Souly Dance Arts

Celebrating the dance and drum of Mande West Africa.

Souly Dance Arts (SDA) is founded by Wilfried Souly, a choreographer, dancer, drummer and Taekwondo expert from Burkina Faso. Wilfried focuses on making artworks that involve contemporary African Dance in the United States and Internationally while based in Los Angeles.

In 2018, SDA launched the first Djanjoba Festival, which is popular in the Mande Empire (Mali, parts of Senegal, the Gambia, Burkina Faso, Guinea, & Ivory Coast), bringing people together to honor a specific person, concept, historical event or civic action. The festival was to celebrate and honor the dance and drum instructors who sustain Mande West African drum and dance traditions in the Greater Los Angeles area.

We worked closely with Wilfried to create a graphic identity to brand the festival and produce merchandise to raise proceeds for the event. Our creative process involved observing him teaching students, watching him dance at rehearsals, and speaking to him about his unique perspective on dance.

Wilfried’s works unfold stories that address political topics and social dilemmas. It became apparent to us that his works carry the theme of deconstruction of the human body. We rooted our graphic language in this deconstruction resulting in an abstraction of Wilfried in his powerful movement through space. Our work celebrates his unique approach and the open ended dialogue found in SDA works of art.

Client: Wilfried Souly, Souly Dance Arts
Our Role: Identity Design, Graphic Design, Apparel Design

souly dance arts apparel design back shirt