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About Lua Shayenne:
Lua Shayenne is a graduate of Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts. She apprenticed and trained with COBA (Collective of Black Artists), mentor Debbie Wilson, Helen Jones & Milton Myers at the Ballet Creole Professional Training Program. She frequently travels to Africa to research and train in traditional and contemporary African dance. In 2007, she studied with Miss Kwakwa and Ben Onduro at Legon University in Accra, Ghana. In 2009 and 2010, Shayenne received a Travel grant from the Canada Arts Council and an Access and Career Development grant from the Ontario Arts Council to train in Mali, Senegal and Guinea. There she was privileged to work with M’ba Coulibaly, Issa Cissoko, and Mamadou kante (Mali), Ousmane Ndiaye (Senegal), Bertrand Saky /Jant-bi company member (Ivory Coast); Mohamed Cisse, Marie Bangoura, Moussa Soumah and Bangaly Bangoura (Guinea). She has performed and collaborated with drummers Amadou Kienou (Burkina Faso), Mohamed Diaby (Guinea), Alpha Barry; dancers and choreographers Bakari E. Lindsay (COBA), Kevin Ormsby (Kashedance), De-Napoli Clarke (RJC Dance, UK) Mafa Makhubalo (South Africa) and the late Eleo Pomare (NYC).
From 2006 to 2011, she was co-founder, member and choreographer of Aya Dance Collective. As a community arts practitioner, Lua has facilitated dance and theatre workshops for many organizations such as Driftwood Community Centre, Recognize the Real (Jane/Finch) and YAG (Youth Advisory Group), Art Starts, Falstaff Girls Club, Daystrom Summer camp, Firgrove P.S. and Eastdale High school. She has been commissioned to create dance works for youth by Firgrove P.S and by Dusk Dances in 2007, 2010 and 2011. She is a member of Toronto Playback Theatre and has spent five years performing with the company, as well as mentoring and conducting their Youth Playback Company.
Lua Shayenne presents traditional African and Afro-contemporary dance works that explore current subject matters with the aim to be a vehicle for spiritual and social progress. Choreographer and founder, Lua Shayenne draws on the aesthetics and values of African culture to create dance pieces that seek to upset and challenge multiple conventions and stereotypes.