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Jean-Léon Destiné: Dance Master

Repeating Islands

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A report by Tequila Minsky for Caribbean Life.

Five years ago, the Haitian and the folkloric dance community mourned the death of an icon from their midst, Jean-Léon Destiné. As a dancer and choreographer, he brought Haiti’s traditional music and dance onto American stages and international venues. Soon after his death, dancers influenced by this master, talked of having a major tribute to him.

A stellar assembly of dancers and scholars of Destiné formed a committee this past summer, spearheaded by Valerie Rochon, to plan the celebratory Memories of Destiné: A Centennial Celebration that took place on March 29, 2018 to honor him on what would have been his 100th birthday (March 26).

New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center hosted this homage to this man who danced well into his senior years and influenced hundreds of dancers.

After pouring libations, the evening began with…

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