Music: The Emotional Roots

The liveliest dance show in Manhattan last year was being staged by 36 dusky young people from Guinea. Les Ballets Africains has toured the world for six years and made its U.S. debut last year, but, because the troupe had been too long exposed to civilization, northern style ("certain intellectuals thought we could be cultured by being acquainted with Rimbaud. Picasso and Renoir"), the directors reorganized the company, recruited an almost entirely new group of Guinea dancers most of whom had never set foot on a stage.

The program, too, was modified,, but the...

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