Bamidele Dancers & Drummers Dancers & Drummers Born Away From Home to Bring Us Back Seku Sylla
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About Us

About Us
"Saturday night's performance by the Bamidele Dancers & Drummers was a beautiful program, the sort that leaves a vivid memory and warm anticipation of attending again as soon as possible." ~ Daily Hampshire Gazette, Northampton, MA

Company Profile

Company Profile
The Bamidele Dancers & Drummers (BDD) are based in Riverview, Florida. They are available for Live and Virtual performances. They are art educators, composers, musicians, dancers and choreographers from Africa, the Americas and the Caribbean who are dedicated to the preservation of African and African rooted cultures through dance, music and song. Members have expertise in African, Caribbean and Brazilian culture.

The company has presented concerts, lecture demonstrations, workshops and classes for student and adult audiences in colleges, Universities, and theatres throughout the United States, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Europe and Africa. In 1996 the BDD were selected to appear in print ads for the State of Massachusetts in conjunction with the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism. The company was selected "World Beat Group of the Year" for the Massachusetts Pioneer Valley in 1993. They were selected to perform for Nelson Mandela in 1990 and have performed with folk singer Pete Seeger. The BD&D appeared in the filmed attraction "Secret of the Luxor Pyramid."

BDD have been on the roster of Young Audiences of Massachusetts since 1987. Although Florida based since 2019, they are still on the roster as touring artists. For scheduling school programs in Massachusetts please call Young Audiences at (617) 629-9262.

Marilyn M. Sylla

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Marilyn M. Sylla, Director of The Bamidele
Dancers & Drummers
MARILYN M. SYLLA, Director: For 24 years (until a 2019 relocation to Florida), Mrs. Sylla was a Five College Dance Lecturer based at Smith College in Massachusetts. In this capacity she taught African, Brazilian and Haitian dance forms at Smith College, Mt Holyoke College University of Mass, Amherst College in addition to Hampshire College. She has also taught at Hampshire College. She has studied African dance forms in Guinea, Senegal, the Gambia, the Casamance, Brazil, Haiti and Puerto Rico. Since 1987 she has taught and performed throughout the United States at venues including Jacobs Pillow, the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York and Kripalu Center for holistic health in Lee Mass. She has been in residence at Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama; Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY; and Ursinus College, in Collegeville, PA in addition she has taught several times at the Bates College Dance Festival in Lewiston, Maine; for six years at Drika Overton's Portsmouth Percussive Dance Festival and is a teaching artist with the Sankofa Dance Project at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst Mass. Marilyn has taught West African dance at the Universidade Federal da Bahia in Bahia, Brazil and has performed and taught in Caguas, Guayama and Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Marilyn studied Haitian Folkloric dance and taught West African dance in Port Au Prince, Haiti at the Ecole National Des Arts and in Mirebelais, Haiti at the Centre Cultural Alexandre Kenskoff. She has also performed at the Theatre Nationale' in Port-au-Prince, Haiti with Ballet Folklorique Tamboula DHaiti, Inc.

Marilyn is a dancer with the Classic 407 dance team for the Orlando Magic NBA team.

In 2021 she received a Certificate of Completion in the course: Introduction to Trauma-Informed Practices Through the Arts Young Audiences Professional Learning Series.

In March 2007 Marilyn received a "Finer Womanhood" Award from the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. at the University of Mass.

In 1998 she received an award from the University of Massachusetts for "Outstanding Support to Women of Color."

Marilyn is a board member of A Better Chance Program, in Amherst, MA.

Sekou Sylla

Sekou Sylla
Sekou Sylla, Artistic Director of Bamidele Dancers & Drummers
SEKOU SYLLA, Artistic Director, is a master dancer & musician from Guinea, West Africa. He was a principal dancer, acrobat and musician with Les Ballet Africains, the National Dance Company of the Republic of Guinea, West Africa, until relocating to Massachusetts in 1996. For over 20 years he performed and taught first with Ballet Djoliba then with Les Ballets Africains. He has taught and performed all over the world including Africa, Australia, Europe, Spain, Korea, Finland, France, England, Mexico, Russia, China, Canada and North and South America. Since relocating to the USA Sekou has taught African dance and music in Bahia, Brazil at the Universidade Federal da Bahia and at Male Du Bale. He has performed and taught in Cagua, Guayama and Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.

He taught African drumming at Mt. Holyoke College in Massachusetts and was also a Five College musician accompanying dance classes. He has taught dance at Greenfield Community College, Mt. Holyoke & Smith College and the University of Massachusetts; Skidmore College in Saratogoa Springs, NY; Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama; Ursinus College, Collegeville, PA and has acted in theatre at California Technical Institute in California. He has taught several times at the Bates College Dance Festival in Lewiston, Maine; has taught and performed for six years at Drika Overton's Percussive Dance Festival in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and is a teaching artist with the Sankofa Dance Project at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Mass. He has also performed and taught at various venues in the United States, Brazil and Puerto Rico.

Sekou personally received an outstanding review in the New York Times during his work with Les Ballet Africains.

He speaks English, and is fluent in French and his tribal languages Sou Sou and Malinke. He has appeared on tv and in film, videos and has recorded tapes and CD's. Sekou Sylla is in demand as a master dancer, musician and choreographer.

The Bamidele Dancers & Drummers, Marilyn Middleton-Sylla, Director • Sekou Sylla, Artistic Director • Phone USA: 413.386.2768