There are great dance schools and great places for artistic training in West Africa : numerous talents have had the time to blossom there, young people who have learnt to build themselves a solid base of knowledge and techniques.
However few places offer a real space for creation where artists from all disciplines can meet, exchange, confront their limits, find cultural ressources (books, videos, etc) or help to overcome their difficulties.

How can one continue to keep one’s art evolving and discover the internal paths that lead to right expression ?
Leaving and searching to fill this emptiness in the West is an option, but apart from the real difficulty of free movement for artists, it poses an important question : how in this case, do you revitalise a creativity that is anchored in the African earth and also strengthen a modern African aesthetic, free of clichés, which speaks powerfully and simply to the public ?

Conscious of these difficulties and paradoxes that he himself lived through, Serge Aimé Coulibaly created in Bobo Dioulasso, in 2014, Ankata, Laboratoire International de Recherche, Création et Production des Arts de la scène. (Ankata, Interational Laboratory of Research, Creation and Production of the Performing Arts).


“Ankata” is a word in dyula which means “Let’s go !” and which perfectly sums up our philosophy.

Even before being a physical space, Ankata is a bright mental space where everything is possible : yes, financial and material difficulties are real for artists, yes cultural politics are still weak in West Africa, yes everything has yet to be built to let original and pertinent creations to develop but no ! We are not giving up and we are looking together for adapted solutions.

It is with this primordial energy that the laboratory opened its doors, in the heart of the sector 24 in Bobo Dioulasso, Serge Aimé’s hometown.

A place designed for artists, it regularly welcomes the inhabitants and their neighbours to see work in progress : contemporary art is so often seen as being inaccessible, even though it directly addresses the realities and the history of the peoples of today. It is time to build bridges.


Like all laboratories, Ankata is a space in constant movement and in permanent reconstruction ; it invents itself daily, enriching itself with encounters, reflections and needs which come to light little by little.

Ankata, throughout the year, offers artists from all horizons and other disciplines a place for creation adapted to their needs : there they find quality equipment, a calm and serene space to free their imagination, a stage that has been rebuilt and a resources centre. They can also take advantage of the external eye of seasoned professionals.

At the end of the residency, the doors are opened to the neighbourhood who come and react spontaneously to the creation that is offered to them.


Young choreographers suffer from a lack of visibility and cannot tour their work. In December 2015, Ankata organised the first competition of solo choreography

Simply the Best ; the first edition was open to Burkinabé choreographer dancers. In 2016 the competition opened to the whole region and became Simply the Best West Africa. The winners of these two years now have benefitted with creative residences and an African and European tour.

In the long term, we are working so that this competition will become a place for international encounters and Serge Aimé imagines it being pan african.