Yalani Bangoura

Yalani Bangoura
* Djeli, is a messenger of the African tradition. He or she is a historian, a teacher, and adviser and sometimes a healer, who strongly influences African Arts and Culture.
As the author "Amadou Hampate Ba" wrote: "when a Djeli is dying, it's like a library is burning."




     Yalani is a master dancer, performer, choreographer, acrobat, and teacher of dances from his country, Guinea, West Africa.  He is also known for his exciting hip-hop dance.  Yalani is currently a member of the award winning West African Dance and Drum Company, Les Merveilles de Guinea under the direction of Mr. Kemoko Sano, with Sano, who is considered one of the most recognized authorities on West African culture.  Yalani has also studied with Yamoussa Soumah, principal dancer and teacher with Les Ballet Africains.  Yalani has toured with Merveilles since 1995 in the United States and Europe and has also toured West Africa including the countries of Mali, Guinea, Senegal, and the Ivory Coast.  He moved to New York in 1998 and continues to perform with Ballet Merveilles and works independently with invitations from many other companies.  He has toured with Bamidele Dancers and Drummers, Sankofa, and Rhythmic Response throughout New England as a performer and arts educator.  He continues to be in residence with these companies as master artist. 

   Today, Yalani has developed the most respect of being one of the best traditional African Dance, Acrobat and Choreographer by the best in America.  Presently he travels all over America teaching African Dance and Drum companies traditional African Dance and Song with his son Aliseni and daughter M'Banbe Bangoura. 


1985-   Member of Makoura of Ballakanate

1988-   Lead dancer at Atlantique Club de Conakry of Foche

1993-   Co-founder of Djinna Star Dance de Matofo which performs Rap/HipHop/Funk

1993-   Tour Ivory Coast, West Africa- MASA Festival, Senegal, Guinea and Mali

1997-   10 month tour with Ballet Merveilles de Guinea including France and Belgium

1997-   Ballet Merveilles tours in the United States, sponsored by Lincoln Center

2000-   Disney World, Orlando, Florida 


1995-   present: member of Ballet Merveilles of Guinea

1999-   present: master classes, Guinea Fanyi Conference, Oakland, California

1999-   present: guest artist in residency New Orleans, Louisiana

2000-   present: guest artist with Feraba-African Rhythm- Tap

2000    present: guest artist- Bamidele Dancers and Drummers

2000-   present: guest artist- Sankofa Kuumba, Hartford, Connecticut

2001-   present: instructor- “The Dinizulu Center of African Culture and Research”, Queens, NY

2001-   present: guest artist- residencies in Tennessee

2001-   present: guest artist in residency at Buxton School, Williamstown, MA.

2001-   present: arts in education with Rhythmic Response, cultural enrichment residencies

2003-   Ballet Merveilles- Symphony Room, New York

2003-   present: community classes at YMCA, Harlem, New York

2003-   present: guest artist, Community College of Vermont, Bennington

2003-   present: guest artist, Excel Program, Bennington College, VT

2003-   master classes- 7th African- Caribbean Dance and Drum Festival, Amherst, MA

2011-   present: Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble (Robert & Wanda Dickerson) in house or residency Master Teacher

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