Funded by the European Union


After the enormous success achieved by MAISHA Music, MAISHA is being continued and re-invented, keeping the same co-creating philosophy. MAISHA Music hands off the relay to MAISHA Dance.

A call for applicants was launched with well-defined criteria to attract dancers and choreographers from both continents. Four dancers from Africa and four from Europe, one choreographer, one assistant choreographer and one artistic director were selected by a jury, who in return was selected through a competitive process.

Through a 3-week residence in May 2024, the artists spent time together, got to know each other and collaborated & co-created the MAISHA dance performance named ‘Daland@’. The performance, showcasing what they achieved as one team, was presented on 25 May 2024 at the Adwa Victory Memorial in Addis Ababa.

MAISHA Dance will achieve global recognition and sustainability. The initiative will reach a wide network of festivals, promoters, producers, curators and journalists. Additional shows will be organised at key celebrations (fora, summits, conferences, Europe Day, Africa Day, Youth Day, etc.).

The MAISHA Dance Performance at the Adwa Victory Memorial, 25 May 2024, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: A celebration of cultural unity

The MAISHA Dance performance at the new Adwa Victory Memorial main hall was an extraordinary evening, with the venue nearly filled to capacity. This event was not just about dance; it was a celebration of heritage, community, and cultural unity, masterfully conveyed through captivating performances, stunning stage design, and evocative music. The well-known, vibrant, and engaging personality, Meti Yilma, served as the MC, adding an extra layer of charm and energy to the night.

The evening commenced with TIBEB’s opening performance, “Four Elements,” which set a profound tone for the night. TIBEB, meaning “wisdom” in Amharic, is an Ethiopian dance collective that beautifully blends tradition with innovation. “Four Elements explored the harmony and interplay of Water, Wind, Earth, and Fire. Each element was represented by a single dancer, embodying its unique symbolism.

The main performance of the evening, dubbed “Daland@,” was a vivid spectacle of dance, stagecraft, and music. The stage was a canvas of vibrant colours and dynamic lighting, complemented by a background video depicting a day’s journey from sunrise to eclipse and back, symbolizing the passage of time and the cycles of life. The dancers, adorned in intricate costumes, moved with a grace and power that paid tribute to the wealth of cultural heritage and the significance of traditions and values within communities.

“Daland@,” a name specifically created for the piece, celebrates heritage, community, and the unity that art can foster among diverse cultures. The choreography resonated with pride, connecting individuals to their roots while embracing individuality. This 45-minute performance underscored the transformative power of art, transcending boundaries and fostering a profound sense of unity.

The Kebero Band, named after the traditional kebero drum, provided the musical backdrop for “Daland@”. This ensemble, part of the renowned Negarit Band, pioneered the genre of “indigenous jazz,” blending native musical traditions with jazz rhythms. Their composition for “Daland@” added depth and space to the performance, enhancing the emotional impact of the piece.

Thanks to the sponsoring partners, entertainment was provided for guests before and after the show, ensuring an engaging and immersive experience throughout the evening. The audience witnessed an extraordinary example of international and intercultural cooperation, brought to life by a unique team of dancers and creatives from different continents and cultural backgrounds.

The MAISHA Dance event was a testament to the power of art to unite, showcasing the importance of heritage and community through contemporary dance, a magnificent stage that shined with color and light, and a musical contribution that finished off a tableau of cultural pride and artistic excellence.

This extraordinary celebration of cultural diversity was brought to life by the European Union Delegation to the African Union, in close collaboration with the African Union. Their joint efforts made this evening a remarkable example of international cooperation and artistic excellence, demonstrating the profound impact that art can have in bridging gaps between different cultures and fostering a sense of global community.

The Artists

The journey through the lives and artistry of the MAISHA dance performers unveils a captivating narrative of passion, perseverance, and the transformative power of dance. From humble beginnings to international stages, these dancers, choreographers and artistic director exemplify the spirit of resilience and creativity, using their talents to not only entertain but also inspire and uplift communities worldwide. Their dedication to their craft serves as a testament to the profound impact that art can have in transcending boundaries and fostering unity among diverse cultures.

