World Music and Dance

Each year the Quinte Arts Council offers a World Music and Dance performance and workshop, providing performing arts experiences to students which they may otherwise not be exposed to.  This program is free to students in Quinte thanks to the generous support of the John M. and Bernice Parrott Foundation.  All schools (public, Catholic and private) in the Quinte region are invited to book seats (first-come-first-served).


Since 2009, this program has presented:

October 2009 – Les Mouches Noirs Celebrating the French in Ontario! (with special guests Jeanette Arsenault, Zeke Mazurek, Chris Bauer and Carol Bauer)

Les Mouches Noirs (The Black Flies) – four extraordinary musicians who brought to life the exciting rhythmic music of the French in North America.  The band is comprised of Tim Hadley, Steve Fruitman and Luke Mercier.  The students heard traditional music from Quebec, Acadia, the Maritimes, Louisiana, and Ontario.  From the percussive rhythms of Quebec to the syncopated sounds of Zydeco, Les Mouches Noirs (The Black Flies) educated and entertained.  Our bilingual host was singer/composer Jeanette Arsenault who performed (with fiddler Zeke Mazurek) Acadian Moon, the Micmac Song and This Is My Canada.  Chris and Carol Bauer performed traditional Acadian stepdancing.

October 2010 – Sashar Zarif and Company Performing Dances From Central Asia

Sashar Zarif is an internationally renowned multi-disciplinary artist, educator, and researcher in the field of dance ethnology and ethno-musicology.  His company performed music and dance styles of the Near Eastern and Central Asian regions.  The program included Kafkaz, a group traditional dance from the Caucus Mountains, which has a martial arts basis as well as traditional vocabulary.  Also on the program was a traditional Central Asian dance, and a dance based on the Sufi-Shamanic style of Western Asia.

October 2011 – Ballet Creole performing The Heart of Cuba

Ballet Creole’s Artistic Director, Patrick Parson’s ballet, The Heart of Cuba, traces the history of Cuban dance back to its roots. Traditional dances in Cuba are very diverse and take their influences from Africa, Spain and the rest of the Caribbean. The drums play a central role as their rhythms direct the movements of the dancers, melding movement and music into one.

June 2012 – Sheesham and Lotus performing Old Time Ways

Sheesham & Lotus passed on methods of music making and merriment that come from a time when instruments were scarce and mass media unheard of.  Old time music is traditional folk music from the Appalachian region of North America, and is the basis for such popular music as jazz, ragtime, bluegrass, country, rap and rock ‘n’ roll.  Sheesham & Lotus sing in two-part harmonies, play several instruments including fiddle/violin, banjo, mandolin, harmonica, jaw harp, spoons and washboard.  They also dance clog style – which is the grandfather of tap dancing.

October 2012 – David and Kimberly Maracle of Native Expressions, Featuring Rare Instruments From Around the Globe

David and Kimberly Maracle brought a truly global experience to the Empire Theatre for this show and workshop, performing on a variety of instruments rarely seen, such as the Chinese Guzheng, the Swiss Hang Drum, the Australian Didgeridoo, and the Mohawk Water Drum.  They also demonstrated African Percussion, First Nations Hand Drums, Flutes and Rattles and shared First Nations heritage and teachings.  Thomas Clair and Monica Clair performed traditional dances in full regalia.

2013 – The Sultans of String

2014 – Fabuki Daiko Japanese Drummers

2015 – Kahurangi Maori Dance Theatre (New Zealand)

2016 – Sashar Zarif and Company Performing Dances From Central Asia