About the Program
Kick off the series with Le Ballet Dembaya, a West African drum and dance company.
With Guinea being their primary country of study, they practice traditional percussive rhythms, typically played on djembe and dundun drums, accompanied by intricate, polyrhythmic dances from various regions throughout West Africa. In hopes of preserving a beautiful cultural tradition, Dembaya’s members have dedicated themselves to studying and mastering this art, while exposing its powerful healing qualities.
An official group since 2015, the members of Le Ballet Dembaya have been drumming and dancing together since early childhood. Their parents are among the first generation of people in Los Angeles to study, practice, and celebrate the traditions of djembe music. Le Ballet Dembaya—which means “the dance of the family” in the Soussou language spoken in Guinea—chose their name to acknowledge the sibling-like bond between the company members, to recognize their parents and elders whose footsteps they are following in, and to honor their ancestors each time they practice or perform this beautiful art form. Le Ballet Dembaya hopes to use this as a tool for education, healing, and empowerment.