marie casimir, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Marie Casimir is a Haitian-American performer/ arts producer and educator interested in the straddling of multiple cultures, languages, and memories that exist within the body. Her practice is rooted in improvised performance using “Theatrical Jazz” as a tool to meld contemporary movement and text through an Afro-Caribbean and Afro aesthetics lens. She claims writer, director Sharon Bridgforth as mentor for her pathe to Theatrical Jazz. Marie is the Co-Founder of The Instigation Festival, a week of improvised music and dance in Chicago and New Orleans. She has performed at Art Hall and The Root (OKC), Links Hall, Chicago Home Theater Festival, Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, Rockefeller Memorial Chapel and more.

Marie teaches African Dance at the University of Oklahoma. She is the founder of Djaspora Productions, connecting and supporting artists of color nationally and internationally as a means to create art that will impact change, encouraging global citizenship in our own communities and abroad. She is a 2018 Ragdale in Schools Fellow and a OneLoveNola Artist in Residence.

During Marie’s SixTwelve Residency, Reclaiming The Lakou: A Movement & Writing Workshop, participants combined elements of improvised movement, voice and storytelling to create something new. Using the model of the Haitian Lakou-system, the rural communal courtyard of collective work, extended kinship, spirituality and culture, they collapsed time and space, using their own innate movements to instigate moments. They learned how to channel fluid movement and breath, making their own choices from one moment to the next.  They learned how to work in group (our own Lakou) to create collective sound and movement influenced by Afro-Diaspora aesthetics.