Lénablou is a French Caribbean/Guadeloupean dancer, choreographer, and educator. Lénablou has been creating choreographies in Guadeloupe (French West Indies), France, and Switzerland since 1989. She received her D.E.U.G in Dance (2 year University Course) and her Diploma of Choreographic Interpretation in Jazz at the Sorbonne University – Paris IV. In 1990, Lénablou created the Center of Dance and Choreographic Studies (CDEC) located in Pointe-à-Pitre (Guadeloupe, FWI). Since its creation, the CDEC has been thought as a singular space opened on other fields to feed the students’ artistic appetites. After 25 years of existence, the CDEC is considered a resource place for cultural life in Guadeloupe.
Lénablou’s diverse and plural experiences have nourished creation of the contemporary dance form Techni’ka – anchored in the traditional and popular heritage of Guadeloupe – the Gwo-ka – and yet resolutely contemporary. In relation to Techni’ka, Lénablou conceives of herself as both a historian who has cataloged the nuances of this dance form from its origins, and a messenger who teaches this technique with a contagious and exceptional passion.
Yanique Hume is a lecturer in Cultural Studies at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill. She completed her PhD in Comparative Studies in Culture, History and Social Theory from Emory University in 2008 and specializes in the multidisciplinary field of Caribbean Cultural Studies with a focus on Cuba and Haiti. Her research and teaching areas include Afro-Atlantic religious cultures, festive and sacred arts, Caribbean popular culture, migration, diasporic tourism and heritage studies. Yanique is the co-editor along with Aaron Kamugisha on two important anthologies, Caribbean Cultural Thought: From Plantation to Diaspora (Ian Randle Publishers, 2013) and Caribbean Popular Culture: Power, Politics and Performance (Ian Randle Publishers 2016). Her work has been published in journals such as e-misférica, Caribbean Quarterly, Caribbean In-Transit. Dr. Hume is the recipient of grants from the Social Science Research Council, the International Development Research Centre, Ford Foundation, and the Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. Besides her work in the academy, Dr. Hume is a professional dancer and choreographer who has worked with the critically acclaimed Danza Caribe of Cuba and toured extensively with the Jamaican-based L’ACADCO. She continues to teach Afro-Caribbean dance and leads workshops on the sacred dances of the Caribbean across the region, the USA and Brazil.
Rujeko Dumbutshena is an experienced university dance instructor who was on faculty at Sarah Lawrence College for 8 years and now teaches in the dance department of the University of New Mexico. As a Zimbabwean artist living in America, Rujeko has successfully been a part of innovative works and was an original ensemble member (dancer, singer, mbira player) in the Broadway musical production of FELA!. Rujeko was commissioned to choreograph and produce an original piece, Jenaguru, as part of the Smithsonian African Art Museum’s African Cosmos exhibit. She received a Brooklyn Arts Council 2013 grant and a BAM/De Vos Institute 2013 Fellowship. She teaches neo-traditional African dance.
Jessi Knight is a dancer, teacher and choreographer from Pittsboro, N.C., who co-directs knightworks dance theater with her sister Christina Knight. Jessi began her training in Chapel Hill N.C. under the instruction and mentorship of Mary Norkus and Melody Eggen. As an undergraduate at Duke University, she pursued a self-designed dance degree with an emphasis in music and education. While at Duke, she studied and performed with various Duke faculty members, Duke’s Modern and African Repertory Ensembles, and with guest artists Billy Siegenfeld of Jump Rhythm Jazz Project and Ron K. Brown/Evidence. After graduation in 2004, Jessi embarked on a teaching and choreographing career that afforded her the opportunity to work and perform both locally and nationally. She spent four years in Denver, Colorado as a member of the internationally acclaimed Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble. There she not only danced as a member of the ensemble, she also served as Assistant to the Artistic Director, Assistant Cleo II (CPRD second company) Director and Assistant Company Rehearsal Director. She currently resides in North Carolina where she continues to teach and choreograph.