Sunday, Nov. 3
Come celebrate life, fertility and death with Haiti’s raucous Gede spirits through song, dance and drums. During Fet Gede, Haiti’s Feast of the Dead, revelers dress up and dance to entice the spirits of the dead to celebrate with their living descendants. In this special celebration, you’ll learn the traditional dances of Banda and Maskawon, mostly known as Yanvalou Gede in a dynamic two-hour dance workshop. To enhance the experience, we encourage you to wear black, white, purple or silver outfits and bring props like a cane, dark glasses and tall black top hat. After class, join us for some light refreshments and mingling to top off our celebration. Kwa Simibo!
Nadia Dieudonné is a choreographer, dancer, and teacher. As a child, she performed with well-known Haitian folk singer and community activist, Mrs. Myriam Dorisme. She’s also worked with and been mentored by Haitian icon Jean-Leon Destine for more than 12 years. Nadia has been commissioned to perform in the U.S. and abroad, dancing with many acclaimed groups from the African Diaspora. As part of her commitment to preserve her culture, Nadia founded Nadia Dieudonné & Feet of Rhythm, a Haitian Folkloric Dance Company that fuses traditional Vodou dances with her unique contemporary style. She later founded Feet of Rhythm Kids Cultural program & Dance Company, for Haitian-American youth. Nadia has taught master classes at various prestigious institutions including New York University, City College in San Francisco, San Francisco State University, Lincoln Center, Jacob’s Pillow, Lincoln Center Midsummer Night Swing, The Katherine Dunham Dance Institute and Alvin Ailey.
Julio Jean is a renowned master Haitian dance teacher and choreographer with 20 years of experience, and blends traditional Haitian forms with modern and contemporary dance to create compelling movement narratives. As a teacher, he pays great attention to detail while bringing forth the joy and beauty of the dances.
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 and released the album, “Kenbe la,” which encompasses the panorama of traditional Haitian music.