Jenifer Jessie Castil of Compagnie de Danse Jean-Rene Delsoin

Compagnie de Danse Jean-René Delsoin October 28 - November 2, 2012

UNCW International Artists in Residence from Haiti
On tour as part of Center StageSM

About the residency

On Sunday, October 28, 2012, UNCW welcomed Artists in Residence from Haiti, Compagnie de Danse Jean-René Delsoin, to Southeastern North Carolina. During their weeklong residency, the company brought their unique style of dance and drumming to more than 3,000 community members through a series of workshops, demonstrations and performances. The residency was supported by Center Stage (SM), a groundbreaking new initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, in partnership with New England Foundation for the Arts.

The company arrived to an afternoon oyster roast with campus and community partners and later joined bluegrass musicians at Satellite Bar and Lounge for an impromptu jam session -- bringing together earthy, Haitian beats with traditional string band music. As the week continued, the company conducted dance/drumming workshops and demonstrations for a wide range of community members, including military personnel and families at Camp Lejeune; sixth graders at Virgo Urban Prep Academy (UNCW ARTworks 2012/13 School Partner); and students and families at Dreams Center for the Arts. An outdoor drum circle and dance demonstration on the campus of UNCW, drew a diverse mix of more than 400 students, staff and community members -- many of whom had the opportunity to sit in on the drum circle or learn traditional Haitian dances with the company. Classroom visits and master classes provided further learning opportunities for university students. Two free school programs at UNCW's Kenan Auditorium provided nearly 1,700 fourth, fifth and sixth graders an opportunity to see the company's work and participate in a post-performance Q&A. The residency culminated with a public performance and reception with the artists on Friday, Nov. 2, 2012 in UNCW's Kenan Auditorium.

The residency at UNCW was part of Global Focus: Haiti, a semester-long exploration of the rich culture and fascinating history of Haiti

About Center Stage SM

Diplomacy doesn’t just happen in conference rooms or at embassies. It can burst out in classrooms and studios, on town greens and beside historic landmarks, in coffee shops and arts centers, moving from person to person, between artist and arts lover. From June – December 2012, 10 different contemporary performing arts ensembles from Haiti, Indonesia and Pakistan are making independent month-long tours in the USA as part of Center Stage.  Residencies include performances, workshops, discussions, people-to-people exchanges, and community gatherings. This public-private partnership is the largest public diplomacy effort to bring foreign artists to American stages in recent history.

Keep up with Center Stage and find additional information about Cie. de Danse Jean-René Delsoin at, on Facebook (, and Twitter (@centerstage).

Program Support

Center Stage is a public diplomacy initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. It is administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts in cooperation with the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations, and with additional support from the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, the Asian Cultural Council, and the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art. General management for Center Stage is provided by Lisa Booth Management, Inc.

Support for this residency was provided by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and North Carolina Arts Council.

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