Taking Action!


Djenane Saint Juste - Posted on 25 September 2012

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I am immensely grateful that I was awarded the prestigious Alliance for California Traditional Arts (ACTA) apprenticeship for 2011-2012, in which I was able to study intensively with my mother to unearth even deeper stories from she hails on the remote island of LaGonave. The traditional education system on this island draws upon a rich history of storytelling; dance and percussion that has constantly informed my work. Through this apprenticeship, I was able to engage with my mother's knowledge and vision in ways that I could not have foreseen.   Since February 2012 we had been meeting weekly for 2 hours one on one session and at the final six weeks of the training we had been working together to prepare for the showcase “Krik-krak” that we will presented on September 27th and 29th. The Songs, the dances and the stories I learned through this apprenticeship will be using to enrich my dance company Afoutayi repertoire and will be incorporated into our performances, workshops and classes. Summarily, this apprenticeship was a new beginning for me and a spark of a deeper, richer and more rounded journey as a custodian of my people’s tradition and heritage. I am looking forward to expand the fruits of this process in future works and also continue on my mission of promoting, preserving and sharing Haitian culture with our community through our October annual Haitian Festival. I am extremely thankful to my mother and master artist Florencia Piere as know as FOFO for the blessing and this unique opportunity to learn from her several deep and old sacred songs and stories of our people that had make a very significant change in my art work and my personal life. After the conclusion of this apprenticeship program I am more determine to look forward to carrying the torch as high as my mother and my grandmother did. And at the present my action will consist to encourage and prepare my son Hassen Ortega to continue the journey that it is in his blood.

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Afoutayi: 3rd annual Haitian Dance, Music & Arts Festival

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