Funded by the European Union

Meet the MAISHA Dancers

April 28, 2024

Introducing the talented individuals who make up the vibrant MAISHA Dance team! 

Brian Otieno Oloo

Brian Otieno Oloo, a Kenyan dancer and choreographer, founded Dancing Feet Collective, showcasing his versatility in African traditional, contemporary, and hip-hop dance styles. As co-artistic director at Ibuka Dance Foundation, he enriched Tanzanian dance culture while earning acclaim for choreographic works like “Table of Silence” and “Mizani.”

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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.

Deborah Lotti

Deborah Lotti, a pluridisciplinary dancer hailing from Luxembourg, has graced stages worldwide with her modern jazz and contemporary dance performances. Her collaboration with RB Dance Company in “Stories” and appearances in works like “Mahalaga Landscapes” highlight her dynamic talent and commitment to artistic expression.

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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.

Gustaf Mac Kobus

Gustaf Mac Kobus, a Munich-based B-boy and visual artist, has made his mark in the breaking scene across Europe and beyond. With his fusion of dance and visual art, showcased on international stages and at events he organizes, Gustaf promotes collaboration and unity in the artistic community.
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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.

Konan Yao Tchinvier Quentin

Konan Yao Tchinvier Quentin, an Ivorian dancer and performer, blends breakdance, coupé décalé, and contemporary styles to create thought-provoking performances. His master’s degree in dance and choreography, along with collaborations with Compagnie Artistique et Culturelle, underscore his dedication to artistic exploration and innovation.

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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.

Paulin Aby Maindron

Paulin Aby Maindron, a versatile artist born in Ethiopia and raised in France, has enchanted audiences worldwide with his performances in dance, theater, and music. From prestigious schools like Rudra Béjart to acclaimed productions such as “Revelation” by Alvin Ailey, Paulin’s talent shines across diverse artistic landscapes.

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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.

Refiloe Mogoje

Refiloe Mogoje, a South African performing artist and educator, received her professional training from prestigious institutions such as Moving Into Dance, The Dance Factory Youth Programme, and Jazzart Dance Theatre.
From collaborations with renowned choreographers to nurturing young talent in her community, Refiloe’s commitment to excellence and passion for teaching inspire audiences and students alike.
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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.

Rubina Suzeth

Rubina Suzeth, an Angolan dancer and influencer, has swiftly risen to prominence with her natural talent and dedication to her craft. From television programs to international competitions, Rubina’s achievements as a performer and choreographer underscore her growing influence in the global dance community.
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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.

Yasmine Lindskog Visanko

Yasmine Lindskog Visanko, a Swedish-American dance artist based in Brussels, captivates audiences with her improvisational skills and dynamic performances. With a rich background in contemporary dance and collaborations with acclaimed choreographers, Yasmine continues to push artistic boundaries on international stages.
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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.

The journey through the lives and artistry of the MAISHA dancers unveils a captivating narrative of passion, perseverance, and the transformative power of dance. From humble beginnings to international stages, these dancers 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.

Join us in welcoming these talents on board of the MAISHA Dance initiative!

MAISHA Dance live stream update: watch the recorded show

We apologize for the technical problem with the live stream on the link provided here yesterday. However, the show was recorded and can be watched by clicking the button below.

Don’t miss out on this exciting experience—tune in from the comfort of your home.