Rosangela Silvestre

Contemporary Brazilian dance celebrating African roots! (all levels)

Rosângela Silvestre  | Salvador Bahia, Brazil

Contemporary Brazilian dancer-choreographer Rosangela Silvestre is acknowledged worldwide as one of the leading authorities on contemporary African-influenced Brazilian dance. Her aesthetic and teaching style allow dancers from a variety of backgrounds to understand dance not only as a way to develop specific abilities, but also as a means of self-expression. 

Silvestre’s biography boasts extensive experience as a performer, choreographer, and teacher spanning more than 40 years. The numerous workshops she teaches every year in cities across the globe attest not only to the demand for this kind of content, but also to her popularity among trained professional dancers and laypersons alike.

Rosangela Silvestre is also recognized for her development of Silvestre Technique, which has been adopted by dance communities in Brazil and the world over. This technique uniquely combines Brazilian Orixa dance movement, North American modern dance techniques like Horton and Graham, and other symbolic elements. She is also renowned for her classes on the Symbology of the Orixas, which focus on the “connections between the rhythms and the traditional movement, archetype, and story of the Orixa dances interpreted as an art form.




Michelle N. Gibson, Artist Credit: Max Gorgol

The New Orleans Original BuckShop         (all levels)

Michelle N. Gibson | New Orleans, LA, USA

"The New Orleans Original BuckShop," culture and Diasporic traditions of Black, New Orleans. Michelle N. Gibson teaches about the rich Diasporic blood lines of the Black, New Orleans community focusing on the rooted and embodied traditions clearly noticeable within what she defines as her Second Line Aesthetic. The New Orleans Original BuckShop works to honor the culture as a lived experience by creating a platform of the aesthetic and historical relevance becoming a part of the academic conversation as it relates to the African American vernacular, the culture, and social dance forms.

“The rhythms of my drum, they come from Congo Square, from the African Methodist Episcopal church, from my preacher father, and from my mother who imbued my soul with spirituality. The rhythms come from Evelyn Milton Fields and Kai Knight at the Milton School of Dance, Mariama Curry, Ausettua Amoramenkum, and others who taught me dance in New Orleans. That’s my internal drum. Those are my rhythms."
- Michelle N. Gibson

She has shared her dynamic talent around the world through performance, choreography and instruction. From neighborhood community centers to the concert stage, Michelle’s gifts have enriched audiences both young and old. As a contracted artist with the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs CAP Program, Michelle is committed to using her gift of dance to enhance the lives of seniors through movement therapy workshops in facilities throughout the Dallas Metroplex. She originated the  curriculum for these workshops while a resident artist at Ashe Cultural Arts Center in New Orleans. Equally committed to training the next generation of dancers, Michelle is a celebrated faculty member of the American Dance Festival, a position she’s held for seven years.

Winin 101: Embodying Jamettness            (all levels)

Dr. Adanna Kai Jones, photo by the artist

Dr. Adanna Kai Jones | San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago

Jones' workshop will teach participants the bodily logic behind the rolling hip dance known as winin'. Rooted in the Trinidadian Carnival, where the wine is most commonly performed, this workshop will introduce participants to the deep histories of this dance culture, paying particular attention to the late-19th Century jamette figure of Trinidad. Many scholars of the Trinidadian Carnival argue that the bodily logic of the wine is one of the inherited legacies of the jamette figure herself.

Dr. Jones has choreographed dance-theater pieces that were not only based on her research, but were also used as tools for generating more research questions. In July 2015, she choreographed Wine & Tales in Port of Spain, Trinidad, presented by New Waves! 2015 and the Dancing While Black Performance Lab. In May 2016, she performed Rum & Coke in New York City at Field Studies 2016.  Both performances were rooted in her ethnographic fieldwork on the rolling hip dance known as wining’ and Caribbean Carnivals within the U.S.

Guinean Dance and Vocal Workshop           (all levels)



Ismael Kouyaté, photo by the artist

Ismael Kouyaté | Conakry, Guinea, Africa

was born in Guinea, West Africa, into a long line of 'Griots', the oral historians that preserve the history and culture of Africa through songs, stories, music and dance. He began dancing professionally at the age of 12, when he was recruited by Les Percussions de Guinee' to perform in their international tour, which included Europe and Asia. Upon his return in 2004, he joined Ballets Africains, the National Dance Company of Guinea, for their 50th Anniversary Tour of the US, Jubilee! From his performances on this tour, he was contracted by the team ofFela! to serve as a Master Choreographer for the production, along with a principle role in the play.

Ismael toured with Fela! from its humble off-Broadway roots in 2008 through its final international tours. He is the subject of a CNN special on Africa in Americawhere his class of over 100 people ecstatically learned and modeled his movements, while speaking of their excitement to study from this legend of Guinea, many of whom had heard of him in their travels abroad. He is a featured vocalist on Beyoncé’s Grown Woman, the single featured on her Pepsi commercial. He currently resides in New York City, teaches dance regularly, sings with his band Ismael Kouyaté: Waraba Band, and performs with his West African Dance Company, African Soul International. He is currently completing his own production about the life of King Sundiata Keita, the ruler of the Malian Empire.

Jean-Sebastien Duvilaire | Abricots, Grand' Anse, Haiti.

"Moving Africa through Haitian Vodou Dance." From the artist: "I am a contemporary Haitian artist who works through Vodou culture in Haiti and on the African continent. I will use the space of a dance workshop to invoke the aesthetics of Haitian Vodou as a way to share my perspective and philosophy on Negritude. I integrate Haitian perspectives and multiple African philosophies, cultivating a way to bridge diasporic culture and Africa for our contemporary world. This workshop will engage participants through songs, dance and dialogue, demonstrating the relationship between rhythm, dance, spirit, and philosophy."