feet of rhythm haitian dance
Feet of Rhythm, a Brooklyn-based dance troupe, will perform at the Jan. 9 Kanaval Ball, in Philadelphia. Courtesy: Feet of Rhythm Instagram

NEW YORK — For the past year, the WXPN public radio station in Philadelphia has elevated Haitian music through its programming on “Kanaval: Haitian Rhythms and the Music of New Orleans.” To cap it off, some of the most popular Haitian musical entertainers will perform at the city’s first Kanaval Ball festival next week.

Scheduled for Jan. 9 at The Fillmore Philadelphia, Kanaval Ball will feature Grammy-winning DJ and producer Michael Brun and folkloric dance company Nadia Dieudonne & Feet of Rhythm, along with renowned bands RAM and Boukman Eksperyans. These acts will play alongside the world-famous Preservation Hall Jazz Band, which is based in New Orleans. 

Dieudonne and her group plan to perform traditional Haitian dance, but the carnival-inspired event also offers opportunities to explore the similarities between her craft and the second line style of dance popularized in New Orleans Mardi Gras parades, she said. 

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Sam is a reporter for The Haitian Times and a 2020 Report for America corps member. He has covered Haiti and its diaspora since 2018. His work has also appeared in USA Today, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Haiti Liberte. Sam can be reached at sam@haitiantimes.com or on Twitter @sambojarski.