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During a voodoo sacrificial ceremony in homage to Shango, the god of thunder of the Yoruba people, a white cockerel is sacrificed – the piece is a reference to the human sacrifices that still take place in the Caribbean Islands. The boy killing the cockerel is suddenly possessed by Damballa, the serpent god. The priest protects him with incantations and drives evil from the community. Shango is the African god of thunder and justice, and has a major presence in the Afro-Caribbean culture that Katherine Dunham studied in Haiti, Cuba, Trinidad and Jamaica.


Choregraphy : Katherine Dunham
Rerun in 2009 by : James Carlès
Transmission : Emilio Lastaria, Jacky Walcoot
Supervision : Marie-Christine Dunham-Pratt
Duration : 12 min

Carlès, James

James Carles is a choreographer, researcher and lecturer. He received initial training in dance and music of Africa and its Diaspora and then trained with the great names of modern dance in New York and London mainly. Since 1992, he hired an artistic and analytical approach that explores the “places junctions” between the dances, rhythms and philosophies of Africa and its Diaspora with technical and western thoughts frames. To date, his company’s directory contains more than fifty pieces of his own creation and authors like Katherine Dunham, Pearl Primus, Talley Beatty, Asadata Dafora, Geraldine Armstrong, Rick Odums, Wayne Barbaste, Carolyn Carlson, Robyn Orlin, etc.

Dancer soloist and outstanding performer, James Carles was performer and artistic collaborator for not only numerous “all music” ranging from Baroque to contemporary music, through jazz; but also choreographers such as Carolyn Carlson, Robyn Orlin, Rui Horta, Myriam Naisy, etc.

Artist associated with Astrada- Jazz In Marciac 2012-2014, research associate in the laboratory of the University LLA Créatis Jean Jaures Toulouse, James Carles is particularly invests in heritage projects for diversity and diffusion of choreographic culture. He is also founder and artistic director of the festival “Dances and Black Continents”.

Dunham, Katherine

Katherine Dunham, anthropologist and Broadway choreographer, spent over 30 years on stage and participated in a dozen films. She has choreographed acts, shows, musical comedies, ballets, and staged operas. She was one of the first international Black dance stars. She knew how to reach out to a large public and fire them up (through her good sense of staging and scenography, her inspirational themes, her subjects, her beauty…). She revived the heritage of Black culture, as it is and also placed it in the context of American Dance. She restored dignity to the black artist and allowed him to access the stage in concert.


Carlès, James

Depuis 2016, James Carlès a fait le choix de mettre à disposition du public l’ensemble de ses vidéos.

Company James Carlès Danse & Co

The Company James Carles work to the valuation of dance forms from the social traditions and popular in the West. In 1998 James Carles created the dance center and the festival “Dance in Toulouse” showcase this unusual approach, the festival “Dance and Black Continents” established in 2007, is an extension.

In his creations, the company tends to confront various choreographic cultures to other art forms. It also has operations around the research, conservation, transmission, distribution and public awareness.

In 2015 the company changes its name and becomes the Dance Company Carles James & Co.




Choreography : Katherine Dunham - Passeurs : Emilio Lastaria, Jacky Walcoot - Supervision : Marie-Christine Dunham-Pratt - Reprise James Carlès (2009)

Interpretation : 12 danseurs et 3 musiciens

Duration : 12 minutes

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