Music and Dance of Haiti

Afoutayi #1

SEPT 20- 27: Featuring Afoutayi Drum & Dance Company

Sat, Sept. 26, 7:30 Concert (7 pre-show talk), Sundin Hall, Hamline University

Sun, Sept. 27, Lakansyel Rainbow Festival in the Mall (music, dance, kites, games)

Thurs Sept 24, 1 pm Lec-dem, Sundin Hall, Hamline

TBA, Hamline Elementary School Program

TBA, Drum and Dance classes

This Residency is cosponsored by the Minnesota Haitian Cultural Center which was founded by Anne Florence Adabra who was born and raised in Haiti, emigrated to Minnesota. In Haiti, besides being a teacher and a Social Worker, Anne was as well an accomplished dancer and an actress .

The festival activities center on the Afoutayi Dance Company

Afoutayi#2 Afoutayi #3

Djenane St. Juste (Artistic Director Afoutayi Dance Company)—a native of Haiti, Djenane is an accomplished choreographer, dancer, actress and vocalist specializing in Haitian traditional dance and folklore. Djenane has dedicated herself to the research, development and promotion of traditional Haitian dance, song and storytelling. She served as co-artistic director, lead dancer and instructor for more than fifteen years at the Institute de Danse Jaka in Petionville. In Haiti, she worked with World Vision and the Ministry of Women through which she created dance training programs for poor women in Cite Soleil. She has worked with many leading Haitian artists, including Azor, Boukman Experience, Master J, Cytho and Alan Cavee, Paula Clermont Pean and Fabienne Denis. Currently Djenane is an artist in residency for LEAP and Youth In arts representing Haitian culture in more than 13 private and public schools per year.


Florencia Pierre, “Fofo,” Cultural Director is an accomplished dancer, choreographer, singer, actress and educator, as well as a Mambo (a priestess in the Vodou religion). Born in Lagonave, Haiti, she was raised in Haitian traditional culture by her mother, who was also a Mambo. In Haiti, she is a respected elder in her community, a traditional healer, a renowned dancer/choreographer and the founding director of the highly-respected Jaka Institute of Dance in Petionville, Haiti. In her formative years, Pierre attended the Vivianne Gauthier School of Traditional Arts, serving as Lead Dancer and eventually as a dance instructor. She also served as a principle dancer of the National Dance Theater of Haiti from 1983 – 1989. Pierre has performed across the Caribbean, Europe and the US.

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Jeff Pierre, Music Director, graduated from San Francisco’s School of the Arts, where he majored in instrumental music. Born and raised in Haiti, he moved to the Bay Area after surviving the January, 2010 earthquake that leveled a major portion of the country. Trained by his mother, Florencia Pierre, Jeff has played traditional Haitian percussion since the age of three. He grew up playing for his mother and sister’s dance classes and has performed both in Haiti and the US. Jeff also drummed in Martinique for the Festival of the African Diaspora, Le Grand Cri Negre and in Los Angeles at Occidental College and Standford University where he was lead percussionist for the African American dance program.

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 Anne Florence Adabra. Born and raised in Haiti, Anne emigrated in Minnesota in 2002. She is the founder of the Minnesota Haitian Cultural Center and directing their first program “Raboday dance N Drums”. In Haiti, besides being a teacher and a Social Worker, Anne was as well an accomplished dancer and an actress (Ballet Folkloric of Haiti, Jaka Institute of Dance, Le Petit Conservatoire, Atelier de Théâtre de l’Institut Français d’Haiti, Sapotiy Teyat). Anne participated to many performances nationally and internationally (Tezen, Rue des Pas perdus, Les fous de Saint Antoine). She also worked with Well-known Haitian artists like Daniel Marcelin, Nicole Lumarque, Florencia Pierre, Paula Clermont Pean, Boukman Eksperyans, Lyonel Trouillot and Raoul Denis Junior. Anne’s dream is to have Haiti be part of the cultural and artistic scene in Minnesota.

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