Sat, May 18 Mon, May 20

Yassama And The Beaded Calabash 

from Ontario

Part theatre, storytime and dance for little ones, we follow Yassama, a brave young girl who saves her village from a major catastrophe. 

ages 3+

part of JUNIOR Festival

Pay what you wish
$5 minimum

Get tickets

Photo by Dahlia Katz


Photo by Dahlia Katz


Created especially for young children, Yassama and the Beaded Calabash is the story of a young girl who, with the help of the old Baobab tree, saves her village from drought and delivers a powerful lesson about the importance of respecting and honouring Mother Earth.  

Rooted in African oral tradition, acclaimed artist Lua Shayenne invites children into storytelling as active participants through rhythmic language, lively song, engaging movement and dance accompanied by live drumming and a rich percussive score.  

Il y a très longtemps, quelque part dans un village dans un pays lointain, vivait autrefois une jeune fille qui s’appelait Yassama.

Yassama et la calebasse aux cauris est l’histoire d’une jeune fille qui, avec l’aide d’un vieux Baobab, sauve son village de la sécheresse et délivre une leçon puissante sur l’importance de respecter et d’honorer la Terre Mère.
L’artiste de renom Lua Shayenne mêle danse et musique à un récit captivant dans un spectacle interactif spécialement conçu pour les jeunes enfants.

About Lua Shayenne 

Nominated for the 2024 Toronto Arts Foundation Muriel Sherrin Award, Lua Shayenne, a dynamic creator, intertwines contemporary narratives through dance, song and storytelling. Inspired by her African heritage and the Baha’i Faith, her art ignites hearts and stirs consciences, fostering dialogue and advocacy for ecological stewardship, social equity and spiritual growth.

Lua is the creator and performer of the dance theatre children’s tale, ‘Yassama and The Beaded Calabash’. Catch her on tour this May and June 2024 at JUNIOR at Harbourfront Centre (Toronto), Vancouver Children’s Festival, Children’s Festival of Saskatchewan and York region schools (Aurora, Keswick, Black River); and in October 2024 at MIFO in Orléans.

Lua is the artistic director and choreographer of Dora nominated (2019) Lua Shayenne Dance Company (LSDC). Through LSDC, Lua boldly envisioned and launched YENSA Festival in 2022, a biennial festival that highlights the incredible multiplicity of black women dance practitioners and nurtures an environment where they can have substantive conversations, take risks and be given due recognitions.

Lua’s latest performing highlights include HOLOSCENES tours in the US, UK, Abu Dhabi & Australia, Été au Théâtre in Italy, Fall for Dance North, Luminato, Dusk Dances, d:mic, Vox Théâtre, Sharing The Stage, etc.

Lua teaches at Toronto Metropolitan University’s dance program and brings African dance, music, storytelling and culture to grassroots organizations and schools all over Canada and Europe.

About Cécé Haba

Hailing from Guinea, West Africa, Cécé Haba is a passionate percussionist specializing in djembe and dundun. A Lua Shayenne Dance Company member, he delves into traditional rhythms of his culture. Haba also contributes as a musician in Vincent Leblanc-Beaudoin’s OS. Touring regularly with the children’s tale Yassama and the Beaded Calabash, premiered in 2022, Haba has performed at esteemed venues like Fall for Dance North, Vox théâtre, and Harbourfront’s Sharing the Stage/National Ballet of Canada. Collaborating with artists such as Lua Shayenne, Collette “Miss Coco” Murray and Pulga Muchochoma, Haba continues to enrich Toronto’s vibrant dance scene.


Producer, Text, Performer Lua Shayenne Director Karine Ricard Dramaturgy, Educational Consultant Lynda Hill Voice Coach, Dramaturgy Fides Krucker Translation Dramaturgy Djennie LaGuerre Costumes Rachel Forbes Backdrop Design Quentin VerCetty Lighting Logan Raju Cracknell Stage Management Joey Lau Costume Sewer Carlyn Rahusaar Routledge

Music Cécé Haba

Yassama and the Beaded Calabash was commissioned and developed with the support of the WeeFestival of Arts & Culture and Théâtre Français de Toronto.

Productrice, texte, intèrprète Lua Shayenne Mise en scène Karine Ricard Dramaturgie et consultante éducatrice Lynda Hill Coach vocal et dramaturgie Fides Krucker Conseil dramaturgique (version Française) Djennie LaGuerre Costumes Rachel Forbes Toile de Fond Quentin VerCetty Éclairage Logan Raju Cracknell Régisseuse Joey Lau Couturière Carlyn Rahusaar Routledge

Musique Cécé Haba

Commandité et développé avec le soutien du WeeFestival et du Théâtre français de Toronto.

Dates & Times

Sat, May 18
1:30pm 2:10pm
Sun, May 19
1:30pm 2:10pm
Mon, May 20
12:30pm 1:10pm


Pay what you wish
$5 minimum

Access Info

If you require wheelchair or accessible seating, please contact our Box Office ahead of time at tickets@harbourfrontcentre.com or phone (416) 973-4000, Option 1 – Wednesday–Friday from 1-5pm.

There will be flashing lights and slow changes from light to dark but never completely dark.

The storyteller will sing in English as well as in Soussou, Malinké and French.


Brigantine Room

A large room that can transform into many different types of spaces with movable chair seating.

  • Indoor Venue
  • Wheelchair accessible

235 Queens Quay West
Toronto, ON
M5J 2G8