Inspiring Pride in Haitian Identity

Jeanguy Saintus is the recipient of the 2008 Prince Claus Award. The Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development website www.prince- clausfund.org/en/network/jeanguy.html has the following to say about this visionary artist:

Jeanguy Saintus is the recipient of the 2008 Prince Claus Award. The Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development website www.prince- clausfund.org/en/network/jeanguy.html has the following to say about this visionary artist:

Visionary choreographer, dancer and educator, Jeanguy Saintus expresses the rich fusion of Caribbean culture and the contemporary life of his country through the body. He studied anthropology, sociology and languages, taught himself Haitian, classical and modern dance and co-founded Cie Ayikodans, a group that has matured over 20 years,establishing a centre and training programme.

Researching and producing a new performance every year, Saintus continuously pushes the limits of modern dance. Folk performance, free improvisation, voodoo religious culture and varied African, indigenous Indian and French influences can be found in his work and his Haitian- Contemporary technique offers a unique vocabulary. Saintus’ experimentation has significantly developed Caribbean dance, rooting it in the region’s historical experience while exploring subjects such as the experience of people dying of Aids, the long journey to freedom, and tensions between ancestral forces and contemporary rituals.

To expand local possibilities, Saintus runs an annual workshop for talented youngsters unable to afford tuition, organizes cultural exchanges, invites guest artists to Ayikodans, teaches in The Netherlands, Japan, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Dominican Republic, French Guyana, Canada, Jamaica, United States and works internationally.

Jeanguy Saintus is awarded for his exciting contemporary work that connects the spiritual and the physical and honors the human body, for expanding the possibilities of the dance medium and fostering young talent, and for inspiring pride in the strength, beauty and richness of Haitian identity. tj

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Written By:

Marcel Duret

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