Colonisation in Reverse: Jean-Léon Destiné – Exhibition Catalogue


Jean-Léon Destiné was a significant contributor to the development of dance in Haiti and the USA, influencing contemporaries such as George Balanchine and Katherine Dunham and saw his work showcased at Jacob’s Pillow and the international film festivals of Edinburgh and Venice.  Although not widely acknowledged in the contemporary dance canon, his legacy as a choreographer and teacher in one that radiates through the practice of many.

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This publication complements and expands upon the exhibition Colonisation in Reverse: Jean-Léon Destiné with photographs and archival materials that bring Destiné’s rich and colourful career to life.

“Destiné was a purist. Destiné did not want to dilute his technique. He didn’t want to misinterpret or not be able to resource the origin of a movement… But what he did more importantly was to recognise the political climate in which work was being created, staged and promoted.”
Valerie J Rochon

Valerie J Rochon
Thomas Talawa Prestø
Pawlet Brookes

Cover Image
Jean-Léon Destiné by Jack Mitchell, Archive Photos/Getty Images, 1951.


Publication Year: 2021
ISBN: (Paperback) 978-1-913862-05-3