LES BALLETS AFRICAINS is an organization that was formed in Paris. In 1952, Guinean ballet choreographer, Keita Fodeba, who enjoyed the support of African state heads, Les Ballets Africains toured all the globe until Guinea’s fight for freedom in 1958 when they became the country’s national ensemble. Between 1958 and the present day, Les Ballet Africains has visited the four corners of Earth, sometimes touring for up to two years. On one marathon, they appeared in 165 capital cities, presenting 695 performances in 750 days, traveling 180,000 miles by plane, 33,000 by locomotive and 21,000 by bus.
Les Ballet Africains have been recognized and encourage in their role of roving ambassadors, carrying the pride and aspirations of their people. The company’s ultimate mission is to create understanding of Africa with a view to creating favorable conditions for cooperation between Africa and the rest of the world. Whether in Sydney, Rio, Berlin, Tokyo, Moscow or Los Angeles, their performance receives a tumultuous acclaim, together with an invitation to return.
Dulcie Howes, born in the year of 1908, was a ballet dancer from South Africa. She was the prima ballerina assoluta, in her time, of South African ballet, and born in Mossel Bay, near Cape Town.
Howes’ father was Justice Reed Howes. Justice immigrated to South Africa at the end of the South African War. Dulcie Howes’ mother was Muriel Alice Lind. Justice was the headmaster of Oudtshoorn Boys High School but once he got married, he moved to Cape Town and practiced as an advocate.
Dulcie was one of the first pupils of Herschel Girls School, which opened in 1922. She left South Africa and trained in London, studying the Cechetti method with Margaret Craske, in addition to mime with Tamara Karsavina, and Spanish dancing with Elsa Brunelleschi; she joined Anna Pavlova’s dancing company, touring across Europe in 1927.