Anthropology students document Vodou ceremony process (Photo copyright by Michelle Karshan)
Contact: Lois Wilcken, 718-953-6638, firstname.lastname@example.org
MAKANDAL AND THE HUNTER COLLEGE HAITIAN DRUM WORKSHOP PRESENT MAYA DEREN’S CLASSIC VODOU FIILM ON FRIDAY, APRIL 13TH
Makandal, a company that brings the traditions of the Haitian people alive in music and dance, and the Haitian Drum Workshop of Hunter College announce a special screening of experimental filmmaker Maya Deren’s Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti on Friday, April 13th, 8 pm, in Brecher Hall at Hunter College CUNY at 68th Street in Manhattan. This viewing of the film celebrates its recent release by Mystic Fire Video in DVD format.
In 1947 Deren departed for Haiti on a Guggenheim fellowship with a plan to film sacred Afro-Haitian dance within an eight-month time frame. But once in Haiti, she discovered that “the dance could not be considered independently from the mythology.” During her filming over the next several years she studied anthropology, experienced the “white darkness” of spirit possession, and published the classic book, Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti in 1953 (reprinted by McPherson & Company, 1983). In 1977, Deren’s widower Teiji Ito and his second wife, Cheryl Ito, posthumously completed the making of the film.
Please join us in celebrating this classic on Haitian Vodou. Savor the rare aural and visual images from the 1940s and ‘50s, which bring to life the private (ritual) and public (Carnival and Rara) faces of Vodou. Our program offers a brief introduction by Dr. Lois Wilcken (author, The Drums of Vodou), a showing of the film, a discussion moderated by Hunter College students, and light refreshments. Admission: $5 general public; FREE for Hunter students with College ID. Travel Directions at www.makandal.org/calendar.html
Makandal and the Ethnomusicology Program of the Hunter College Music Department established the Haitian Drum Workshop in 1983, and the Undergraduate Student Government has chartered and funded it since 1996. The Workshop meets Friday evenings to study the remarkable rhythms of Haitian Vodou with Master Drummer Frisner Augustin (NEA Heritage Fellow).