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NYC Premier of Compagnie de Dance Jean René Delsoin

04.25.18

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Curated by Régine M. Roumain, Executive Director of HCX, this year’s festival is an ode to artists, inspired by Haiti’s revolutionary spirit. Beginning May 6 and ending June 29, 2018, Ayiti ANGAJE/Atis ANGAJE presents talent whose artistic practice is rooted in social justice. Through creativity, expression, and community, this two-month festival will bring together over thirty emerging, mid-career and established artists to present their work in mainstage and community venues in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

On two dates in June, HCX will be hosting the New York City Premiere of Haiti-based dance company, Compagnie de Danse Jean-René (COJRD), created by pioneer dancer Jean-René
Delsoin.

Delsoin, who began his dance studies in Haiti, followed by training at the National School Dance of Jamaica, and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center among other prestigious institutions, had international dance credits with American choreographer Kevin Iega Jeff’s Jubilations!, and a two-year Latin American tour with Dominican singer Angela Carrasco. In 2004, after directing other dance projects, he ventured out on his own to form the Jean-René Delsoin Dance Center, as well as a company project now called the Compagnie de Danse Jean-René (COJRD). COJRD brings the richness of cultural expression and dances in Haiti to the world. It aims to bridge diverse communities worldwide by creating and producing dances of the highest level of artistry and versatility.

For Mr. Delsoin, dance is as borderless as the dancing body is both particular and universal. Dance is accessible to all: its messages resonate in Haiti and in all reaches of the globe. Forty-five works by Mr. Delsoin and five choreographers from Haïti and abroad utilize modern, jazz and contemporary dance techniques alongside traditional Haitian dance. These dance performances explore quotidian practices and concerns in Haiti alongside universal themes. The fusion of techniques in COJRD champions the vision of a contemporary Haitian who nurtures his traditions and mores while living in the present and embracing what the future holds.

COJRD will be performing at the following venues:

JRD Promo. (1)
HaitiXNY performance by Compagnie de Danse Jean-René Delsoin at the Hudson Guild
Wednesday, June 6th | 7:30pm
Hudson Guild Theatre | 441 W 26th St, New York, NY 10001

Selebrasyon Ann Pale 2018 - JRD Mark Morris
Ann Pale, Master class and HaitiXNY performance by Compagnie de Danse Jean-René Delsoin at Mark Morris Dance Center
Sunday, June 10th | 12 – 5pm
Mark Morris Dance Center | 3 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Purchase Tickets Here.

For more information on Selebrasyon! and sponsorship opportunities please contact Haiti Cultural Exchange at 347-565-4429 or email info@haiticulturalx.org.

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Bordering the Imaginary: Art from the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and their Diasporas  at BRIC House

04.02.18

“The Brooklyn-based arts organizations BRIC and Haiti Cultural Exchange teamed up on the occasion of the visual art exhibition, Bordering the Imaginary: Art from the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and their Diasporas to ask four local thinkers of Haitian and Dominican descent to write about their personal experiences of border between the two nations. What ideas did they grow up with, and what inherited notions are challenged by their experiences living 1,500 miles from the island once known as Kiskeya? The responses grapple with issues of identity, race, stereotypes, and heritage, and share the personal perspectives of novelist Ibi Zoboi, scholar and professor Edward Paulino, immigration activist Albert Saint Jean, and community organizer, artist, and herbalist Suhaly Carolina-Bautista.” 

-Régine M. Roumain, Executive Director at Haiti Cultural Exchange and Jessica Sucher, Senior Manager of Community Engagement at BRIC

___________________

Beginning this month until the end of April, BRIC is presenting a visual arts exhibition that brings together Dominican and Haitian artists investigating the complex relationship between the two countries.

Titled “Bordering the Imaginary: Art from the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and their Diasporas,” the exhibition features work in a wide array of media by 19 Dominican and Haitian artists, based in both their native countries and in the United States. The artists draw on their experiences of difference, movement, and immigration to create a collective visual narrative that exposes inequalities and stereotypes of race, gender, and sexuality, which have plagued the island since the 15th century. Their work also displays the vitality of the visual arts in their communities. Through the exhibition, exhibition catalogue, and public programs, Bordering the Imaginary will reveal the complexities of a historically shifting transnational border space and the formation of distinct but intertwined nations.

Haiti Cultural Exchange has successfully partnered with BRIC in asking four local thinkers of Haitian and Dominican descent to write about their personal experiences of border between the two nations. Read the essays here.  Writers Ibi Zoboi, Suhaly Bautista-Carolina, Edward Paulino , and  Albert Saint Jean  will share their thoughts about the essays and their experiences  in a public conversation, moderated by Dr. Carolle Charles, as part of the  BRIC OPEN: Borders  Festival.

DATE/TIME: Saturday, April 28 | 4pm

LOCATION: Gallery at BRIC House | 647 Fulton Street Brooklyn, NY 11217 | MAP

 

ALSO HAPPENING:

Fanmi Asòtò @ BRIC

Lakou NOU 2018 artist resident and co-creator of Fanmi Asòtò, Sirene Dantor Sainvil, will be performing as part of BRIC’s “House Party: Imagination Island” – an event set to ignite your imagination with stories, arts, and games from global island cultures. Fanmi Asòtò will hit the stage at 1:30pm.

Photo by Guitart Photography

 

DATE/TIME: Saturday, April 7th | 12-5pm
LOCATION: BRIC House | 647 Fulton Street Brooklyn, NY 11217 | MAP

We hope to see you there!

 

 

Fabiola Jean-Louis, Madame Beauvoir’s Painting, 2018

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Sign Up to be a Selebrasyon! 2018 Volunteer!