Choreographers and artistic director

Aïda Colmenero Dïaz, Spain

Artistic Director

Read Aïda's bio

Aïda Colmenero Dïaz, a leading artist from Spain with a unique avant-garde career, explores unconventional territories worldwide, offering a nuanced reflection on identity and cultural heritage with a strong gender perspective. Recognized for her multidisciplinary creativity, she aims to forge connections, build cultural bridges, and reclaim historical memory to shape a future of diverse recognition and intercultural exchange.

In 2021, she made history as the first Spanish creator to receive the prestigious Pina Bausch Fellowship for her outstanding choreographic work. Her innovative projects have been showcased in numerous countries, from renowned venues like Mercat de les Flors to festivals like the San Francisco Dance Film Festival.

As the founder and artistic director of She Poems, a continental project involving 40 women from 14 countries, she has produced groundbreaking works, including choreographic pieces like ‘Khoes Conquers’ and ‘Templo’. Her collaborations extend internationally, including commissions from the Ministry of Culture of Colombia and the World Heritage City Group by UNESCO Spain.

Aïda’s impact transcends performance as she mentors creators globally and spearheads educational initiatives, such as the professional training program ‘Creation, thinking, body’ at Graner Center for Dance and Performance in Barcelona. Her commitment to innovation and education solidifies her position as a transformative force in the performing arts landscape.

Serge Aimé Coulibaly, Burkina Faso

Lead Choreographer

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Serge Aimé Coulibaly, a renowned dancer-choreographer from Burkina Faso, blends African inspiration with a global perspective in his powerful contemporary dance. Since founding Faso Danse Théâtre in 2002, his works have toured five continents, addressing complex themes and fostering positivity among youth.

His collaborative spirit extends internationally, with notable works like “Les statues rêvent aussi” and “The Night before Tomorrow.” Coulibaly’s dedication to community engagement is evident in his choreography for events like the FESPACO ceremonies and the Junior Athletics Championships.

As an educator, Coulibaly imparts his passion for dance and encourages artistic responsibility at institutions worldwide, including INSAS in Brussels and the École des Sables in Senegal. His vision for the future of performing arts led to the creation of ANKATA, an innovative space in Burkina Faso.

Acknowledged for his contributions, Coulibaly has received prestigious honors such as the Knight of the Order of Merit in Burkina Faso and the Etoile de Molenbeek in Belgium. His impact on Afro-descendant talent and cultural influence has been recognized with awards like the Golden Afro Artistic Award in Brussels and the Bobo Lolo trophy in Burkina Faso.

Dalanda Diallo, Slovenia

Assistant choreographer

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A versatile professional with extensive experience in dance, choreography, cultural management, and teaching, Dalanda Diallo brings a wealth of skills and expertise to our team. Hailing from Slovenia, Dalanda’s journey in the performing arts has been marked by her eclectic style and dynamic creativity.

As a dancer, she has honed her craft through rigorous training and performance, mastering a wide range of dance styles and techniques. In addition to her proficiency as a dancer, Dalanda is also a skilled choreographer, known for her innovative and imaginative approach to creating original pieces.

Her background in cultural management equips her with organizational and administrative skills necessary to successfully oversee dance projects and events. As a dedicated dance teacher, Dalanda empowers students to explore their creativity and reach their full potential as performers.

Overall, Dalanda’s multifaceted expertise in dance, choreography, cultural management, and teaching makes her a valuable asset to our team. With her versatile skill set and boundless creativity, she contributes to the success and vibrancy of our productions, enriching the artistic experience for performers and audiences alike.


Brian Otieno Oloo, Kenya
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Brian Otieno Oloo is a Kenyan dancer and choreographer from Kisumu city. He is the founder of Dancing feet collective and explores various styles ranging from African modern and traditional dances, contemporary dance, Hip hop movement, and improvisation. He served as co-artistic director at Ibuka Dance Foundation in Tanzania from 2017 to 2019 and holds a certificate from Senegal’s Ecole des Sables.

He is currently a cast member for Pina Bausch Piece ‘Rite of Spring’ and his most profound choreographic works include ‘Table of Silence’, ‘Mizani,’ ‘Face Off,’ and ‘Signals,’ which have been performed on different platforms across East Africa. Brian has a passion for exploring platforms for creative expression and believes in collective collaborations that bring ideas to life.

