Stephanie Bangoura is a dancer, dance instructor and gestalt therapist. She leads the Bangoura Group and is the founder of the Tanz der Kulturen collective. For over 20 years, Stephanie has worked primarily with African forms of dance and taught them in various contexts. Whether as a performer or lecturer in Salvador, Havana, New York and Paris, or as a therapist in Hamburg, Stephanie understands dance as an ‘art of relationships’ in the sense of philosopher Martin Buber.
Since her youth, Bangoura has had an interest in the socio-political and spiritual backgrounds of African-inspired dances and has been looking for ways to experience their community-building aspect. Together with master drummer Cheikhou, Bangoura designed and led a four-year long cultural exchange visit for German dancers in Senegal. With dancer Moni Ahoulou, she founded a German-African performance group in Munich in 1995. In 2011, she completed a master’s degree in the performing arts at the Federal University of Bahia in Brazil and received a scholarship from the Brasilian ministry of science (Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia, Inovações e Comunicaçõesdes). Since then, she has been working on the theoretical basis of a holistic dance education which draws from African musical traditions and examines, exposes and transforms ethnic stereotypes. Her publication, Die Bangoura-Methode: Die Kunst, Gemeinschaft zu tanzen will be published in Autumn 2018.
In collaboration with Frank Händeler, artistic leader of the ÜberBrücken collective, Stephanie has led integrative dance theatre projects for refugee youths and educationally disadvantaged people in Brazil and in Germany. She is currently holding talks with various universities and training institutions in Europe, Africa and Latin America. As part of the EU-funded Erasmus projects, she is working on an interdisciplinary exchange between experts and practioners from the fields of performing arts, therapy any education. Stephanie possesses very good language skills in German, English, French and Portuguese as well as basic knowledge of Spanish, Italian and Wolof.