Archive: An n' Pale | Café Conversation with dancer & choreographer Nadia Dieudonne
A Humble Dancer: An n' Pale | Café Conversation with Nadia Dieudonne
But that didn't stop fans of Nadia Dieudonne from coming to Haiti Cultural Exchange's An n' Pale event which featured the Haitian-American choreographer, dancer and teacher in an intimate discussion, giving the small group a sincere look into the world of a dancer.
began dancing at an early age.
As the youngest of two, she
was always determined to live out the dream that her
older sister, also a dancer, never had the freedom to do.
Nadia's determination to become a performer strengthened after seeing a performance in Haiti as a young child, forgoing any of her
parents' wishes to become a nurse.
"My sister is the oldest so she
had to become the Nurse of the family, but they couldn't get to me. As the younger child, I got away with a lot."
It was clear Nadia
wasn't concerned with presenting herself as a flashy dance connoisseur, but as someone who, like every creative, is still evolving as an artist and individual- developing her
dream one step at a time while making sure to keep her
sense of culture and identity intact.
described how her
mother enrolled her
in anything and everything Haitian centered, making sure her
daughter learned about her
culture and heritage: "My mother made sure that everything I did was involved with my culture."
Losing sense of who you are and where you came from is a battle many artists are all too familiar with and often lost along the way.
In between screened clips of past performances, Nadia
admitted to how her
mother's cultural drilling affected her
whole creative outlook in not only presenting herself as a performer of Haitian descent but in encouraging Haitian youth to embrace this in themselves as well.
has taught dance classes for young girls, who, until this year, given the opportunity to participate in the West Indian Kiddie Parade.
Unfortunately, the youth extension of her
studio, Feet of Rhythm Kids has been cut from her
cites the cause as a lack of funding and recalls the purchasing of fabric and the designing of the elaborate parade costumes -a venture she
admitted to being fulfilling but costly: "I have so many things that I would like to do or continue doing, it's just the problem of funding that prevents me from moving forward."
I enjoyed and appreciated her
humility and honesty.
I know some visual and performing artists who aren't the richest creative force out there, but they are never one to be so blunt about it (unless they're the proud starving artist types, a whole different story.) It is comforting to know that there are artists who can be relatable while genuinely portraying their own unique talent and flair.
brilliantly exhibited both these qualities with humor and humility.