As part of the Department of State’s Center Stage initiative, internationally renowned choreographer Jean-René Delsoin will bring his 10-member troupe from Haiti to Hartsville for a public performance at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 24 in the Elizabeth Boatwright Coker Performing Arts Center’s Watson Theater.
“Jean-Rene Delsoin doesn’t design his dance classes like a simple transmission of savoir-faire. He certainly believes in how precisely movements are executed, but he also shares the love and passion he feels for dance with his students. He works tirelessly to communicate to all, young and old, the blessed fire of dance and as such, reinvents the world every day,” explained renowned Haitian writer and activist Yanick Lahens.
Delsoin was born in Port-au-Prince and studied dance in Haiti before attending the National School of Dance in Jamaica and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. His love of dance drew him to learn and master other dance forms including ballet, jazz and Afro-contemporary. Delsoin founded and co-directed Artcho Danse Repertoire and its affiliate school before branching out on his own and founding the Jean-René Delsoin Dance Center and the Compagnie de Danse Jean-René Delsoin.
Delsoin’s company interweaves rural, refined and contemporary global dance forms. By combining ballet and modern dance techniques along with Haiti’s traditional rhythms and sounds, the group seeks to display nurturing aspects of contemporary Haitian tradition, simultaneously accepting the present and anticipating the future. Also, by presenting Haitian concerns alongside universal themes, the troupe hopes its work will resonate at home and with cultures around the world.
An initiative of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Center Stage brings compelling contemporary artists from Haiti, Indonesia and Pakistan to the United States to engage Americans in cultural diplomacy as a way to create opportunities for greater understanding. Administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts, with funding from the Asian Cultural Council, the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation and the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, this public-private partnership is the largest public diplomacy effort to bring foreign artists to American stages in recent history.
The performances and residency of the Campaign de Dense by Jean-Rene Delsoin at Coker College is funded, in part, by the H.M. and Pearl Kyle Foundation, and by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. This project also is funded in part by the Black Creek Arts Council, which receives funding from the Sonoco Foundation, the South Carolina Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.