Paulin Aby Maindron, France
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Paulin Aby, is a professional dancer, actor, singer, and model from France, born in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. He has trained in numerous disciplines, starting his dance journey at the Conservatoire du Choletais in France, where he completed an 8-year program in just four years. After graduating from Saint Gabriel – Saint Michel, where he trained as a singer, he was accepted at the prestigious Rudra Béjart School in Lausanne, Switzerland, under the direction of Mr. Michel Gascard. Paulin was then invited to train and perform at the world-renowned Ailey School, part of the multi award-winning and historic Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, as a full scholarship student in New York City.

Paulin has had the privilege of working on stage, film, television, studio records, and radio. He was part of the Institut Musical de Vendée as a performer, under the direction of Odile Amossé. He toured in Germany, Italy, Belgium, France, and other European countries. He played the leading role in Placide Robinier, the comedy musical by Julien Joubert, and sang for many major events. Paulin was also part of the highly acclaimed and multi-award-winning The Puy Du Fou, where he performed as a dancer, singer, and actor in front of 14,000 people every summer night on Europe’s largest stage. He is also featured on the original soundtrack of The Puy Du Fou as a singer and actor. During his time at Rudra Béjart, he performed Maurice Béjart and Martha Graham repertoire, such as Gloria, Messe Pour le Temps Présent for the United Nations, Diversion of Angels, and many others. He performed with the Béjart Ballet in Bolero and the 9th Symphony. He was invited among six other dancers of The Ailey School to dance for the 100th anniversary of Mr. Merce Cunningham at Baryshnikov Art Center, Runs the Gamut: Exploring the Creative Legacy of Merce Cunningham by Silas Riener. He has worked with choreographers such as Clifton Brown, Matthew Rushing, Rennie Harris, Darrell Moultrie, to name a few. He performed the acclaimed Revelation by Alvin Ailey numerous times and most notably for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. He also performed Ailey’s Blues Suites and Night Creatures. He toured with ASPG (Ailey Student Performance Group) for two years and worked with guest choreographers such as Patrick Coker, Frederick Earl Mosley, Shay Bland.

Paulin was the recipient of the Maurice Béjart Foundation Scholarship for two years and was a full scholarship Level 1 student at the Ailey School for three years, as well as being the recipient of The Carolyn Adams Scholarship, The Gloria & Stanley Plesent Scholarship, and The Elizabeth Gordon Scholarship. Paulin is also a choreographer; his duet The Priestess in Les Oiseaux was performed at the EPFL stage, Theatre Barnabé Servion, and in Switzerland. He was a teacher assistant at the Ailey School for three years. He worked as a choreographer assistant for Vernard Gilmore for his original creation of the Contemporary West Dance Theatre in Las Vegas. Paulin is thrilled to expand his career in the US and bring his Ethiopian and French legacy to his field and to the world. Currently, Paulin Aby is working with various dance companies and choreographers including Daniel Fetecua, Buglisi Dance Theater, Folklore Urbano NYC, Pajarillo Pinta’O Dance Company among a few.

He is also a dance teacher with TIKoRO Art Foundation and teacher assistant at the Ailey extension.

Deborah Lotti, Luxembourg
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Deborah has started dancing in Luxembourg at the “École de Ballet Li Marteling” before heading to Paris to continue her dance education at the “Institut de Formation Professionnelle Rick Odums”. While completing her Dance Teacher Diploma and Bachelor of Arts at the “Université Paris 8”, she starts to perform with several dance companies, such as the “Ballets Jazz Rick Odums”, the “Armstrong Jazz Ballet” and the Cabaret ensemble “Les Allumettes”. Aspired to be a pluridisciplinary dancer, she attends dance workshops in France, Germany, Israel, and the US, like the “Jacob’s Pillow Contemporary Program” and “Gaga Summer Intensive” in Tel Aviv, which contribute to her modern jazz, contemporary and urban dance education.

