Karine LaBel

Karine LaBel is a recognized freelance artist, dance choreographer and dance teacher who was born in Les Cayes (Haiti) and lives in Vienna. She understands her artistic contribution also in the sense of a creative personality development through dance, rituals and ceremonies.

Since 2000 Karine LaBel has been a lecturer at the University Sports Institute Vienna and since 2004 she has been teaching at the ImPulsTanz-Vienna International Dance Festival. As a student of the Grande Dame of Haitian Folklore Dance Vivianne Gautier and Georges Momboy, who taught her in African Dance, she is possibly one of the few women living in Europe who teach and shape the tradition of Haitian Dance to such an extent. Her roots are in the Caribbean culture. Through her many years of dance teaching experience, numerous awards and performances in France, Germany, Austria, Thailand, Switzerland and Senegal, she is highly regarded as a performer, dancer and choreographer and enjoys a very high profile. Karine LaBel aims to convey the dynamic messages from the heart of Afro-Haitian culture and make visible their cross-continental identities. Her repertoire ranges from Afro-Caribbean dance moves to traditional dances, rituals and contemporary choreographic creations of her own. She also understands dance as magic, as a means of transformation and personal expression.

Interview quotes:
„One day I start with a chant telling a prayer on stage. And there was one moment in the prayer thats means ‘I am calling the Spirit and I want to see the Spirit’! And suddenly I felt that I am going like a snake up, like a smoke, I felt it. In reality it was like the body is going down and I am going up up up. So this was my first real experience of being in Trance. Because it is how I understand what this phenomenon is like and what happens with the body and the soul and which Spirit possesses you and how the body reacts. And that time that was a Snake Spirit.“

„There was a time, I used to dream my father all the time. But very often in that dream I know that he is not in this life anymore. Sometimes I talk to him and say “OK, Leave me alone please!“ and when I wake up, I feel that he is around me. And I decided to put some candles and coffee and make a small ritual for him. I took a red scarf and sat here on the floor. And I remember he is one, who had great connections with fire. And at the moment I finished the ritual and get back, suddenly the scarf was burning and I was afraid!“

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