Adrienne Arsht Center Welcomes Ayikodans



Suzette Espinosa Fuentes                                 Gino Campodónico            

(786) 468-2221                                                  (786) 468-2228

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The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County

proudly presents the return for a sixth consecutive season of

Haiti’s premier dance company




Featuring two world premieres

performed by stunning dancers accompanied by live vocals and drumming

February 16-18, 2017

Tickets: $40*

John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall

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MIAMI, FL January 30, 2017 – The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County welcomes AYIKODANS from February 16-18, 2017. For its sixth consecutive season at the Arsht Center, the 14-member Port-au-Prince-based ensemble founded by Artistic Director and Choreographer Jeanguy Saintus will perform two world premiere pieces – Rencontres and Initiation.


Performances are February 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m. and February 18 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in the Arsht Center’s Carnival Studio Theater. Tickets to AYIKODANS are $40* and can be purchased now through the Adrienne Arsht Center Box Office by calling (305) 949-6722, or online atarshtcenter.org.   

Always faithful to the drive of sharing the beauty and the passion of Haiti's powerful sacred dances, Saintus will stage his contemporary vision of a Vodou initiation ceremony with live percussion by Les Tambours d'Artcho Danse. Initiation invokes Haiti's ancestral spirits by calling upon Haitians and their allies to stay rooted and to participate in the renewal of their promise to the lwa (spirits). This convocation begins with an  incantation to Legba, master of the gates, moves to the playful energy of Marasa (or the divine twins), links to the kinetic rhythms of warrior Ogou and cools the gathering down with the Yanvalou's cleansing wave-like ondulations. Vocalists will accompany the dancers and Ayikodans percussionists, Les Tambours d'Ayikodans, to re-imagine Haiti's traditions for this world premiere performance.

The second piece on the 2017 program is Rencontres, the French word for “encounters.” In this piece, dancers illustrate the conflict between our self-acceptance and our reluctance to show our true selves. Through his electric choreography, Saintus proposes that encounters – whether by chance in everyday life or when traveling – shape us and allow us to be ourselves for a moment.Rencontres will feature a male duet and a solo piece by lauded dancer and emerging choreographer Johnnoiry Saint Philippe.


Al Crawford, lighting director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater since 1998, is creating lighting design for both pieces. Crawford’s company arc3design has also created designs for Cuba's Malpaso Dance Company, multiple White House State Dinners and Cedar Point Park’s multi-million dollar light show Luminosity, to name a few.


“My choreography is inspired by Haiti’s traditional dances and Vodou culture. The movements radiate power and strength and the dancers themselves are fierce and determined. They balance each other out and come together as one virtuous body, much like Vodou practitioners do during ceremonies,” said choreographer Jeanguy Saintus.



The Arsht Center has organized a 30-minute conversation with Jeanguy Saintus immediately following the 2 p.m. matinee performance on Saturday, February 18.


AYIKODANS is presented in partnership with the Green Family Foundation.

The Arsht Center’s ongoing alliance with the company originated when they found a home at the Arsht Center following the devastating 2010 earthquake. On the brink of extinction, AYIKODANS found a helping hand in Miami. In 2013, with the help of money raised over three years through an effort led by the Arsht Center, AYIKODANS opened the doors to a new dance studio outside of Port-au-Prince, Haiti in 2013, ensuring the company’s future. 2017 marks the sixth consecutive season of AYIKODANS performances at the Arsht Center. Ayikodans company members have also danced on stages in Latin America, Europe, the United States and Asia, performing at such venues as Muziekgebow in the Netherlands, Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art in Paris, Teatro Nacional in the Dominican Republic, Teatro Anayansi in Panama, L’Atrium Fort de France in Martinique and Rencontres de Danses Metisses in French Guyana (Guyane Française). The company was also invited to perform in Panama during the 500th Anniversary Celebration of the Discovery of the Pacific Ocean. In addition, Saintus is recipient of a 2008 Prince Claus Award and a 2014 Images and Voice of Hope Award. Saintus was also invited to set a piece on the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble which premiered at Lincoln Center’s prestigious Out of Doors festival in 2012. Most recently, AYIKODANS was invited to Sweden for a dance exchange focused on choreography and the contemporary creative process.


*All programs, artists, ticket prices, availability, dates and times are subject to change without notice. Visit www.arshtcenter.org for up-to-date information for details and schedules.

ancer Sephora Germain
Photo CrDancer Sephora Germain

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The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is made possible by the public support of the Miami-Dade County Mayor and the Board of County Commissioners, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Council and the City of Miami Omni Community Redevelopment Agency, as well as the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. The Adrienne Arsht Center also receives generous support from individuals, corporations and local, state and national foundations.



About the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County

Set in the heart of downtown Miami and designed by world-renowned architect Cesar Pelli, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is one of the world’s leading performing arts organizations and venues. Since opening in 2006, the Arsht Center, a 501C3 non-profit organization, has emerged as a leader in presenting innovative programming that mirrors South Florida’s diversity as well as a catalyst for billions of dollars in new development in the downtown area. Spotlighting legends and serving as a launch pad for local artists to make their mark on the international stage, the Center presents nearly 500 events each year across its eight flexible, state-of-the-art performance spaces. The Center programs 12 signature series, including the largest jazz series in South Florida, the biggest flamenco festival on the East Coast, and a robust program of new theatrical works as well as free programming for the community and an arts education program that serves nearly 30,000 children each year. As Miami’s new Town Square, the Arsht Center also houses Brava by Brad Kilgore, a fine dining restaurant; the Café at Books & Books in the historic Carnival Tower and a weekly Farmers Market.

Visit www.arshtcenter.org for more information.


Jodi Farrell
Senior Director, Foundation Relations