Souleymane ‘Solo’ Badolo is a Brooklyn-based choreographer and dancer born in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. He started his professional career as a dancer for DAMA, a traditional African dance company. In 1993, he founded his own Burkina Faso-based troupe, Kongo Ba Téria, which fuses traditional African dances with western contemporary dance and continues to tour internationally. Badolo has danced with world-renowned contemporary African dance company Salia ni Seydou, worked with French choreographers Elsa Wolliaston and Mathilde Monnier, and performed with the National Ballet of Burkina. Badolo and Kongo Ba Téria were featured in the widely-screened documentary, Movement (R)evolution Africa, that illustrated the continent’s emergent experimental dance scene. Since moving to New York City in 2009, Badolo has created a number of solo projects commissioned and presented by Danspace, New York Live Arts, Dance New Amsterdam, Harlem Stage, the 92nd Street Y, the Museum of Art & Design, and the River To River Festival presented by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. His residences include Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Extended Life Dance Development (2013-2014, 2015-2016) and Process Space (2013). Badolo was commissioned to create a dance for Philadanco as part of James Brown: Get on the Good Foot, produced by The Apollo Theater for presentation there in October 2013, followed by national and international touring dates.
He has collaborated with Nora Chipaumire, Ralph Lemon, Reggie Wilson, and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar of Urban Bush Women. The Suitcase Fund of New York Live Arts has supported his ongoing research in Africa. Badolo was nominated for a Bessie Award as Outstanding Emerging Choreographer (2011) and in 2012, received the Juried Bessie Award (from jurists Lar Lubovitch, Yvonne Rainer and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar). He is a recipient of Wesleyan University’s Mariam McGlone Emerging Choreographer Award (2014).
He was an artist-in-residence at the Institute for Curatorial Practice and Performance at Wesleyan University (2013) and Mount Tremper Arts (2013), and Extended Life Dance Development program, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (2013–2016).
He graduated from Bennington College with an M.F.A. in June 2013. He has since been a guest instructor at The New School (2014) and Denison University (2015).
Featured Image Photo Credit: Peggy Jarrell Kaplan