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Le Ballet National du Senegal to Perform Traditional Dances of West Africa on Nov. 7

By Kelli Bocock-Natale

Release Date: October 16, 2002

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The UB Center for the Arts will continue the 2002-03 KeyBank Dance Series with Le Ballet National du Senegal at 8 p.m. on Nov 7 in the Mainstage Theatre in the Center for the Arts on the UB North (Amherst) Campus. Media sponsors for The KeyBank Dance Series are WGRZ-TV Channel 2 and WJYE 96.1-FM.

Le Ballet National du Senegal is the premier dance company performing the traditional dances of West Africa. It is the dream of the finest young African dancers and musicians to become a part of this company. Poet and national leader Leopold Senghor founded this exceptional group in 1960, the year of Senegal's independence. It has been praised worldwide and has performed 22 sold-out tours in North America, the most recent in 1998.

"Exuberance" is the word most used in the scores of glowing reviews received by Le Ballet National du Senegal. The company's work is characterized by high-energy choreography that soars above the stage, performed by dancers with unmatched physical gifts and discipline. These are amazingly beautiful dancers, both men and women, who are sharing their culture and traditions with the audience. The result is a type of dance that is moving, involving, impressive and very sensual.

For its Fall 2002 tour, the company is offering a brand new show titled "Kuuyamba," a word derived from the Mandingue culture. It is the second sojourn into the sacred forest where the initiation from adolescence into adulthood transpires through music, dance and song to bring back to life the beauty and freedom of the body. Each dance in the program is representative of this ritual in the West African culture. It celebrates the passing from youth to adulthood, while honoring traditions like marriage, circumcision and harvest time.

Tickets for Le Ballet National du Senegal are $20, $16 and $12 for the general public and $10 for UB students. Discount coupons are available at all area KeyBank locations. Tickets are available from noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday in the Center Box Office and at all Ticketmaster locations, including Kaufmann's. To charge tickets, call 852-5000; in Canada, call 416-870-8000. For group sales, call 645-6771. For more information, call 645-ARTS or visit the Web site at http://www.arts.buffalo.edu. The Center for the Arts is a Ticketfast location.