Led by Keita Fodeba, this traditional ensemble formed in 1952 in Paris. The aim of the group was to bring traditional African culture to Western audiences. They toured the world, and in 1958, Guinean President Sekou Toure invited Fodeba to return to Guinea and enrich his own culture. The troupe was funded by the government and toured extensively throughout the '60s and '70s, sometimes on the road for two years at a time. Fodeba became Minister of the Interior, but became involved in a feud with Toure and was murdered. After Toure's regime collapsed in 1984, the company still received government support but did not tour nearly as much. They launched another world tour in 1990 under the directorship of Italo Zambo. The ballet is now a cultural institution, highly respected for the quality of their performances and artistry.
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