|Malonga Casquelourd, San
Francisco State University professor, world-renowned master
dancer, drummer, choreographer and founder of Fua Dia Congo,
was tragically killed by a drunk driver in a car accident on
June 15, 2003. For close to 30 years, Malonga offered his
culture and traditions for all to share.
Mr. Casquelourd was the co-founder and Director of the
Congolese Workshop the first and longest running African
Dance and Drumming workshop in the US. He was also a former
lead dancer with the Congolese National Dance Company. He
taught at Stanford University was a faculty member at San
Francisco State University and taught at Oakland's
Citicentre Dance Theatre. Mr. Caquelourd also served as the
Artistic Director of Fua Dia Congo.
Casquelourd was a pioneer in bringing African dance to the
Bay Area in the 1970s, along with Ladzekpo and Zak Diouf,
founder of the Diamano Coura West African Dance Company.
Casquelourd helped introduce Central African artistic
traditions locally where they were warmly embraced and
It is for this and a host of other reasons that we seek to
pay tribute to his artistic contributions and leadership by
renaming the Alice Arts Center the Malonga Casquelourd
Centre for the Arts. This triumphant act would not only
preserve the memory and honor the name and accomplishments
of Malonga Casquelourd but further solidify our place in
this community. nthia Phillips at (510) 821-6166
Casquelourd was born in Douala, Cameroon
in 1947. As a principal dancer of the National Congolese Dance
Company and as a resident choreographer and performer with Le
Ballet Diaboua, a Congolese repertory company based in Paris,
he attracted an international following.
Malonga leaves an impressive legacy of institution-building as
the founder of Fua Dia Congo, a nonprofit performing arts
formed in East Palo Alto (1977) and currently based in
Oakland; Congolese Dance & Drum Camp, the first and longest
running Aftican dance, drum and percussion workshop (1979);
and Ballet Kizingu, the youth division of Fua Dia Congo
(1994). He co-founded Tanawa, the first professional Congolese
Dance Company in New York City (1972), and Diata Diata, an all
women's Congolese drum ensemble (1990). He was instrumental in
establishing Everybody's Creative Arts Center, known today as Citicentre Dance Theatre in downtown Oakland, and the San
Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival. He served on the faculty at
many institutions, including New York University, Stanford
University, and San Francisco State University, where he
taught for 26 years.
A pioneer, cultural ambassador and visionary leader, Malonga
welcomed artists from every continent, challenging all to
engage in dialogue and build bridges for cultural exchange. He
encouraged the elimination of barriers between continental
Africans and African Americans.
Malonga died on June 15, 2003. His last projects included
Kusum Africa, a dance-theater performance showcasing the
collaborative works of African director/choreographers; Malaki
Matanga 2003: Congo of Yesterday & Today; and Wa Dia Fua Yiko
Dio, a project exploring themes of cultural inheritance and
exchange between urban/hip hop culture and traditional
Congolese culture, to be completed in the Summer of 2005."
ISADORA DUNCAN LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FOR 2004
|``He was my best
friend, a great person with a great sense of humor,''
says CK Ladzekpo, who directs the African Music
Program at the University of California-Berkeley. ``He
loved life. We used to say that we would bury all the kids and
still be here.''
||``He was a powerhouse known for
his enormous energy,'' says Lily Kharazzi,
program director for World Arts West, which produces the
Ethnic Dance Festival.
Fua Dia Congo performed 9 times in the Ethnic Dance Festival.
Casquelourd's performances there were legendary because he
would still be dancing furiously when the curtain came down.
|This page was created as a tribute to the King
of Carnaval 2004; King Victor Temple. A
dedicated and contributing member of many arts groups supported by
the City of Oakland's Alice Arts Center
|Festival || Events
|| Groups ||
Parade Order || King ||
Queen || Rhythm Magic
How can you help?
Write, call or email your local Oakland City Council member to
voice your support in renaming the Alice Arts Centre. A hearing was
held May 13 by the Oakland City Council.
will return to the City Council o to respond to several questions
raised at the meeting. City Hall, City Council Chambers, 3rd Floor
Thursday , May 27, 2004, at 10:30am.
or Email Mayor Jerry Brown to ask him for his support. At
Malonga's funeral, Mayor Brown stated that he wanted the Alice Arts
Center renamed for Malonga. Now is his opportunity to help make
that happen by letting City Council members know his views. Mayor
Brown can be reached at 510-238-3141 or by email at
District 1: Jane Brunner, (510) 238-7001, [email protected]
District 2: Danny Wan, (510) 238 7302, [email protected]
District 3: Nancy Nadel, (510) 238-7003, [email protected]
District 4: Jean Quan, (510) 238- 7004, [email protected]
District 5: Ignacio de la Fuente (510) 238-7005- [email protected]
District 6: Delsey Brooks, (510) 238-7006, [email protected]
District 7: Larry Reid, (510) 238-7007, [email protected]
At Large: Henry Chang, (510) 238 7008, [email protected]
For more information and future meeting dates after May 13,
contact: Kiazi Malonga at (510) 290-4262 or
[email protected] ,
Regine Ndounda at (510) 754-3197 or Cy