An accomplished dancer and drummer, Anssumane Silla began performing at the age of 11 in his native Guinea Bissau. He has danced professionally for over 18 years with the National Ballet of Guinea Bissau. He was also a member of the contemporary dance troupe, Africa Estranha. With these ensembles, he performed for ambassadors, presidents and other international dignitaries and for the public throughout Ginnea Bissau. He has also performed in Mali, Senegal, The Gambia, South Africa and Libya.
While working with African Estanha, Mr. Silla performed pieces that address strife and suffering, including abuse of power and inequitable access to clear water and other vital resources, in Guinea Bissau, which has been torn apart by coups and political violence for decades.
Since arriving in Philadelphia in 2008, Mr. Silla has toured numerous states, performing as a dancer and drummer with the African Cultural Arts Collective (formerly Voices of Africa Drum Ensemble). He has been a featured artist for the Pennsylvania Humanities Council Humanities on the Road initiative, and a choreographer for the Kulu Mele African Dance Ensemble. In addition to teaching traditional (Bijagos, Balanta, Fula, and Manjaco) and contemporary dance styles from Guinea Bissau, he teaches a range of other West African dance styles in studios and schools in various Philadelphia neighborhoods.