Kormassa Bobo (b. 1963)
Born into a family known for its skill in dance and music, Kormassa Bobo has been dancing since she was a child. From 1967 to 1977, she performed with her father's Monigee Dance Troupe, in Lofa County, Liberia. She was singled out to join the new Liberian National Dance Troupe organized by the president of Liberia when she was just 14, and through this experience, Ms. Bobo became a master of the traditional dances of Liberia's sixteen ethnic groups. She rose to become the troupe's matron, with responsibility for the care and teaching of female children and young women in the ensemble. She came to the United States in 1993 and danced with the Liberian Dance Troupe in New York and the Nimely Pan-African Dancers in Minnesota before coming to Philadelphia in 1995. Here she founded her own ensemble.
A skilled teacher as well as a gripping and dynamic dancer, Ms. Bobo is a wonderful ambassador for the cultural richness and traditions of her homeland. Among the dances she can perform and teach are the moonlight dance, the sande dance, the dances of the Lorma (her own group), the female dance from Lofa County, the Kru female dance, Vai dances, and the Kpelle and Bassa dances. Ms. Bobo has taught and performed at community events and in the Philadelphia Folklore Project's "Philly Dance Africa" and folk arts school residency programs. She has taught dance in PFP's Culture Camp program (2009) and was one of the artists involved in developing the Liberian Performance Project (2012-2013).