Dances of the African Diaspora (Afro-Haitian)

Event information
Venue:FIU Modesto A. Maidique Campus, GC 140

The Program in the Study of Spirituality presents
Embodied Spirituality in Three Dance Traditions

Dances of the African Diaspora (Afro-Haitian)

Lecture and interview: Dr. Kate Ramsey, Assoc. Prof. History, University of Miami.
Performance by Louines Louinis, Afro-Haitian Dance Theatre.
Co-sponsored by AADS and ASP.

Kate Ramsey is Assistant Professor of Caribbean history at the University of Miami. Her recently published book The Spirits and the Law: Vodou and Power in Haiti (Chicago 2011) examines the history and legacies of laws against popular ritual practices in Haiti. Ramsey is co-coordinator of the Haiti Research Group through the UM-FIU Miami Consortium for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.


The Louinès Louinis Haitian Dance Theater is well known throughout the Haitian Diaspora. It has performed all over the United States and Canada, as well as many universities across South Florida.

About the Choreographer: Mr. Louinis is the founder and artistic director of the well-known Louinès Louinis Haitian Dance Theater, Inc. He has been teaching and choreographing Haitian dance for over fifty years. He was the principal dancer and choreographer of The National Folkloric Troupe of Haiti. In the USA, he started his dance career as an Associate Professor at the College of Staten Island, CUNY, NY teaching Afro-Haitian dance, Jazz, Modern Dance. He was a member of the Jean-Leon Destine Dance Foundation, Ltd, NY, special grant programs for schools and community organizations and a member of All Nations Dance Company, NY. Mr. Louinis has traveled widely, teaching Haitian and Katherine Dunham Technique. He has performed at numerous dance, music, and cultural festivals throughout the U.S.A., as well as in Cuba, Martinique and other countries.


In Haitian Voodoo, trees serve as sanctuaries for the gods and are themselves honored as divinities. Frequently, a snake, symbol of Damballah Wèdo (male snake) and Ayida Wèdo (female snake), lives in one of the trees. The serpent is the principal sky-god, Serpent Loa of Voodoo. It is a wise, loving and somewhat withdrawn father to his people. It belongs chiefly to the Dahomey rite (Rada), but it is also found in the Ibo and even Petro rites.

Yanvalou Dance: This is a ritual dance originated from Nigeria and Dahomey. It is executed in honor of Damballah and Aida Wèdo, which are symbolized by the snake. This dance is also executed in honor of Maitre Ague, god of the sea. It is characterized by the movements of the waves as they rise and fall.

Vodou Zèpol: This is a mixture of the dances Voodoo and Yanvalou. It is executed in honor of all the divinities “Rada”. The dancers present a fast and harmonious movement of the shoulders.


Dancers: Laurette Jean – Lucrèce Louisdhon-Louinis – Karine Moron – Régine Paul-Lyle
Singer: Marilyn Rousseau
Drummers: Laurent Walter – Louinès Louinis
Artistic Director & Choreographer: Louinès Louinis