BIO: MOHAMED ANDRÉ DURANTEAU
Mohamed Andre Duranteau is a dancer, choreographer and professional musician from Guinea in West Africa. Since his childhood, Mohamed has had a deep affinity as well as a curiosity for the music and traditional dance of his native country. At the age of 15, Mohamed began to pursue his dream of becoming a professional artist after moving from Kankan, in Upper Guinea, to the national capital of Conakry. It was here that Mohamed developed his talents as a dancer, singer and percussionist with various percussion and professional dance troupes, including the Tayeli Ballet, for more than twelve years.
In 2007, his passion for sharing his culture brought him to Victoria, British Columbia. Since coming to Canada, Mohamed has created a dance school and a professional troupe named Wontanara Drum & Dance and has performed on stage for a variety of audiences and at various events and festivals in the BC province and elsewhere with his band and other groups such as Kunda Culture.
After almost ten years in Victoria, Mohamed decided to move to Montreal with his wife Marielle and his son Sekouba. They lived in Montreal for a year and a half before eventually settling in Halifax, Nova Scotia, his wife's home province.
Mohamed loves sharing his knowledge of Guinea's traditional dances, songs and rhythms as he strongly believes that this kind of exchange helps to promote and improve artistic expression and contributes to cultural diversity. He is eager to integrate and share his culture and talent with his new students in the Halifax Regional Municipality and beyond.
BIO: MARIELLE DURANTEAU
Marielle Duranteau (née Comeau) is from Clare, Nova Scotia and has been dancing since the age of five. Marielle has studied various forms of dance for almost 10 years before discovering African dance during her participation in the international exchange program Canada World Youth in 2002. This exchange program brought her to Benin where she studied music. art of tapestry and djembe construction.
Upon her return to Canada, she began to study dance from West Africa in Halifax. In her second year of studying African dance, Marielle traveled to Europe and took West African dance classes in places such as Ireland, England, France and Spain.
In 2005, Marielle moved to Victoria, BC, and shortly thereafter traveled to Guinea under the direction of N'nato Camara. It is here that Marielle studied traditional Guinean dance and music with members of the prestigious Tayeli Ballet and it is here that she met Mohamed André Duranteau.
Marielle returned to Victoria, followed closely by Mohamed in April 2007 and the couple married shortly after. Since then, they have shared and taught their knowledge and love of Guinean dance and music with students and spectators across Canada. The couple, along with their sons Sekouba, now reside in Halifax, Nova Scotia since September 2018.