Stephanie Bangoura is a dancer, gestalt therapist and trainer for ritual dance pedagogy. As the artistic director of the Bangoura Group and founder of the Dance of Cultures association, she designs concerts, dance events with live music, various seminar formats and training courses to make music for community building and dance as a healing art accessible to many people.
Stephanie has been working full-time with West African music and its dance forms for over 20 years and teaches them in various contexts. Be it as a performer or lecturer in Salvador, Havana, New York and Paris or as a therapist in Hamburg: Stephanie understands dance and music in the sense of the philosopher Martin Bubers as an “art between you and me”, in which “the human being by meeting the other becomes him/herself”
Since her youth, Stephanie has been interested in the socio-political and spiritual backgrounds of African-inspired dances and looked for ways to live their community-building dimension. In 2011 she completed a master’s degree in performance art at the State University of Salvador de Bahia / Brazil with a grant from the CNPq (Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia, Inovações e Comunicaçõesdes). Since then she has been working on the theoretical foundation of a ritual dance pedagogy that draws on African musical traditions and questions, reveals and transforms folkloric stereotypes. Her publication “The ritual dance pedagogy – about the art of dancing community” will appear in autumn 2021.
With the Dance of Cultures association, Stephanie organizes integrative music and dance theater projects for young refugees and educationally disadvantaged people in Brazil and Germany. She is currently in dialogue with various universities and training institutes in Europe, Africa and Latin America. As part of EU-funded Erasmus projects, the dancer works on an interdisciplinary exchange between actors from the performing arts, therapy and education. Stephanie has very good language skills in German, English, French and Portuguese as well as basic knowledge of Spanish, Italian and Wolof.