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Dance, with its ability to make the spirit soar, is a true artistic expression of the indomitable spirit gift passed down to African descendants in the new world. Canadian and international dancers of African ancestry will share the stage to articulate a place for their art in the 21st century dance world.


The word “Salongo “means “We come together to create something beautiful.” The Salongo program is comprised of 5 dance companies and 5 soloists and 5 creative workshops ….


This program covers a spectrum of dance that includes Afro-Cuban, Caribbean, Congolese, Ghanaian, Zambian, Latin America, Jazz, South Africn, Contemporary and classical styles.


Deborah Castello-Karikari (Salongo Program Director)

Luther Hansraj (Stage Manager)


Ballet Creole


Len Gibson Ensemble


Usafiri Drum and Dance Ensemble


Zelma Badu

Zab Maboungou

Louis McWilliam

Kim McNeilly 

​Patrick Parson



This group of 20 dancers ranging from 13 – 19 reflects the spirit of resistance and continual empowerment that we pass on to our youth.  Matsimela means “Roots” in Sesatha, one of the languages spoken in South Africa. Their repertoire includes Farburundi means Dance a vibrant dance that embraces the joyous the mineworkers of contemporary South Africa who inspired it. I spirit inherent in traditional dance of the Sou Sou people of the Republic of Guinea. The Mineworkers Hails the mineworkers of contemporary South Africa who inspired it.  I Am Ancient Afrika, a chant in tradition ‘call and response’, brings us full circle as the youth look back with pride and confidence at the unrecognized contribution of their ancestors to civilization.

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Dance Spirit

A four day, soaring celebration of dance whose spiritual and aesthetic impulse is rooted in African dance expression. World renowned dancers from Scotland, France, Canada, the USA and South Africa, are featured in programs that range from jazz, ballet, African traditional to improvisational and new-media experimental expressions.

The Spiritual Impulse: Suits

The Spiritual Impulse: Suits

 by Learie McNicholls

July 10, 8 pm , Du Maurier Theatre Centre


Trinidadian –born McNicholls is a “dancesmith whose movement vocabulary conveys many layers of meaning while superb dancers execute every body and hand gesture with telling detail” (Toronto Star).


SO FAR featuring Rosina Bonsu

July 10, 8 pm 

Du Maurier Theatre Centre

*Opening performance for The Spiritual Impulse

The Spiritual Impulse: Incantations

The Spiritual Impulse: Incantations

 by Zab Maboungou

July 11, 8 pm , Du Maurier Theatre Centre


A work inspired by ancestral central African rhythms and dance. Maboungou is a choreographer, dancer, philosophy professor, publisher writer and founding artistic director of Montreal’s Compagnie Danse Nyata Nyata


Talk Back interactive Session with Zab following performance

Groupe Bassan

Groupe Bassan

July  12, Harbourfront

Suite Life: Links & Changes

Suite Life: Links & Changes

July  12, Harbourfront


Thirteen talented young dancers from various Toronto communities


programmer: Denise Matthews
Coach: Arlene Duncan

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