Tokyo Summer Festival
July 12-13, 2007
Please check out the TV spot on Tokyo television on July 11th

Asahi Beer Headquarters
July 18, 2007
Please contact me for more information

Haiti in My Soul: African-Haitian Dance Workshop
August 4 & 6, 2008 7-8:30

Ron Brown and Evidence present a master class with Pat Hall
Medgar Evers Preparatory School
1186 Carroll Street at Nostrand Avenue

In Haiti, dance, drum, and song are vital and essential means of expression; they draw the individual and the community together. They help strengthen the connections between god, the deities, nature, and humans. In this workshop, we will learn sacred and secular dances, paying careful attention to the bond between dance, rhythm, and song. As with most African-derived cultures, the Haitians know it is necessary to be in harmony with one's surroundings. The dances address the natural and supernatural forces, so that in their execution, we might find within ourselves that ingredient necessary to develop that sense of oneness.

In the dance called "Yanvalou" the movements are symbolic of the deity "Papa Damballah" (the "snake god"). Therefore, the fluidity of the dance is correlated to the movement of the serpent. The powerful chest and arm movements of the dance "Nago" (associated with the "Ogun" deities) represent the invincibility of the warrior god.

These qualities of the dances are transmitted to the students to enhance their understanding of and respect for the spirit of the Haitian people and for the "Spirit" that dwells within us all.

The African origins of Haitian traditions are apparent throughout religious and secular Haitian dances. In addition to learning about the origins of these dances, students will learn about African cultures that are the roots of today's Haitian culture.

Copyright 2007 Pat Hall
photo by Stephanie Berger