Kriyol Dance! Collective
Photo credit: Kriyol Dance! Collective

Kriyol Dance! Collective, which centers its work on terms such as resilience, resistance, power and empowerment, will present two performance at the Hudson Guild

Photo credit: Kriyol Dance! Collective

During Selebrasyon! 2018, NYC’s only festival dedicated to celebrating Haiti and its diaspora, Haiti Cultural Exchange (HCX) is participating in the Hudson Guild’s Cultural Kaleidoscope Festival, presenting seven special performances from June 1 to June 20. One certain highlight will be the Kriyol Dance! Collective performing an excerpt of the company’s seminal choreographic work Lavi Miyò on Saturday, June 9 and Thursday, June 14. 

Curated by Régine M. Roumain, executive Director of HCX, this year’s festival, Selebrasyon!, is an ode to artists inspired by Haiti’s revolutionary spirit.

In keeping with this year’s theme, Lavi Miyò, created by Kriyol Dance! artistic director Veroneque Ignace, is a collaborative dance, music and visual arts project that employs storytelling and Haitian traditional music, dance and oral history. The argument of the work is that consuming the overarching and highly romanticized notions of resistance with regards to black peoples, and especially people of Haitian descent, disregards the day-to-day traumas that individuals experience. The project centers the creation of work on the terms resilience, resistance, power and empowerment, and their implications on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.

Photo credit: Kriyol Dance! Collective

Founded in 2016, Kriyol Dance! is a Brooklyn-based collective of artist-leaders working together to create one platform advocating for the unapologetic voices of Black arts, and Haitian culture in particular, through collaborative and unified work and intervention.

“Importantly, as members of Kriyol Dance!, we hope to make normative discussions of Haitian culture that do more than harp on Haiti’s poverty,” states the dance collective on its website. “In Kriyol Dance!, our bodies become the physical representation of what we know, hear, inherit and learn. Our work transcends cultural backgrounds and belief systems thereby placing its focus on individual and community well-being, public health, and the power of arts to create social change.”

This year’s Selebrasyon!, which kicked off on May 6 and will continue until June 29, is dedicated to “Ayiti ANGAJE/Atis ANGAJE” and celebrates talent whose artistic practice is rooted in social justice. Through creativity, expression, and community, this two-month festival aims to bring together over thirty emerging, mid-career and established artists to present their work in main-stage and community venues in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Haiti Cultural Exchange Presents the Kriyol Dance! Collective’s “Lavi Miyò”

When: Saturday, June 9,  8:00pm and Thursday, June 14, 7:30pm | Free

Where: Hudson Guild, 441 W 26th St, New York, NY 10001

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Andrea Leonhardt

“Made in Germany,” Andrea Leonhardt is the managing editor for BK Reader. Andrea holds a bachelor’s degree in political science, with minors in American studies and education, and a master’s...

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