Moustapha Bangoura hails from the West African nation of Guinea. He is a 22-year veteran of the largest and most celebrated dance company from the continent of Africa – Les Ballets Africains The internationally acclaimed master dancer, drummer, and choreographer has traveled the globe bringing the colorful musical performance traditions of his homeland to audiences worldwide. Moustapha’s mission is to continue to share his expertise while preserving the richness and authenticity of the culture. He is recognized for his thorough and charismatic technique that is deeply rooted in tradition.
Moustapha was born in 1955 in Conakry, the capital city of Guinea. He is of Baga and Sousou decent. During his childhood he spent time in the village of Kiffinda Where he learned to appreciate the history of the Baga people. He started dancing and performing at the young age of 13. He was a dancer with Conakry II under the direction of Sekouba W. Camara from 1969 – 1975. Moustapha was aggressively recruited into Les Ballets Africains in 1975, where he quickly became principal dancer and drummer. While with Les Ballets Africains, Moustapha traveled extensively with acclaimed performances in over 165 capitals worldwide. He has studied with many but gives special thanks for the opportunity to study with the Masters–Frankis Magloire Camara, Italo Zambo, Hamidou Bangoura, Kemoko Sano, and Sekouba W. Camara. These great artists continue to inspire Moustapha’s unique style and vibrant choreography. In 1993 Moustapha founded LE BAGATAE DANCE AND DRUM, an authorized dance and drum school in Conakry.
Since 1997 Moustapha has been a traveling ambassador for Guinea–independently conducting music and dance residencies and master classes throughout Africa, Europe, Australia, and the United States. He is sponsored by the Republic of Guinea’ s Ministry of Youth and Culture as an official art and cultural representative. He has worked with numerous arts organizations, professional dance companies, schools and universities including the University of Florida at Gainesville, Illinois Wesleyan University, New World School of the Art in Miami, University of Montana, Lisangua Ya Bato, Tam Tam Mandigue USA, Abalaye African Dance Ensemble of Los Angeles, Coyaba Dance Theatre of Washington, DC, DunDun Dole of Clearwater, Florida and HolyGoat of Chicago.
Moustapha was the Associate Artistic Director for Muntu Dance Threatre of Chicago from 2000 – 2005. As Artistic Director Moustapha Choreographed Seven Dramatic pieces based on the culture of Guinea West Africa. In 2006 Moustapha Established Won Tan Nara / Ballet Guinean of France in Association with Polyphoniques in France resulting in performances across Europe. Visit www.myspace.com/wontannara for more about Won Tan Nara.
Moustapha Bangoura currently resides in Chicago, where he is Artistic Director with Le Bagatae Dance and Drum Ensemble, and he is also choreographer for Legends of West Africa. He continues to travel and share his knowledge and expertise of traditional dance and drum with students throughout the world.