03.22.18

selebrasyon_logo_2018

Haiti Cultural Exchange is proud to announce our third biennial festival of Haitian art and culture, Selebrasyon! – New York City’s only festival dedicated to the promotion of the highest caliber film, dance, music, literature, and visual art of Haiti and its Diaspora. The festival will showcase the diversity, beauty and vitality of Haiti and its Diaspora through arts presentations of traditional Haiti to the modern day. We would like to invite you to work with us as a dedicated volunteer to make this year a success!

This year’s Selebrasyon! theme centers around Ayiti Angaje/Atis Angaje – an ode to artists, inspired by Haiti’s revolutionary spirit, who are building their artistic practice on social justice and socially engaged work. Through creativity, expression, and community, this two-month festival of Haitian Arts & Culture will bring together over thirty emerging, mid-career and established artists from Haiti and its vast Diaspora. Artists will present their work in community-based and main-stage venues throughout NYC.

Selebrasyon! will kick off with an opening night event on Thursday, May 17th and end with a wonderful closing night celebration Friday, June 29th. HCX depends on dedicated volunteers to support our events. We are writing to ask you to commit your time as a volunteer on one or more of the following teams:

Opening Night Support Team: includes completing task exclusively related to Selebrasyon’s opening night event featuring Boukman Eksperyans.

Flag Day Support Team: includes completing task exclusively related to Selebrasyon’s Flag Day event, hosted in collaboration with the office of Council member Jumaane Williams and Assembly member Rodneyse Bichotte.

Hudson Guild Team: includes providing support to events happening as part of Selebrasyon’s expansion through the Hudson Guild’s Cultural Kaleidoscope Festival.

Event Support Team: includes support at individual Selebrasyon! events such as sign in, event preparation, event-specific tasks, etc.

Street Team: includes community outreach, flier placement, community partner engagement, etc.

In-office Task Force: includes working in the HCX office to support activities related to the festival and online social media outreach.

If you are able to volunteer in any capacity, please fill out this sign-up sheet which includes a sample schedule of the time commitment. If you have questions or know someone who may be interested in donating their time, email us at Veroneque@haiticulturalx.org.

We deeply value and appreciate the time and energy of HCX Volunteers like you!

Warmest Regards,

The HCX Team

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Lakou NOU Ann Pale with 2017 Artists | Recap

03.14.18

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On Friday, February 9, 2018 at FiveMyles Gallery, HCX held an Ann Pale | Café Conversation featuring 2017 Lakou NOU Artists in Residence Diane Exavier, Glenda Lezeau, and Jasmine Plantin. The evening featured a performance by Diane Exavier herself, reading a reflective essay on her project, and a discussion moderated by Véronëque Ignace, Programs Coordinator and former Lakou NOU 2016 artist resident.

Ignace began the conversation with the following introduction :

Who am I? – Programs Coordinator, Dancer, Public Health Practitioner, Former Lakou NOU 2016 Resident in East Flatbush

The Lakou NOU program, now in its third cycle, is a true example of what it means to provide solid opportunities for artists to engage with communities – often times their own – in such a way that embodies reciprocity. Artists learn how to create art, platform issues, and work toward impacting change. Community residents participate in the building of that work, getting exposed to high quality art built with and for them. Often times, the relationships built are durational where artists continue the work they’ve created or expect to be still developing in their Lakou.

Jumping right into it, would you each say your name, who you are as an artist, and what your Lakou NOU 2017 project was?

During the conversation, 2017 Lakou NOU artists answered critical questions about what exactly it means to be an artist in this current sociopolitical moment; how their Lakou NOU 2017 project fit within the broader context of what Brooklyn communities are facing in general and with regards to what Haitian people living in the diaspora are facing; and what the artists have been moved to do since the Lakou NOU residency period.

Following this, Lakou NOU 2018 residents – Madjeen Isaac, Richard Louissaint, Stefani Saintonge, and Sirene Dantor Sainvil – were announced and able to provide short presentations of their work. Isaac featured a slideshow of some her defining paintings. Louissaint screened a video he created to summarize the work of Lakou NOU thus far; it can be found at the bottom of this post. Saintonge showed her short film Seventh Grade. Sainvil performed a short musical set accompanied by drummer Jean Guy Rene. Read about the new cohort here.

The evening was specially catered by Idanoise Joseph, from Ida J. & Co and photos were taken by Claire Judine Saintil. View them here.

2017 Artist Biographies

Diane Exavier creates performance events, public programs, and games that challenge viewers to participate in the active realization of a theater that rejects passive reception. She is also an arts educator with a pedagogy that focuses on creating reflective spaces for young people. Her work has been presented at Westmont College, California State University: Northridge, New Urban Arts (Providence), West Chicago City Museum, and in New York: Bowery Poetry Club, Dixon Place, Independent Curators International, Medialia Gallery, and more. Her most recent play Good Blood was workshopped in residency with the Flea Theater. Her writing appears in Cunjuh Magazine, Daughter Literary Magazine, The Atlas Review, and The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind.

Glenda Lezeau 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.

Jasmine Plantin was born and raised in New York and has been surrounded by art and design since she was a child. She attended Parsons the New School for Design and Central Saint Martins for her undergraduate degree, where she was nominated for “Designer of the Year” and graduated with a BFA in Apparel Design in 2013. While pursuing her degree she apprenticed with design studios Proenza Schouler, Altuzarra and Phillip Lim until she graduated and began designing menswear for Greenpoint based company Outlier. Her work in textiles and fashion has appeared in international publications, such as Teen Vogue and Oyster Magazine, and has been displayed in Saks Fifth Avenue and at exhibitions in Paris, France.

Meet Past Lakou NOU Artists Here.  

To learn about past Lakou NOU projects, visit our Archives.

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_

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