: Etienne Cakpo, The Artist Who Resurrected The African Traditional And Contemporary Dance”

  1. Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to assert that I acquire actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently quickly.

  2. Right here is the perfect blog for everyone who would like
    to understand this topic. You realize so much
    its almost hard to argue with you (not that I really will need to…HaHa).
    You definitely put a fresh spin on a subject that’s been written about for many
    years. Great stuff, just wonderful!

  3. First off I would like to say wonderful blog! I had a quick question in which I’d
    like to ask if you don’t mind. I was curious to find
    out how you center yourself and clear your mind
    before writing. I’ve had a difficult time clearing my thoughts in getting
    my thoughts out. I truly do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually wasted simply just trying to
    figure out how to begin. Any ideas or hints? Thank

  4. Hello, i think that i saw you visited my site so i came to “return the favor”.I
    am trying to find things to improve my website!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *