In addition to being the Co-founder and Artistic Director of Jean Appolon Expressions (JAE), Jean Appolon is a successful choreographer and master teacher based in Boston and Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Appolon received his earliest training and performance opportunities in Port-au-Prince with the Viviane Gauthier Dance Company and the Folkloric Ballet of Haiti. Appolon continued his dance education in the U.S. at the Harvard and Radcliffe Dance Program (1995-1996, Boston, MA), Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (1996-1998, New York, NY) and the Joffrey American Ballet School (1998-2003, New York, NY), where he graduated with a B.A. from a joint degree program offered by The New School.
In addition to the companies and schools listed above, Appolon has also performed with Elma Lewis Productions (Black Nativity), Marlene Silva, North Star Ballet Company (Fairbanks, AK), Black Door Dance Company (Miami, FL), and the Atlantic City Ballet Company.
Jean Appolon teaches regularly at Boston Ballet, UMASS Boston and The Dance Complex (Cambridge, MA), among other locations. Beginning in 2006, Appolon conceived and has since directed a free annual summer dance course in Port-au-Prince that serves young, aspiring Haitian dancers who do not have regular access to dance training. Appolon’s vision is to expand the summer course into a year-round dance program based in Port-au-Prince.
Appolon’s Boston-based Haitian Contemporary dance company has performed at major venues in Boston and has toured to Washington, DC and Port-au-Prince, Haiti. JAE also has performed at many schools and colleges, including Harvard University, Lesley College and Wheaton College. JAE has been fortunate to share the stage with celebrities such as Danny Glover, Henry Louis Gates and Edwidge Danticat, and to collaborate with community partners such as Central Square Theater and Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción.
Support, Media, Recognition & Memberships:
Since 2012, Jean Appolon and JAE have received funding support fromThe W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The National Performance Network, FOKAL, The Boston Foundation, Massachusetts Cultural Council, Cambridge Cultural Council, Eastern Bank, Haiti’s Ministry of Culture and many individual donors. Appolon’s Boston-based company is one of the three inaugural dance companies to be part of the Boston Center for the Art’s expanded Performing Arts Residency Program. Appolon was a 2014 Dance Resident at Boston Center for the Arts and received the Green Street Studios New Works Program Award in 2013. Also in 2013, Appolon was nominated for a Brother Thomas Fellowship (awarded by The Boston Foundation), and honored by The Art of Black Dance and Music.
Appolon has been the subject of feature articles and interviews in The Boston Globe, Dance Studio Life Magazine, World Vision Report, The Boston Haitian Reporter, Le Nouvelliste and NPR, and has received significant coverage by Haiti’s television and radio stations.
Appolon is an Inductee of the Haitian Roundtable’s 1804 List of Haitian American Changemakers (2014) for his groundbreaking accomplishments in dance. Jean Appolon has been endorsed by E. Denise Simmons, Mayor of the City of Cambridge, for his positive contributions to the Cambridge community. Jean Appolon is a member of The International Association of Blacks in Dance and The Boston Dance Alliance.