Archive for the ‘Dance’ Category

Nubian Nene’s Crown Heights Creatives | Lakou NOU Recap

01.08.18

Happy New Year! We’re starting 2018 by reflecting on artist-in-residence Nadine “Nubian Nene” Sylvestre’s presentation of her project “Crown Heights Creatives.” The event concluded the Lakou NOU 2017 presentation series on December 22nd and sent us off into the holiday season motivated to breathe, move, and meditate on the impact we have on our neighborhoods.

IMG_0269

Nene’s residency and culminating project was based on her belief that basic human services are things a city should provide its residents. In “Crown Heights Creatives”, Nene documents the personal perspective of residents on environmental justice and access to healthy public spaces. She assesses the Crown Heights community needs, raises awareness about the presence of local street farms, gardens and the availability of healthy foods, and engages the creatives of that community to share their skills, expertise and teachings towards collective action.

The event included live drumming and original music by Lakou NOU 2016 residents Okai Fleurimont & DJ Sabine Blaizin, a dance class taught by Nene herself, live painting by Haitian-American visual artist Madjeen Isaac, and a multi-media video and performance installation conceptualized by Nene for this residency. Photographer and videographer Richard Louissant helped to create the video installation, accentuating the way Nene’s movement reflected on space-based relationships and inheritance.

In her new performance piece created for the Lakou NOU residency, Nubian Nene pulls from her Haitian heritage, connecting the dots between Crown Heights, its residents, and herself – a Haitian-Canadian woman living in Brooklyn.  She danced in honor and in portrayal of Kouzen Zaka, the agriculture/harvest/hard worker lwa of Haitian Vodou. By doing this she further enforced the idea of community collective action and relationship to space.

NUBIAN NENE Lakou Nou Performance – Friday, December 22, 2017 from Richard Louissaint on Vimeo.

Find more photos from Nene’s event on Facebook by clicking here.

 

About the author:

Veroneque Ignace is a Brooklyn-based Haitian American community arts advocate and public health practitioner. She is the creator of Kriyol Dance! Collective and centers her work on community and individual wellness. Veroneque is an alum of Suny Downstate Medical Center: School of Public Health.

For more of her work: www.veronequeignace.com | instagram.com/_kriyoldance_

Posted in Archive, Dance, HCX Programs, Lakou NOU, Music, Uncategorized | No Comments »

Lakou NOU 2017: Canarsie’s Konpa Celebration

10.17.17

Glenda Lezeau, Lakou (1)

Glenda Lezeau (Canarsie) is a lover of all things Konpa from the keyboard solos to the dance moves. She is a piano player determined to shed a different light on Haiti by sharing the sounds of Haitian music along with its beautiful culture. Her passion for music strengthens and intensifies as she advances a movement of positive, inspirational music that is powerful enough to impact others. With over 20 years of training as a pianist and violist, Glenda has performed at many high profile venues, including Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, The Plaza Hotel and New York’s City Hall. She holds a diploma in Instrumental Music from Fiorella H. Laguardia High School of the Arts and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Connecticut.

Canarsie’s Konpa Celebration is designed to celebrate the beautiful sounds of Konpa and Haitian Culture in a community that is historically Haitian and that lacks convening spaces so integral to building and sustaining communities. With a community dance fitness session, Konpa dance showcase, and special musical performance by the artist herself, Glenda Lezeau builds a celebration that uplifts Haitian music and dance while allowing people to come together as one. The event will feature Konpa music all throughout, catering by Fleurimond Catering, and special giveaways!

DATE/TIME: Saturday, November 18, 2017 | 4pm – 8pm
LOCATION: Happy Seniors Adult Social Daycare | MAP
611 East 76th Street | Brooklyn, NY 11236
ADMISSION: Free Entry

Click here for the Facebook event page!

lakou-nou-funders

Posted in Dance, HCX Programs, Lakou NOU, Music, Uncategorized, Weekend | No Comments »

#Trending by Veroneque Ignace | Lakou NOU Artist-in-Residence Recap

12.13.16

by Nathalie Jolivert, Communications and Outreach Coordinator

For her project as a Lakou NOU artist-in-residence, Veroneque Ignace, dancer and public health worker, reached out to youth at Erasmus High School in Flatbush and engaged them in discussions designed to help them express their feelings about violence experienced in their communities. Veroneque worked with 5 students over the course of two months, which resulted in the final presentation on Saturday November 12, at Brooklyn Fête in East Flatbush, incorporating dance, spoken word, live music and video.

Veroneque’s project “#Trending” seeks to to provide creative mechanisms to those who experience trauma due to violence in their neighborhoods. The title of her project shines light on the growing numbers of deaths in the black community as they get reported via the media. Veroneque’s long-term project kicked off with this first presentation and will essentially continue to provide creative tools to her students and her clients in their healing process. With this first presentation at Brooklyn Fête, Veroneque reaches out to a young population that the US must remember as the future of this country. Quite appropriately, in a solo within the dance performance, one of her senior dancers from Kriyòl Dance Collective performed with a simple black hoodie as homage to Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old African-American high-school student who was shot by a police officer in 2012 and whose tragic death became an important marker of police brutality in the US.

See below a video clip of Veroneque’s performance:

funders

Posted in Archive, Dance, HCX Programs, Lakou NOU, Youth Programs | No Comments »

Ann Pale | Café Conversation with Lakou NOU Artists

10.06.16

by Nathalie Jolivert, Communications and Outreach Coordinator at HCX.

