A dancer, choreographer and teacher of Senegalese and French origin, Germaine Acogny trained in Paris from 1962 to 1965 at the Simon Siegel School, obtaining a diploma in physical education and harmonic gymnastics. In 1968 she founded her first African dance studio in Dakar. Influenced by the gestural heritage of her grandmother, a Yoruba priestess, and her training in traditional African and European dance, Acogny developed her own technique and is considered the mother of contemporary African dance.
From 1977 to 1982, she was the first artistic director of Mudra Afrique, created by Maurice Béjart and Léopold Sédar Senghor in Dakar. Her book, Danse Africaine, was published in 1980 in three languages. After the closing of Mudra Afrique, she moved to Brussels to join Maurice Béjart’s company and teach dance. She continued this work in Africa, primarily in Casamance, the southern region of Senegal, in the village of Fanghoumé. She welcomed professional and amateur dancers from all over Europe and the world. She danced, choreographed and taught around the globe, becoming a genuine ambassador for African dance and culture.