The high profile of the National Dance Company of Ghana marks the culmination of a development initiated by the first President of the Republic of Ghana. The Ghana Dance Ensemble was established in 1962 under the Directorship of Professor J.H. Nketia at the Institute of African Studies. The Late Professor Albert Mawere-Opoku was its first Artistic Director. Mawere –Opoku’s neo-traditional dances remain part of the standard repertoire of the company. Professor F. Nii-Yartey became the Artistic Director of the Dance Ensemble in 1976. In 1992 the Ghana Dance Ensemble was transferred to the National Theatre as an autonomous resident company under PNDC Law 259.
Part of the Ensemble however, remained at the University of Ghana to help with teaching and research. For the purposes of differentiation, the group at the National Theatre of Ghana, known as the National Dance Company of Ghana. Under the artistic direction of Nii-Yartey, the company enlarged its repertoire to include the creation of Dance-Theatre Productions and “Contemporary African Dances as well as productions for Special Events.
The Company has established itself as one of the most versatile and formidable dance companies in Africa today. David T. Akushey Amoo, a trained dancer and set-designer, continued with the artistic works from 2006; combining his visual arts and dance backgrounds to give the company a fresh look. The Dance Company is now under the artistic direction of Nii-Tete Yartey.