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Les Grandes Personnes of Africa - (...)

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Based in Boromo in Burkina Faso, since 2001 Les Grandes Personnes of Africa have been proposing street performances in West Africa and in Europe, bringing along giant puppets, musicians and dancers.

Les Grande Personnes of Africa,
Puppets of Boromo
BP 505 BOROMO BURKINA FASO
Tel : 00 226 76 58 86 86 (M. Drissa Zongo, secretary)
Email Addresses:
lesgrandespersonnesdeboromo at yahoo.fr
lgpboromo at lesgrandespersonnes.com
www.lesgrandespersonnesdafrique.com
Facebook

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L’équipe des Grandes Personnes de Boromo - 2016

The birth of giants

Among the some twenty “cousin” companies, Les Grandes Personnes of Aubervilliers, Les Grandes Personnes of Africa – Puppets of Boromo is the oldest and the one with which the ties are the closest.
Starting in 2001, after coming into contact with the team from Aubervilliers, the artists and artisans of the town of Boromo in Burkina Faso, being familiar with masks and traditional ceremonies, were enthusiastic about the giant puppets and street theatre. Griots, seamstresses, dancers, sculptors, blacksmiths, painters and farmers formed an association in 2003, after the great parade The River that had brought together over two hundred participants.
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Photo : Mélaine Lefront
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Boromo - Photo : Mélaine Lefront

National and international tours

Soon, the group included some thirty people who made their own giant puppets and performed in parades, first of all in West Africa, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Benin, Equatorial Guinea, Mali, Guinea Conakry, Gabon, and South Africa, then, in spite of administrative stumbling blocks, in European festivals, Titirimundi in Segovia, Les Invites de Villeurbanne, La Ronde des Géants in Steenvoorde, Mimos in Perigueux, the Eurockéennes de Belfort. The singer “M” invited them to join him on stage.
Les Grandes Personnes of Africa have often performed at the opening of Fespaco or for other Burkina Faso events and since its beginnings have supported the street theatre festival Rendez-vous chez nous.
Their dance performances to the rhythm of the balafon and djembe always stir enthusiasm and have been talked about in several articles in the French press (Libération, etc.)

An extract of the film Dans la cour des marionnettistes, by Christian Lajoumard.

Boromo, a welcoming place of creation

Like the region of its origin, the company is rich with the extremely varied traditions of the Mossi, Bwaba, Winyé (Ko), Dafi, Peul, Nounouma and Dagari-Dioula. Its giant puppets are made from local or salvaged materials such as banco (unbaked clay), calabashes, cement bags, empty bottles, millet porridge, wickerwork and baskets, iron bars, cut-up inner tubes, loincloths, cotton flowers.
Les Grandes Personnes of Africa possess the first site devoted to street theatre in Burkina Faso. Their courtyard, mentioned by several tourist guides, contains a creation centre where giant puppets are fabricated. All of the buildings, with the exception of a hangar for the puppets, are examples of traditional architecture. Walls and vaults are built with unbaked earth to ensure coolness during the day and warmth at night. Equipped with ten bedrooms and lavatories, the premises can welcome artists in residence for the time of a creation.

Aux Eurockéennes de Belfort

Creation, transmission

In addition to the parades, Les Grandes Personnes of Africa have have created several shows, often with those of Aubervilliers, Wambi, (2011), Déroutes-Première escale, directed by Évelyne Fagnen (2011), Bona Kele (2014), Les Tabliers du couchant (2016).
In 2013, the association received the Prix International of the APF (Assemblée Parlementaire de la Francophonie). In recent years, it has contributed to training for the fabrication of giant puppets by South Africans for the Giant Match and the Malian company Nama, and its creations have been imitated in Benin and Côte d’Ivoire.

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Photo : Hannah Paton - 2011

Puppets of Boromo