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Come indulge yourself by “lage ko’w” (Creole for let yourself go) in this special Haitian Kanaval Celebration with Julio Jean & Nadia Dieudonne! We’ll learn the most popular Haitian Kanaval rhythms and dances like Koy and Raboday. Haiti, especially in Jacmel, celebrates Kanaval with extravagant paper maché masks and costumes. The students are encouraged to wear colorful outfits, masks or risqué costumes.

About the Instructors:

Julio Jean is a renowned master Haitian dance teacher and choreographer with 20 years of experience. His dancing is both graceful and magnetic.In his teaching, Julio pays great attention to detail while bringing forth the joy and beauty of the dances. Julio’s choreography blends traditional Haitian forms with modern and contemporary dance to create compelling movement narratives.

Julio studied with Lavinia Williams, a company member of Katherine Dunham, at the National School of Arts in Haiti. In 1989, he moved to New York City, and worked directly with Katherine Dunham teaching traditional Haitian dance for her teacher trainings. He has been a guest teacher at Webster University in Saint Louis and Humboldt University, and has taught workshops in San Francisco, Milwaukee and at the Dance New England Dance Camp in Poland, Maine. Among other venues, Julio’s performances have been seen at Alvin Ailey for National Dance week and at Summer Stage in 2010. Currently, Julio teaches in New York City and at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Julio is also a songwriter and composer.  He has released an album that encompasses the panorama of traditional Haitian music.

Nadia Dieudonné is a choreographer, dancer and teacher who began dancing at an early age. By the age of 12 Nadia was performing with well known Haitian folk singer and community activist Mrs. Myriam Dorisme. For more than 12 years Nadia has been fortunate to have been mentored by Haitian icon Jean-Leon Destine and worked alongside him as an assistant teacher. As a performing artist Nadia has also danced with the many acclaimed groups from the African Diaspora and was commissioned to perform throughout the US and abroad Canada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Holland, Japan and Trinidad. As part of her commitment to preserve her culture, in 1994 she founded, Nadia Dieudonné & Feet of Rhythm, Haitian Folkloric Dance Company where she creates, develops and fuses traditional Vodou dances with her unique contemporary style. In 1995, Nadia also found it necessary to share and teach young Haitian-American youth who are not aware nor exposed to the vibrant culture of Haiti. As a result, she established Feet of Rhythm Kids Cultural Program & Dance Company. Nadia has conducted adult master classes at prestigious institutions including New York University, City College of San Francisco, San Francisco State University, Lincoln Center, Jacobs Pillow, Lincoln Center Midsummer Night Swing, The Katherine Dunham Dance Institute and Alvin Ailey. Nadia is a certified teacher for the Department of Education and has an MA in Dance Education from New York University and an MA in TESOL from Grand Canyon University.