Class Notes Lesson Library

Virtual Concert: Afoutayi Dance, Music and Arts Company

Djenane Saint Juste, Artistic Director of Afoutayi Dance, Music and Arts CompanyVenn Productions

January 21, 2021

Age Range: Grades K-8

Note to Teachers: Virtual Concerts give your students the opportunity to practice their audience skills and experience a wide variety of genres performed by professional, Minnesota-based musicians. As the teacher, you’ll play the role of Concert Host narrating between each piece of music. Use your judgment to cater the concert to your students’ needs and attention span. If you need ideas adapting a virtual concert for your situation, please contact Katie Condon, music education specialist. We hope you enjoy this Class Notes Virtual Concert!

1. First, meet Djenane Saint Juste, the Artistic Director of Afoutayi Dance, Music and Arts Company. Afoutayi (ah-FOO-tah-yee)is a performing arts group that celebrates the history and culture of the country of Haiti.

Djenane explained that Afoutayi Dance Music and Arts Company shares culture, art, and music from the country of Haiti. Find Haiti on a map, or look at the image below to see where it is located.

Haiti
Haiti
Wikimedia Commons

Do you remember what two languages are spoken in Haiti?

2. Remember in the first video, Djenane showed several instruments used in Haitian music. You will see some of those instruments in this next video. This piece is called Balanse Fofo. Do you remember from Djenane's introduction what "balanse" means? Who is Fofo?

3. Storytelling is an important part of Haitian culture. In the next video, Djenane will tell you some words and dance moves that will help you understand the next musical performance.

4. Now it's time to watch the performance of Lasirèn ak Labalèn. Before you watch, review those key words that Djenane taught in the last video. Try each motion/dance move as you say the words, in Creole:

• Lasirèn (mermaid)
• Labalèn (whale)
• Chapo (hat)
• Tonbe (to fall down)
• Lanmè (the sea/ocean)

Get ready to join in with the dance moves at the very end.

After watching, see if you can retell the story to a friend or family member, or draw a comic book version of the story. Does this story teach a lesson? If so, what do you think that lesson is?

5. Next, Djenane will show you a steady beat pattern you will use while you listen to the next piece of music. Get ready to clap and tap.

6. Now it is time to watch Afoutayi perform Zanm Telele. See if you can follow the steady beat pattern that Djenane taught.

7. Music and dance are very connected in Haitian culture. Dance along to these two final performances by Afoutayi.

Did you notice that the second piece begins with a call on the lambi (conch)? Do you remember from the very first video, how people in Haiti use the lambi?

8. Finally, Djenane will review a few highlights and ideas from this virtual concert.

Learn more

• Read this feature on the Classical MPR website about Djenane Saint Juste's new book.
• Learn more about Afoutayi on their Website.

Have a question or suggestion? Contact Katie Condon, music education specialist.

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