Dancing for Haiti

Cambridge, MA 060713 Dancers with The Jean Appolon Expressions, a.k.a. JAE, dance troupe perform at Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School in Cambridge on June 7, 2013. We photographed the event for the upcoming Boston Diversity magazine. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff)/ MAG
Dancers with Jean Appolon’s Expressions recently performed at Cambridge Rindge & Latin School.Credit: Essadras M Surarez / Globe Staff

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For Jean Appolon, who teaches at Boston Ballet School and has toured with world-renowned companies, the taboos of his childhood now define his artistic mission: preserving Haiti’s cultural legacy through dance, and celebrating the connection between Haitian dance and the rites of Vodou ceremony.

“What dance has really taught me is how rich we are as Haitians and as people of African descent, and the impact of the Afro-Haitian tradition for dance around the world,” says Appolon, who left Haiti for Boston in 1993 and later earned his degree at New York’s prestigious Joffrey Ballet School. “That’s something that makes me extremely proud, and I want to be the next generation to represent that.”

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