Nowadays, based in Paris, she is a cast member of the RB Dance Company’s touring show “Stories”. Besides, she worked with the dance companies “Eddi Van Tsui”, “Althea Dance Company”, and the Luxembourgish choreographer Jill Crovisier integrating the piece “Mahalaga Landscapes”, created for “Esch2022 – European Capital of Culture”. Recently, she also had the opportunity to perform in the piece “Chiroptera”, a collaboration of Damien Jalet and JR at the Opéra de Paris.

Her interests in dance film and education led her to the direction of the nominated dance clip “The Beginning Of…” (2020) while being invited as a guest teacher and solo performer in international dance festivals in Germany, Belgium, and France.

Rubina Suzeth, Angola
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Rubina Suzeth, 24 years old, born in Luanda, Angola. She has been dancing since she was born naturally, but her professional life began in 2019, when she was 19 years old.

Rubina has been the Angolan representative in the international network of artistic residencies in the PALOP since 2019. She was part of the largest dance company in the country, CIA da ZAP made television programs such as “Estrelas ao Palco” and “BAI dança com ritmo”. She worked with Ana Clara Guerra Marques, founder of the first contemporary dance company in Angola.

Rubina is winner of the “Dancer of the Year” award in 2023 in Angola, winner of the “Thashowdown contest” contest by: RTYST, semi-finalist freestyle battle world of dance turkiye 2023, winner of the same Choreo solo contest and battles and is currently studying choreography at Russian State University Alexey Kosygin. She is also a dancer influencer and shares her experience with her fans.

Gustaf Mac Kobus, Germany
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Gustaf Mac Kobus is a B-boy, visual artist, and organizer from Munich, Germany. Since 2017, he’s been part of the Outta Space crew.

He’s danced in Europe and countries like Vietnam and Brazil, gaining experience in battles and jams. Combining dance and visual art inspired by his time at the International Munich Art Lab. Drawing from his calligraphy skills, Gustaf combines rhythm and movement, showcasing his talent and creativity on both local and international stages. As an organizer, he has hosted international breaking events that focus on promoting collaboration and unity among artist and dancers from diverse backgrounds.

Refiloe Mogoje, South Africa
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Refiloe Mogoje, a 40-year-old professional performing artist, has dedicated her life to the art of dance and education. With a background deeply rooted in the world of dance and a passion for teaching, she has honed her skills over the years to become a multifaceted artist, choreographer, and educator. Refiloe’s journey in the world of dance began at a young age and has been a lifelong passion.

She received her professional training from prestigious institutions such as Moving Into Dance, The Dance Factory Youth Programme, and Jazzart Dance Theatre, immersing herself in various dance genres, including ballet, contemporary dance, African dance, Indian dance, Tai chi, hip-hop, Pilates, yoga, Pantsula, tap, gumboot dance, and Flamenco.

Through years of hard work and dedication, Refiloe had the privilege of collaborating with gifted choreographers and directors such as Alfred Hinkel, Lara Foot, Jay Pather, Gregory Maqoma, Portia Mashigo, Mamela Nyamza, Nelisiwe Xaba, Dada Masilo, Athena Mazarakies, PJ Sabbagha, Sibonakaliso Ndaba, Janine Neethling, Ina Wichterich-Mogane, Mandla Mbhothwe, Mark Fleishman, Mzo Gasa, Mziyanda Mancam, and Jacqueline Manyaapelo. She also had the honor of sharing the stage with renowned musicians like Sibongile Khumalo, Johnny Clegg, Angelique Khidjo, Malanie Scoltz, Tina Schauw, Neo Muyanga, Tshepo Mngoma, and Mthwakazi, as well as the late Lebo Mathosa. These incredible mentors have not only shaped Refiloe’s artistic abilities but have also instilled within her the versatility to perform across various art forms.

