Dance Haiti!

The magic that happens at Dance Haiti! is too good to keep to ourselves. Here's what happened this year. 

2015 Report Back

Jean Appolon Expressions (JAE) conducted The 2015 Jean Appolon Summer Dance Institute, hosted by the Hotel Oloffson located in downtown Port-au-Prince, Haiti, from June 27 – July 24, 2015. On June 27th, an open audition was attended by 110 students. Sixty-five young Haitian dancers were selected to participate in a free, intensive and high quality dance education based on a comprehensive curriculum. The Institute concluded with a Final Performance that honored Professor Bayyinah Bello (University of Haiti) and Professor Michel DeGraff (MIT). The students performed six original choreographies by Jean Appolon for an audience of approximately 300 people that included their family members and friends, as well as Haitian and foreign dignitaries such as Lunise and Richard Morse, Emerante de Pradines, Edwidge Danticat, James Germain and Erol Josué. Representatives from the Embassies of the United States, Switzerland, Mexico, Japan, France, The European Union were in attendance.

The 2015 Institute was characterized by an extremely positive ‘esprit de corps’ on the part of the participating students as well as the staff. Each day, students were focused and on time, some traveling 4+ hours round trip to participate. The Institute exemplified JAE’s philosophy of ‘by working together we can achieve something great.’ Please click here for video highlights of the 2015 Institute. The Final Performance was indeed a great achievement as was the distribution of 53 certificates that documented the student’s successful completion of the intensive dance course. Please click here for a video of The Final Performance. The Institute’s impact was felt at many levels, including the students’ artistic and technical accomplishments; the students’ social and personal growth; and the civic and cultural pride that comes with teaching and showcasing Haitian folkloric dance, music and culture as a precious resource.

The demographics of the students who participated in the 2015 Institute were as follows:

  • 65 students enrolled
  • Ages ranged from 11 – 35
  • Average student age was 20
  • 42 girls and 13 boys participated
  • 50% had participated in the Institute in a prior year(s)
  • 53 students received completion certificates

Each weekday, from Monday – Friday, the students participated in the following:

9 – 10am: Yoga
10 – 11:30am: Modern dance
11:30 – 12:30pm: Lunch (provided at no cost to the students)
12:30 – 2pm: Haitian folkloric dance
2 – 4pm: Repertoire

JAE held a Press Conference on July 16, 2015 at Hotel Oloffson attended by representatives of the following: Ticket Magazine, Radio Télé Kiskeya, Le Nouvelliste, HaitiPressNetwork, Radio Télé Signal & Radio Télé Galaxie.

The 2015 Jean Appolon Summer Dance Institute was made possible through the support of many generous individual donors from the U.S. and elsewhere, and with support from Hotel Oloffson, FOKAL, National Performance Network, the Edme family, Nicole Lumarque, and in loving memory of Sylvere Marie Hyacinthe, Esq.

Master class, performance and exchange with Taratibu Youth Association (click here for video)
Bayyinah Bello, Professor of Anthropology, University of Haiti
Michel DeGraff, Professor of Linguistics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Eboni Baptiste, JAE Company dancer
Isabelle Morse, JAE Company dancer
Anya Smolnikova, visual artist and set design

Some numerical outcomes of the Institute are as follows:

  • 120 free hours of high quality yoga and dance instruction were provided
  • 1400 free lunches were provided
  • 10+ Haitian staff were employed: 1 carpenter (+assistants), 5 percussionists, 1 Coordinator, 1 Guest faculty, 1 Media Liaison, 2 logistics assistants
  • 300 guests attended the Final Performance, including the students’ families and friends, as well as leaders from the cultural, non-profit and government sectors, and from foreign embassies
  • Total cost of the Institute = $30,000
  • “Per student cost” = $25 per day


Other reports

Summer 2014 Report Back

Summer 2013 Report Back

Summer 2012 Report Back