Photo credit: Carlotta Mohamed
By Carlotta Mohamed
Seven choreographers and dancers performed in the first Dance Caribbean COLLECTIVE event of the year, at St. Francis College in Brooklyn on Sunday night.
New Traditions: A Showcase for Caribbean Choreographers, gave a platform for dance artists working with body movement, content and esthetic choices to present stories of who they are today in an evolving Caribbean culture.
One of those choreographers, Maxine Montilus, born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, to Haitian parents, did her solo performance, “Ou Pa Pale Kreyol?!?! (“You Don’t Speak Kreyol?!?!).
“It’s a fusion of contemporary folklore movement that speaks to the issues arising around language in the Haitian-American diaspora,” said Montilus. “Growing up I felt stuck between two worlds, not being Haitian enough or American enough.”
Montilus added that dance gives her an emotional release being able to connect with an audience, and is proud of who she is sharing it with others.
Candace Thompson, founder of Dance Caribbean COLLECTIVE, said she hopes it will become an annual event for Caribbean Heritage Month.
“Proceeds from the event will go towards doing more shows like this,” said Thompson. “We just started this year and look forward to becoming apart of the community showing a side of Caribbean culture that is not seen in the mainstream narrative.”