Casimiro Nhussi

Founder, Artistic Director
Casimiro Nhussi is a professional African dancer, choreographer, dance instructor and musician based in Winnipeg. Born in Mozambique, Africa, he has been a dance professional since 1982. Starting his career as dancer, Casimiro then became the principal dancer, and then the Artistic Director of the Mozambique National Song and Dance Company. Currently Casimiro is the Artistic Director and Founder of Winnipeg’s only African contemporary dance company; NAfro Dance Productions.

Paula Blair

Dancer
Paula Blair is an independent dance artist, choreographer and teacher living in Winnipeg. Under the Artistic Direction of Casimiro Nhussi, Paula has been dancing with NAfro Dance Productions since the company's inception. Paula has performed NAfro company works choreographed by Casimiro Nhussi, Michele Moss, Patrick Parson, Vivine Scarlett & Charmaine Headley. NAfro has toured within Canada and in Mozambique, Africa. As a dancer and independent choreographer Paula has initiated several projects and presented her work across Canada, including her self-produced shows FANCY THAT, RAW, JUST A LITTLE and RUN FOR IT. Paula presented her newest show CLOSE YOUR EYES in June 2012. Paula has also had the privilege of working with Canadian choreographers Rachel Browne, Stephanie Ballard, Gaile Petursson-Hiley, Constance Cooke, Brent Lott, and Christina Medina. Throughout Paula's entire professional career, she has had the awesome fortune of working with the innovative dance maker Sharon Moore. Pa

Nicole Coppens

Dancer
Nicole Coppens is in her seventh season with NAfro Dance Productions. With the company, Nicole has performed work by Paula Blair, Charmaine Headley, Michele Moss, Patrick Parsons, Lulu Sale and most of all Artistic Director Casimiro Nhussi. Most recently, she performed in NAfro's exciting ten year anniversary showcase, "MOVING INSPIRATIONS Dance Festival". Last June she performed in Paula Blair's newest full-length work "BLOWING KISSES". In previous years she has also danced in Blair's, "CLOSE YOUR EYES", "RUN FOR IT" and "FANCY THAT". Some other recent performances include the International Association of Blacks in Dance Conference (Toronto), and "The Scents of Tang" created by Alexandra Elliot and Renee Vandale (presented in the Winnipeg Fringe Festival). Nicole is a graduate of the Professional Program of the School of Contemporary Dancers and has her Bachelor of Arts degree in affiliation with the University of Winnipeg. She is also a teacher for the School of Contemporary Dancer's

Hélène Le Moullec Mancini

Dancer
Hélène Le Moullec Mancini began her journey with Casimiro Nhussi and NAfro Dance Productions in June 2005 after graduating from the School of Contemporary Dancers with a B.A Honours in Dance. Already in her ninth season with NAfro she has had the opportunity to perform in works choreographed by Casimiro Nhussi, Michele Moss, Patrick Parson, Paula Blair, Lulu Sala and Vivine Scarlett. Nationally Hélène has performed at the Canada Dance Festival in Ottawa, the International Association of Blacks in Dance in Toronto (2006 and 2012) and at the Montréal arts Intercultural in Montreal. This past November Hélène had the pleasure of co-ordinating and administrating the first Moving Inspirations Dance Festival. The festival celebrated NAfro's 10th anniversary with three packed days of classes, workshops and performances. She has also worked independently for choreographers Stephanie Ballard (Landscape Dance), Brent Lott (“Swept from the Sea”) as well as with photographers Jeff Friesen and Rodne

Robyn Thomson Kacki

Dancer
Robyn Thomson Kacki. Robyn has been dancing with NAfro since 2009. In the past year, she performed with NAfro in Toronto at the IABD conference, and in NAfro's own "Moving Inspirations Dance Festival". She also had the opportunity to perform a new solo work choreographed by Casimiro Nhussi for the Culture Days: Dance Downtown professional performance. Robyn has also had the privilege of working with choreographers Stephanie Ballard, Paula Blair, Odette Heyn, and Gaile Petursson-Hiley for Mouvement Winnipeg Dance Projects, as well as with the company @tendance/C.Medina in Graz, Austria. Robyn is a founding member of Drive Dance, which performs works gifted by Stephanie Ballard and Gaile Petursson-Hiley. She will be performing with Drive in April, and again at the 2013 Winnipeg Fringe Festival. She has also taken part in Ten Gates Dancing's Exclusive Intensive at La B.A.R.N. in Litchfield, Quebec in 2009 and 2011, studying with Tedd Robinson and Peter Boneham, and performing works by Mar