Refiloe’s commitment to excellence and professionalism led to a contract with Jazzart Dance Theatre Company, where she performed from 2007 to 2013. During this time, she had the opportunity to participate in numerous productions, showcasing her skills and passion for dance. Some of these memorable productions include “Guardian of the Flame,” “Bolero,” “I am Cinnamon,” “Cargo,” “Twenty,” “Partly God,” “Ihawu Elisha,” “Waiting for Rain,” “Biko’s Quest,” “Gatherings,” “Qaphela Caesar,” “First Draft,” and “Space.” Beyond Jazzart,

Refiloe expanded her artistic horizons through collaborations with various other companies and productions, such as “Qaphela Caesar” by Jay Pather, “Kutheni” by Mamela Nyamza, “Oliver Twist” by Marie Brolyn Tanis, “Shembe” by Jay Pather, “Beautiful” by Ina Witcherich, “Carmen” by Dada Masilo, “Right of Spring” by Dada Masilo, and “Swan Lake” by Dada Masilo, among others. Refiloe’s dedication to education extends beyond her passion for dance. She has shared her knowledge and expertise as an educator, specializing in grade 3 level education at Balmoral College. Teaching, for Refiloe, is not just about imparting knowledge but also about fostering creativity, instilling life skills, and nurturing a sense of joy in learning. Her goal is to make a positive difference in the lives of the next generation by preparing them to face life’s challenges with confidence and resilience. In addition to her professional work, Refiloe has ventured into personal dance creations, including the annual “Makiti for Evening Students” and the “Roosevelt Dance Competition” for school kids. These projects reflect her commitment to nurturing young talent and fostering a love for dance in the community. Throughout her career, Refiloe has performed at prestigious festivals such as Dance Umbrella, National Arts Festival, Baxter Festival, Seychelles Biennale de Danse, Colours International Festival, Vaison de Dans Festival, Kalamata Dance Festival, Grahamstown Dance Festival, Fall for Dance Festival, and Impulzant Dance Festival. Her journey in the world of dance and education has equipped Refiloe with a diverse set of skills, including choreography, photography, event management, beading accessories, crocheting clothes, and teaching a wide range of subjects, from mathematics and English to life skills, creative arts, and life orientation.

She is deeply committed to her work and approaches every endeavor with unwavering dedication and integrity. In conclusion, Refiloe’s life journey has been guided by the rhythm of dance and the pursuit of knowledge. As a performer, choreographer, and educator, she continues to be inspired by the transformative power of the arts and education. Refiloe looks forward to sharing her passion and expertise with others and contributing to the world of dance and education in meaningful ways.

Konan Yao Tchinvier Quentin, Côte d’Ivoire
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Konan Yao Tchinvier Quentin, an Ivorian dancer and performer born on July 26, 1996, in Man, Côte d’Ivoire, began his journey in the art of dance at a young age on the streets of Abidjan, immersing himself in various styles including break dance, coupé décalé, and circus. In 2017, he took a pivotal step towards professionalization by gaining admission to the National Institute of Arts and Cultural Action (INSAAC), specifically at the esteemed Higher School of Music and Dance (ESMD). There, he earned a master’s degree in dance and choreography and continued to pursue advanced studies. As a dedicated and passionate artist, Konan’s performances resonate with his reflections on societal issues, showcasing his commitment to his craft.

Driven by a perpetual thirst for knowledge, he engages in innovative choreographic research, pushing the boundaries of his artistry. Konan also serves as the choreographer for the danse ensemble Compagnie Artistique et Culturelle established in 2022.

Collaborating with renowned choreographers, he explores diverse choreographic styles ranging from contemporary to circus-inspired pieces. Presently, Konan unveils his latest endeavor, a solo project titled Pkoupkouyèkè, which started in September 2023.

Yasmine Lindskog Visanko, Sweden
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Yasmine Lindskog Visanko is a Swedish-American dance artist and improviser based in Brussels, Belgium. She has performed throughout the USA, UK, Europe, and China.

She has performed works by Adaptations Dance Theater, Shobana Jeyasingh, Tony Adigun, Hagit Yakira Dance, FLOCK, Kaeja d’Dance, Patricia Okenwa, Robert Moses, cia Jordi L. Vidal and Alex Ketley, amongst others. She received her BFA in Dance from Cal State University Long Beach and her MA in Contemporary Dance from the London Contemporary Dance School where she was part of the EDge Dance Company under artistic direction of Jeanne Yasko. Since moving to Brussels, she has spent time studying intensively with David Zambrano.

Yasmine works as an independent artist; performing, collaborating, and sharing her work in Europe, the USA, and beyond.

