Souleymane ‘Solo’ Badolo is a Brooklyn-based choreographer and dancer born in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. In 1993, he founded his own Burkina Faso-based troupe, Kongo Ba Téria, which fuses traditional African dances with western contemporary dance and continues to tour internationally.
Badolo started his professional career as a dancer for the DAMA, a traditional African dance company. He has danced with world-renowned contemporary African dance company Salia ni Seydou, worked with French choreographers Elsa Wolliaston and Mathilde Monnier, and performed with the National Ballet of Burkina. He and Kongo Ba Téria are featured in the widely-screened documentary Movement (R)evolution Africa which documents the continent’s emergent experimental dance scene. Since moving to New York City in 2009, Badolo has created a number of solo and small ensemble projects commissioned and presented by Danspace, New York Live Arts, Dance New Amsterdam, Harlem Stage, the 92nd Street Y, the Museum of Art & Design, River to River Festival (R2R), and BAM. He has collaborated with Nora Chipaumire, Ralph Lemon, Reggie Wilson, and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar of Urban Bush Women. His ongoing research in Africa has been supported by The Suitcase Fund of New York Live Arts. Badolo was nominated for a 2011 Bessie Award (New York Dance & Performance Award) as Outstanding Emerging Choreographer and in 2012, received the Juried Bessie Award (from jurists Lar Lubovitch, Yvonne Rainer and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar). In 2015, his dance for two dancers and one percussionist, Yimbégré, was recognized with a Bessie Award for Outstanding Production. Badolo was commissioned to create a dance for Philadanco as part of James Brown: Get on the Good Foot, produced by The Apollo Theater for presentation there in October 2013, followed by national and international touring dates. He is the recipient of Wesleyan University’s 2014 Mariam McGlone Emerging Choreographer Award and the 2015 Harkness Foundation Dance Residency at BAM Fisher. He graduated from Bennington College with an MFA in June 2013. Since that time, he has been a guest instructor at The New School, Williams College, and Bard College. Badolo was a guest artist at Bennington for fall 2010 and has been a recurring visiting faculty member since fall 2013.