Jean Léon Destiné (1918-2013) was born in Haiti and received a Rockefeller Foundation scholarship to study in the U.S. in 1944. He made his Pillow debut as both a performer and faculty member in 1949 and returned many times thereafter, most recently directing the Cultural Traditions Program in 2004. One of his most memorable Pillow experiences was in 1970, when a power outage threatened to cancel the performance but an impromptu collection of oil lamps, lanterns and flashlights allowed the show to go on. The piece seen here is a Creole dance that demonstrates the French influence in Haitian folklore, with costumes of the 18th century.
EXPLORE JOHN PERPENER’S MULTI-MEDIA ESSAY ON JEAN LÉON DESTINÉ