Contributing artists

Music composition & performance

Kebero Band

A tribute to preserving disappearing indigenous heritag

The Kebero Band, named after the kebero, a pivotal drum in the traditional music of Eritrea, Sudan, and Ethiopia, are the composers and performers of the music for the MAISHA Dance performance.
Established by Teferi Assefa, drummer and percussionist, the Kebero musicians, as integral members of the Negarit band, introduced a groundbreaking genre known as “indigenous jazz” in 2012. This innovative approach merges native musical traditions with jazz rhythms, utilizing in-depth ethnomusicology techniques. Through its extensive work, the band not only captivates audiences with its music but also contributes to preserving disappearing indigenous heritages.
Teferi Assefa, born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, co-founded Lasta Sound in Los Angeles, CA, winning the Best Music Award at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival in 2005. Later, he co-established the Wudasse Ethio-Jazz band and founded the Negarit band in 2012 for ethnomusicology and anthropology research in indigenous communities. The Kebero Band integrates this remarkable experience and career into a dedicated composition for the MAISHA Dance performance.

Opening performance

TIBEB Dance Collective

Four Seasons

TIBEB is the fusion of tradition and innovation, honouring the wisdom passed down through generations while embracing exploration and discovery.
Their “Four Elements” performance is a series of dance pieces that explore four elements of nature: Water, Wind, Earth & Fire.

Daland@: A celebration of heritage, community and cultural unity

The MAISHA Dance performance is titled “Daland@”, a term purposefully crafted to pay tribute to the wealth of heritage and underscore the significance of traditions and values within communities.

It resonates with pride, connecting individuals to their roots and highlighting the profound importance of cultural heritage. Daland@ is not just a name; it’s a symbol of honoring origins while embracing individuality. This performance serves as a testament to the transformative power of art, transcending boundaries and fostering unity among diverse cultures.

We contemplate the present and the past of Europe and Africa in their entirety, acknowledging both virtues and flaws, to envision and shape a better future. Drawing inspiration from Felwine Sarr’s reflections we need to rehabilitate cultural values such as dignity, coexistence, hospitality, mutuality, modesty, humility, and a sense of honor to revive the profound humanism of our cultures. Among the various sequences that structure the temporalities of human societies, the future is the one temporality upon which we can actively set ourselves, by conceiving and shaping it.

Inside the MAISHA co-creative residency:
Meeting the three-week challenge!

In the dynamic world of MAISHA, artists from diverse continents and cultural backgrounds unite to tackle an extraordinary challenge: assembling a show from scratch in just three weeks. An unparalleled task in the universe of dance.

For the Dance edition, this means navigating choreography, stage setup, costume design and music coordination with a live band, each aspect demanding careful coordination and attention to detail. In the midst of this whirlwind, another significant challenge arises. Unlike professional ensembles who can rely on a history of teamwork co-ordination, MAISHA artists must first establish cohesion by getting to know each other and finding common ground to collaborate effectively.

Only a very select breed of artists can navigate these complexities and demonstrate that collaboration knows no bounds and that cultural diversity is not a hindrance but a source of strength on stage.

The videos below show a visual summary of the past two weeks of the MAISHA Dance co-creative residency, showcasing the dedication, talent, and collaborative spirit of our exceptional artists.

MAISHA Dance, week 1, Addis Abeba, Ethiopia

MAISHA Dance, week 2, Addis Abeba, Ethiopia

The MAISHA Dance impact

Below we share some heartfelt reflections from our artists that offer a glimpse into how the MAISHA experience has not only enriched their lives but also fostered meaningful connections between Europe and Africa.

Media gallery

Discover the heartbeat of MAISHA through our extensive media library, featuring a rich collection of videos, photos, audio files and press articles covering the MAISHA Music edition. 

MAISHA Dance edition

MAISHA Dance performance live recording
MAISHA Dance video gallery
MAISHA Dance photo gallery

MAISHA Music edition

MAISHA Music video gallery
MAISHA Music photo gallery
MAISHA Music album
MAISHA Music press coverage

MAISHA Dance live stream update: watch the recorded show

Experience the enchanting and dynamic performance that captivated a nearly full Adwa Victory Memorial.

Don’t miss this opportunity to witness the artistry and cultural richness of the MAISHA Dance event.