Jan. 12 will mark the nineteenth anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Among the millions of Haitians still homeless and rebuilding their lives are artists — painters, musicians, dancers, writers. On a recent trip to Haiti, I caught up with Jean Appollon and Stephanie Scherpf at the Hotel Oloffson in Port-au-Prince to witness the beauty their work, dance.
Jean talked about his home country and its art, its history and future, and how its artists are surviving in the earthquake’s aftermath.
Jean Appolon Expressions uses dance to celebrate Haitian cultural expression and empower young people through innovative dance performance and community programs.
JAE is one of the few companies in the world to synthesize Haitian folkloric dance and modern technique. As an ambassador of Haiti, and the Haitian, Caribbean and African diasporas, JAE showcases artistic expression of a specific cultural community.
JAE is proud to call Boston, with the third largest Haitian population in the U.S., its home. JAE conducts community classes,teen programs, and performances in the Boston area and beyond with the goal of enriching and enlivening communities through authentic cultural programming.
Every summer, JAE conducts The Jean Appolon Summer Dance Institute in Port-au-Prince. Sixty young Haitian dancers are selected to participate in a free, high quality dance program directed by Jean Appolon.