Kim Hildebrand

Apprentice Dancer
Kim Hildebrand is a recent graduate of The School of Contemporary Dancers and has received a BA Honours in Dance from the UofW. Immersed in the dance culture for the past 4 years, Kim has worked with Stephanie Ballard's Landscape Dancing, Odette Heyn Projects with Winnipeg's Symphony Orchestra, and has had a mentorship with WCD's Brent Lott through ACI Manitoba. She was also honoured with the chance to be at The Canada Dance Festival in Ottawa this June. There she worked with Ted Robinson on his 60 Dancer Project. At the end of June she was also fortunate to have worked with Constance Cooke Company in the performance of Argon 2. She is very grateful for the apprenticeship with Nafro Dance Productions and is excited to be working with such talented artists

Dave Brown

Musician
In the ‘80s Dave Brown toured and recorded with popular ska, reggae and punk rock band the Dub Rifles. He has recorded with the Nils, JFK and the Conspirators, Pipe Dream and Wendy Isaac. As well as playing saxes and flute with NAfro Dance bands Dave is a member of Rebel Force reggae band and the Victor Street Ensemble.

Roger Cloutier

Musician
Roger Cloutier has travelled across Canada playing in a variety of venues, festivals, and circuits as a guitar player, singer and saxophone player. Roger enjoys playing R&B, funk, jazz and now Afro - Beat.

Tim Church

Musician
Tim Church is drawn to the subtle and ancient relationship between dance and music. He finds himself in the midst of this interaction often... playing for weekly Modern dance classes at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and the School of Contemporary Dancers... playing with Chango, a band that performs polyrhythmic West-African drumming music and dance... and when he ventures into the exploratory territory of composing for cutting-edge Contemporary dance choreographers. There is always that interesting interaction... that mysterious, magnetic synergy. Tim is honoured to have the good fortune to work again with these incredible dancers, this great band, and Casimiro - the visionary behind it all.

Nick Kolisnyk

Musician
A lifelong musician, Nick’s studied African Drumming in Winnipeg, Victoria, Gatineau and Chicago and is a Djembe repair specialist. He’s a founding member of West African drumming group Chango.

A multi­-instrumentalist, Nick’s first project with Casimiro Nhussi saw him adding infectious trumpet licks to the Western Canada Music Award- nominated album “Gweka”.

Nick has had the opportunity to work with Batuque Percussion, Rupertsland Brass Band, the Exile Brass Band, the CMU Jazz Band, Riverwood Church, and with local chart toppers Lake Winnipeg and The Perms.

Ewingi B. Kiki

Musician
Ewingi B. Kiki has been playing guitar for over 20 years. Born in D.R. Congo, Ewingi moved to Thailand where he lived for three years before coming to Canada in 2008.
He began his professional career in 2000 and has played in many countries including Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Sudan, Thailand and China. In addition to playing guitar, Ewingi has been a featured vocalist. Ewingi plans to continue pursuing his passion – music.

Kelly Leveille

Musician
Kelly Leveille is an exciting musician with a unique ability to tastefully fuse vast cultural styles into a seamless creative blend. In his 27 years of performing he has contributed his creativity to African, Vietnamese, Israeli, French-Canadian & Latin cultural groups. Every performance is fresh & every lick delivered with deepest respect for the groove.

Cam MacLean

Musician
Cam MacLean is a musician, composer, and recordist who is interested in the meaning of things, including the meaning of sound.

Jay Stoller

Musician
Jay Stoller has been playing percussion for 29 years and focuses his attention on West African music. Living in Ghana for 4 years has provided Jay with a unique insight into both the music and culture of that country. He holds a diploma in African music from the University of Ghana. In Winnipeg, Jay is a sought after performer and educator. He has brought the excitement of African drumming to 1000's of school children throughout Manitoba as well as to the corporate world via the teambuilding programs of the Drum Cafe. Jay has worked with Casimiro since 1999. Jay has released five of his own CDs. He shares his passion for Africa with those that join his annual cultural tours to Ghana.

Binasio Wani

Musician
Binasio Wani started playing African drums when he was 6 years old. He then learned to play the mberra as well as keyboard, and drum kit. Binasio was a founding member of Kalahari African Drumming with Casmiro Nussi (1997). With this and other African music groups, Binasio performed many concerts, including Winnipeg Folk Festival, Winnipeg Singers, and also took part in the movies “The Saddest Music in the World” and “Sissy Boy Slap Party”, by Guy Madden. As a musician Binasio now helps youth from the Sudanese community; teaching them music to keep them off the street. He also works with Manitoba Schools in the Peaceful Village Program as the group drumming instructor.