Peniel Guerrier's 10 year anniversary of his workshop and performance symposium happened on the weekend of June 20th and 21st at Mark Morris Dance Center and Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts at Long Island University, Brooklyn. The day of workshops included a panel discussion with Guerdes Fleurant and Carole Demesmin. The Haitian Folkloric Dance Class included instruction by Jeanguy Saintus and Jean Rene Delsoin who came from Port au Prince to participate and also receive honor during the performance. Other honorees included Mimerose Beaubrun, Lunise Morse, Eileen Herzog-Bazin, Emeline Michel, and Danys "La Mora" Perez. The Kriye Bode performance includes many group choreographies created by Peniel performed by his students and this time also included guest choreographers. The cultural champions and artists from Haiti and community members who came to support in addition to the performers created a cultural power within that room that was extraordinary! I performed in the first ever Kriye Bode when it was held at Djoniba Drum and Dance Center and it was wonderful to be included as an alumna performer for the Rara section at the end.
As a Haitian folkloric student, educator, and champion, it was so edifying and felt very important to be part of the weekend celebration of the richness of Haitian culture and the conversations and activities reminded of the work that continues to need to be done.
I thank Peniel for all of his hard work as a champion of Haitian culture and performance and for his continued influence in my own study of Haitian folklore.