Drums beating. Dancers soaring. Spirits lifted. The Resurrection Dance Theater of Haiti (RDTH) is an internationally recognized dance troupe of orphans, former street children and child slaves in Haiti. The troupe uses drumming and dance to vibrantly tell their story and lift up hearts, as they have done all over the United States and Canada, dancing in venues such as the Brooklyn Academy of Music for DanceAfrica and for the Pope at World Youth Day in Canada.
Awesome percussion is featured in RDTH events.
The dancers are part of the St. Joseph Family, which was formed in 1985 from very humble beginnings to bring street children into a family setting. The family now occupies three homes in Haiti – two for former street children and one for children with disabilities. Transformed from being the rejected ones in Haiti to being among the very best of servant-leaders, members of the St. Joseph Family have reached out and encouraged countless other Haitian girls and boys to fulfill their potential.
In the early days, the boys were encouraged to act out plays and use their natural abilities in dance and music to foster a cohesive home environment. This was the beginning of the Resurrection Dance Theater of Haiti. The dance experience also allows the boys to express Haiti's history and culture in the form of dance and has been a very positive affirmation in their "resurrection" from life on the streets.
Walnes Cangas, lead dancer, choreographer, and Assistant Director of St. Joseph's Home for Boys, performing in 2010.
The dances reflect traditional Haitian and African movements and feature traditional drumming. Performances feature brightly colored costumes and audience participation. This unique theatrical experience takes audiences on a journey of excitement, hope and rhythm.
Click here for links to videos and other multimedia information on the RDTH.
Bill Nathan, lead drummer, Walnes Cangas, and Jacky Asse lead dancers, provide direction for RDTH. The three young men grew up at St. Joseph’s Home for Boys. In addition to their leadership roles with the dance theatre, Bill directs St. Joseph’s Home for Boys and Walnes is assistant director. Jacky directs Wings of Hope, the Family's home for children with physical and mental challenges.
Supporters include renowned dance professionals Dr. Chuck Davis, Cleo Parker Robinson and Elisio Pitta. Dr. Davis, choreographer and founder of DanceAfrica America and the African American Dance Ensemble, serves as Mentor for members of the Resurrection Dance Theater of Haiti.
Sponsoring a tour of the RDTH is a fulfilling experience that will bring Haitian culture to your community, help fund the St. Joseph Family, and thill audiences.
Click here to learn more about sponsoring a tour of the Resurrection Dance Theater of Haiti.