Alum Blanche Brown Honored at San Francisco International Arts Festival

Monday, May 04, 2015
SF BAY VIEW -- Quite some time would pass before Ms. Blanche would pursue her passion. Yet she persisted and at 35, the wife and mother of three returned to San Francisco State University to study Dance. At SFSU, she fell in love with Haitian dance (then known as Afro-Haitian) not knowing it would lead her on a spiritual journey that would change her life. Her journey has had many stops. Annual trips to New York found Ms. Blanche learning with master artists, studying Haitian spiritual traditions, participating in ritual ceremonies and experiencing firsthand the difference between performance and dancing for spirit. Next was Nigeria, where she performed with Nontsizi Cayou’s Wajumbe and absorbed the rich spiritual influences of West Africa. When Africa came to her by way of Malonga Casquelourd’s arrival in the Bay, she learned that from an African perspective, all dance was ritual, each having a specific rhythm and purpose within its traditional context.