Africa Direct

First Dance Steps: Contemporary dance in Mali

A Malian contemporary dance company travels to a remote village to integrate traditional dances into their work.

Lassina Koné is a dancer, choreographer and the artistic director of his contemporary dance company Don Sen Folo, meaning “first dance steps”. He wants to raise the profile of dance in Mali and also integrate traditional dances into his modern choreography.

He and his company travel to Bancoumana village, where they meet tribal leaders, learn the traditional dance of the Donso hunters and perform for the community.

First Dance Steps, by filmmaker Ousmane Zoromé Samassékou, is a creative journey between ancient and modern artistry, showing a rarely seen side of Mali today.

Ousmane Zoromé Samassékou is a multi-award-winning director and producer based in Mali. His feature documentary, The Last Shelter, won Grand Prize at CPH DOX in 2021 and has screened globally to great acclaim. He has made several films for Africa Direct.