Theater and Music in Haiti

Middle America

Theater in Haiti

A great number of plays were written in connection with Haiti’s liberation struggle from France in the period 1791-1804, with emphasis on the victorious slave revolt and the tragic death of the revolutionary leaders. Patriotic plays were also written in connection with the US Navy’s occupation of the country 1915–34, such as Dominique Hippolytes Le Forçat (1923, Fangen). In 1953, playwright Félix Morriseau-Leroy set up his own play Antigone a Creole (Antigone in Creole), an attempt to show that it was possible to create theater in the Creole mixed language spoken by broad strata of the population.

Franck Fouché (died 1978) used epic techniques in combination with Catholic rituals and elements of the local voodoo culture. In this there are interesting possibilities for combining theater and rituals, which is also reflected in the play Kaselezo (1985), a collective production of a blind voodoo priestess.

Music in Haiti

With the systematic extermination of the indigenous population, pre-Columbian music was also eradicated, but a ritual ring dance, areyto, is of Native American origin. The music scene, especially the folk music, is strongly influenced by the African background. plays an important role within the voodoo cult. This also applies to popular music, which has many similarities to popular music, among other things. at Guadeloupe and Martinique.

Music in Haiti

From the 19th century, under French influence, a public music scene has been developed. Musicians were educated in Paris, and most musical instruments were imported from France. The State Conservatory of Music was established in 1860. Although the music education is dominated by European ideals, music in smaller forms is most popular : lounge pieces in the form of rollers and other dance sets, above all méringues, besides processional music. Military orchestras have also played an important role in the music scene. Haitian composer Justin Élie (1883–1931) was internationally known as piano virtuoso.