Ayikodans to perform two world premiere pieces – February 16-18 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts



Ayikodans_the Arsht




Suzette Espinosa Fuentes                                 Gino Campodónico

(786) 468-2221                                                  (786) 468-2228

sespinosa@arshtcenter.org                               gcampodonico@arshtcenter.org

The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County

proudly presents the return for a sixth consecutive season of

Haiti’s premier dance company


Featuring two world premieres

performed by stunning dancers accompanied by live vocals and drumming


February 16-18, 2017

Tickets: $40*

John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall


MIAMI, FL January 30, 2017 – The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County welcomes AYIKODANS from February 16-18, 2017. For its sixth consecutive season at the Arsht Center, the 14-member Port-au-Prince-based ensemble founded by Artistic Director and Choreographer Jeanguy Saintus will perform two world premiere piecesRencontres and Initiation.

Performances are February 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m. and February 18 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in the Arsht Center’s Carnival Studio Theater. Tickets toAYIKODANS are $40* and can be purchased now through the Adrienne Arsht Center Box Office by calling (305) 949-6722, or online at arshtcenter.org.


Always faithful to the drive of sharing the beauty and the passion of Haiti’s powerful sacred dances, Saintus will stage his contemporary vision of a Vodouinitiation ceremony with live percussion by Les Tambours d’Artcho Danse. Initiation invokes Haiti’s ancestral spirits by calling upon Haitians and their allies to stay rooted and to participate in the renewal of their promise to the lwa (spirits). This convocation begins with an  incantation to Legba, master of the gates, moves to the playful energy of Marasa (or the divine twins), links to the kinetic rhythms of warrior Ogou and cools the gathering down with the Yanvalou‘s cleansing wave-like ondulations. Vocalists will accompany the dancers and Ayikodans percussionists, Les Tambours d’Ayikodans, to re-imagine Haiti’s traditions for this world premiere performance.

The second piece on the 2017 program is Rencontres, the French word for “encounters.” In this piece, dancers illustrate the conflict between our self-acceptance and our reluctance to show our true selves. Through his electric choreography, Saintus proposes that encounters – whether by chance in everyday life or when traveling – shape us and allow us to be ourselves for a moment. Rencontres will feature a male duet and a solo piece by lauded dancer and emerging choreographer Johnnoiry Saint Philippe.

Al Crawford, lighting director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater since 1998, is creating lighting design for both pieces. Crawford’s company arc3design has also created designs for Cuba’s Malpaso Dance Company, multiple White House State Dinners and Cedar Point Park’s multi-million dollar light show Luminosity, to name a few.

“My choreography is inspired by Haiti’s traditional dances and Vodou culture. The movements radiate power and strength and the dancers themselves are fierce and determined. They balance each other out and come together as one virtuous body, much like Vodou practitioners do during ceremonies,” said choreographer Jeanguy Saintus.


The Arsht Center has organized a 30-minute conversation with Jeanguy Saintus immediately following the 2 p.m. matinee performance on Saturday, February 18.

AYIKODANS is presented in partnership with the Green Family Foundation.

The Arsht Center’s ongoing alliance with the company originated when they found a home at the Arsht Center following the devastating 2010 earthquake. On the brink of extinction, AYIKODANS found a helping hand in Miami. In 2013, with the help of money raised over three years through an effort led by the Arsht Center, AYIKODANS opened the doors to a new dance studio outside of Port-au-Prince, Haiti in 2013, ensuring the company’s future. 2017 marks the sixth consecutive season of AYIKODANS performances at the Arsht Center. Ayikodans company members have also danced on stages in Latin America, Europe, the United States and Asia, performing at such venues as Muziekgebow in the Netherlands, Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art in Paris, Teatro Nacional in the Dominican Republic, Teatro Anayansi in Panama, L’Atrium Fort de France in Martinique and Rencontres de Danses Metisses in French Guyana (Guyane Française). The company was also invited to perform in Panama during the 500th Anniversary Celebration of the Discovery of the Pacific Ocean. In addition, Saintus is recipient of a 2008 Prince Claus Award and a 2014 Images and Voice of Hope Award. Saintus was also invited to set a piece on the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble which premiered at Lincoln Center’s prestigious Out of Doors festival in 2012. Most recently,AYIKODANS was invited to Sweden for a dance exchange focused on choreography and the contemporary creative process.

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