French-Senegalese dancer and choreographer, German Acuñe, known as “the mother of African contemporary dance”, won the 2021 Golden Lion Dance Award, according to the Venice Biennale announced in a statement on Tuesday.
The Venice Biennale noted that Akunay’s contribution “in the field of training and choreography for West African youth and in spreading her work widely in her country and the world has made her one of the independent voices with the greatest influence on the art of dance.”
The 76-year-old dancer led, especially between 1977 and 1982, the Mudra Africa School of Dance founded by the famous dancer Maurice Béjart and President Leopold Sedar Senghor. She “believes in the power of dance to change people’s lives and has always been committed to sharing her passion as a gesture of transformation and renewal.”
Akunyi, together with her husband Helmut Vogt, established the “L’Ecole Desable” international center for traditional and contemporary African dance in June 2004 in Senegal. She also launched a number of dance shows with her band “Janet – B”, which toured the whole world.
The Silver Lion Award was awarded to 34-year-old Northern Irish dancer and choreographer Oona Doherty, “a powerful voice on the European scene (…) dealing with issues of identity, gender and religion, which are often far from the main concerns of dance.” Which will take place between July 23 and August 1, German Aconii will present her show “Summers in the Beginning”, while Ona Doherty will be present with her work “Hard to Be Soft – A Belfast Briar.”
The Golden Lion Dance Award has won its previous editions big names such as Mors Cunningham (1995), Caroline Carlson (2006), Bina Bausch (2007), William Foresight (2010), Sylvie Gimme (2012), Anne Teresa de Kirsemaker (2015) and Maggie Maran (2016) Neither Repo (2020).
Source : saudi24news