1

Lakou NOU is Haiti Cultural Exchange’s newest Artist in Residency program providing opportunities for artists to work in Brooklyn communities that are home to generations of Haitians and Haitian-Americans. The first four artists to participate in this program are true community activists who will be working in the neighborhoods of Crown Heights, Flatbush, East Flatbush and Canarsie. Their projects deal with urbanism, place-making, community-building, public health, and empowerment at a time in US history when the Afro-Caribbean people of Brooklyn need it most. HCX hosted its signature Ann Pale Café Conversation panel with the first cohort of Lakou NOU residents: Sabine Blaizin, Veroneque Ignace, & Okai Fleurimont. (Sherley Davilmar was unable to be present).

20160926-sabine-blaizin-crown-heights-jute

Sabine Blaizin, a New York based DJ who spins Afro-Soul, combines sounds of the African and Afro-Caribbean diaspora. In her project based in Crown Heights, Blaizin will create a soundscape with stories she will collect from Haitian members in the community affected by gentrification. To collect those stories, Blaizin is very proactive in connecting with Crown Heights community leaders and attending neighborhood meetings relevant to her subject. On October 26th, she will be holding interviews at our office in Crown Heights with volunteer residents. Their stories will be recorded by StoryCorps and archived in the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress.

Blaizin has performed with DJs in various cities in the US, Canada, Dakar, Mexico, Cuba and Haiti. In answering how it feels like to travel to different countries and coming back to the US with new material, she explains that she reaches a different level of connection with her crowd. Listening to her music mixing conversations, deep reflections and words of wisdom, one can already imagine how inspiring and challenging it may be for Blaizin to piece together sounds of grief, displacement, nostalgia and disappointment in Crown Heights. The feelings that are attached with the “Haitian flight” in Crown Heights can be assimilated to all the forced migrations people of black heritage experience. Gentrification is an ongoing occurrence in Crown Heights. It is bittersweet to foresee that the residents’ experience is ready to be archived for the memory of future generations. Blaizin’s project also brings an opportunity for those residents to reflect on their situation with an approach that might reveal new depths in their understanding of what gentrification means in their lives.

20160926-veroneque-ignace-east-flatbush

Véronèque Ignace is a dancer and public-health professional who wants to heal through the power of dance. This has been an important goal for her since working on her thesis at Williams College. In a powerful video introduction of her thesis, she explains that the experience of Black students studying in predominantly white institutions can be traumatic and should be taken into account in their academic performance. The result is a dissertation and choreography in which her dancers interact with the audience and make them face this issue with movement.

How does her experience as a dancer and academician at Williams differ from her role as a healer in East Flatbush? “In East Flatbush my work is not a show” she responds. In East Flatbush, Ignace creates a platform and outlet for the youth to deal with emotions that are not always addressed. It is an opportunity for her to truly practice skills of dance therapy and respond to the youth’s reaction to violence in their neighborhood. “Some of them are afraid to leave their house” Ignace explains.

The title to Veroneque’s project is “#Trending” and she encourages the young Haitian-Americans of East Flatbush to express their feelings about the trending deaths in the Black community – Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, more recently Keith Scott… unfortunately, the list goes on. How not to feel overwhelmed? Dealing with the growing numbers is a challenge that Ignace is willing to tackle as the youth of East Flatbush grapple with the violence they witness in their community.

20160926-rodney-okai-fleurimont-canarsie

Rodney ‘Okai’ Fleurimont, is a percussionist and MC who is interested in the importance and benefits of a healthy diet in a musician’s life. In recent experiences traveling with his music band, he realized that, beyond the fatigue of traveling through different time-zones, the meals his colleagues consumed had a direct correlation with their performances. Okai has previously taught at PS 189 in Brownsville Brooklyn as a Ti Atis teacher via HCX and his experiences leading workshops and various other initiatives, made him realize that there is a pressing need for the youth in the Black community to think about their diet. Issues of diabetes and obesity are prominent within the youth of the Black Community.

With his project in Canarsie, Okai will partner with various drummers, masters of Afro-Caribbean and West-African techniques, to teach students how to play the drums. Each session will begin with a class on exercise and diet. Okai’s goal is to inspire the Haitian-American youth to keep their passion for music alive by understanding that they need the physical strength to carry their musical instruments around and also to play for hours without collapsing. There are many other benefits in participating in Okai’s workshops. Discipline and team-work are the qualities he sees his students acquire as they learn how to play the drums. They understand that it takes great team-work and perfect coordination to carry out a nice melody.

Sherley Davilmar, who will be working in the community of Flatbush was unable to make it to the Ann Pale Café Conversation. However, she shared with us the workshops that she will be hosting in the upcoming weeks for her project. They will all take place at the Brooklyn Public Library on Linden Boulevard and will cover themes of “Health Beauty and Wellness”, “Gentrification” and “Black Bodies”. From Davilmar’s energetic performances during HCX’s Selebrasyon events, one can already expect that her work will be charged with great information for future performances.

The Ann Pale Café Conversation with the Lakou NOU artists was a great opportunity for us to learn about the progress of their work. Speaking to the audience was also initial research material for the artists in their projects. As interactive as their work is, it will be inspiring to see how their projects evolve in the upcoming months.

Check out the Facebook Album HERE.

Take a look at the calendar of upcoming programs HERE.

Posted in An n' Pale, Archive, Dance, Events, HCX Programs, Music, Uncategorized | No Comments »

« Older Entries |