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Saturday, October 1, 2016, 8:00 pm Littlefield Concert Hall
RARA TOU LIMEN
Dancing Spirits: A Night of Traditional Haitian Drum, Dance and Ritual
Rara Tou Limen Haitian Dance Company
Accompanied by dancers, vocalists and celebrated musicians, Rara Tou Limen brings to the stage a wide spectrum of diverse Haitian dance forms, from vibrant rituals of Vodou, the turbulent legacy of political struggle, to the celebratory and festive dances of Carnival. Rara Tou Limen is at the cutting edge of the evolution of Haitian dance and music in the Bay Area. The use of traditional rhythms, chants and movement integrates the grace, strength, fluidity and precision of Haitian folkloric dance.
Established in 2004 by Artistic Director Portsha Terae Jefferson, Rara Tou Limen has continually offered Bay Area residents, as well as people from all over the United States, the opportunity to experience Haitian music, dance and culture through classes, workshops, performances and educational events in both the United States and in Haiti. Our mission is to educate audiences about the richness of Haitian culture through artistic expression, while building and enhancing working relationships with other Haitian cultural groups in the US and Haiti. The company is carrying on the long legacy of creating strength and solidarity within the Haitian community, while actively raising awareness (and funds) for Haitian organizations. Our objective is to help nurture and grow Haitian dance and musical traditions in the Bay Area. The company is committed to showcasing the best of folkloric dance and music, which carries in it the stories, struggles, and spirit of the first free Black Republic in the world. Rara Tou Limen continues to uplift a country whose culture has increasingly sustained the Bay Area's artistic community and beyond.
Rara Tou Limen's work has been supported by grants and awards including:
The Akonadi Foundation, FOKAL—Fondasyon Konesans Ak Libète, Theatre Bay Area, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Alliance for California Traditional Arts (ACTA), Zellerbach Family Foundation, and The Eastbay Community Foundation. The company has performed at festivals as well as cultural and academic institutions throughout the Bay Area including: The San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, The Black Choreographer's Festival, The Malcolm X Jazz Arts Festival, The San Francisco Black Film Festival, the deYoung Museum, Ashkenaz, CubaCaribe Dance & Music Festival, Hastings to Haiti Celebration, San Francisco Carnival, Hamlin School, Mills College, University of California at Berkeley, California State University at Chico and the Berkeley Public Library. In celebration of Rara Tou Limen’s 10th Anniversary, the dance & music ensemble traveled to Haiti (August 2014) for a two week adventure! Company members participated in folkloric dance workshops at Ecole Nationale des Arts (ENARTS) with celebrated instructors, and visited natural and historical landmarks to investigate and research Haitian cultural traditions. In addition, RTL presented their full-length artistic offering, Limyè pou Ayiti... Lavi Kontinyè! Most recently, the company traveled to Montreal, Canada to perform in TWA, an artistic collaboration with celebrated Haitian dance companies, Mapou Ginen and Sole Danse Traditionnelle Moderne, celebrating the 225th anniversary of Bwa Kayiman.