Vado Diomande

Dancer and percussionist for Drum Café since 2005.

Born into the sacred stilt-dancing tradition of the Mahou people in northwest Ivory Coast, Vado was raised to dance.  His father passed down the revered ways, and Vado soon exemplified the highest standards of the treasured customs.  Noticed at an early age by scouts, Vado was taken to Abidjan to join the early days of the Ballet National de Cote D’Ivoire, absorbing the many diverse dances of over 60 ethnic groups of the Ivory Coast.

As a principal dancer in the Ballet National for 15 years, Vado toured the world, impressing audiences with the acrobatics of the Tall Mask,  “God of the Sacred Forest”, Gue-Pelou.  He established his own dance company, L’Ensemble Kokiegna d’Abidjan in 1989, in Abidjan, touring Ivory Coast and Australia.  Arriving in the United States in 1994, Vado re-established his dance company in New York City, as Kotchegna Dance Company, developing a corps of multicultural dancers and a repertoire that is widely loved and admired.

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