Artistic Director of El Wah Movement

Oakland, CA

Colette Eloi is an artist and student of the diverse dance styles of the African Diaspora along with Ballet and Modern. Her emphasis is on Haiti, the native land of her parents. As a dancer/choreographer Eloi has performed extensively, both nationally and internationally. She is artistic director of El Wah Movement, which presents Haitian dance, along with African Diaspora Dance. Her new work will use the folkloric dances of Haiti to address some of the country’s issues in association with the western world. Eloi will offer social commentary about the politics of poverty through both traditional and contemporized Hatian dance, as well as sound and projected visuals.

2009 Festival Weekend 2 Artist

“The Politics of Poverty”

Over a period of four centuries, millions of West Africans were transported to North America and the Caribbean Islands in the Atlantic Slave trade. Colette Eloi, a Haitian-American educator, choreographer and dancer offers a passionate exploration of the politics of poverty in Haiti and America. A powerful ensemble of young women blend traditional and contemporized Haitian dance with hard-hitting social commentary. “A wise griot once told me that I couldn’t stay mad… it results in sickness. I asked him what do you do when your soul has been raped. Won’t this make you mad, how could you just tell me to calm down and forget? I did not say to forget. Big Medicine is required. Big Medicine.”