“Feverishly intricate rhythms from drummers who knew countless ways to subdivide a beat and make it jump.” – The New York Times
Performing in elaborate masks to the explosive percussion of a corps of brilliant drummers, Kotchegna Dance Company brings to life the ancient stories and legends of Africa’s Ivory Coast. Known for its masked and stilt dances, intricate footwork and explosive energy, Kotchegna Dance Company has been embraced by audiences from New York’s Prospect Park Band Shell and the American Museum of Natural History to Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival.
Kotchegna’s irresistible excitement and pulsating rhythms are an experience to behold. Under the artistic direction of master dancer and percussionist, Vado Diomande, Kotchegna is rapidly establishing itself as one of the most exciting African dance troupes in the United States.
About Vado Diomande
Born into the sacred stilt-dancing tradition of the Mahou people in northwest Ivory Coast, Vado was raised to dance. His father passed down the revered ways, and Vado soon exemplified the highest standards of the treasured customs. Noticed at an early age by scouts, Vado was taken to Abidjan to join the early days of the Ballet National de Cote D’Ivoire, absorbing the many diverse dances of over 60 ethnic groups of the Ivory Coast.
As a principal dancer in the Ballet National for 15 years, Vado toured the world, impressing audiences with the acrobatics of the Tall Mask, “God of the Sacred Forest”, Gue-Pelou. He established his own dance company, L’Ensemble Kokiegna d’Abidjan in 1989, in Abidjan, touring Ivory Coast and Australia. Arriving in the United States in 1994, Vado re-established his dance company in New York City, as Kotchegna Dance Company, developing a corps of multicultural dancers and a repertoire that is widely loved and admired.