Nacho Duato

This time Duato has turned to Haiti and the music of Toto Bissainthe, with drive and sway. It has inspired Duato in the crisp, clear-cut style of Jardí Tancat. Four couples, in shades of grey working clothes, start calmly and build upto an arresting finish, with the word “liberté” repeated in the song.

  • World premiere by: Cullberg Ballet at Hjalmar BergmanTheatre, Örebro (Suecia), February 27th 1990
  • Premiere by Compañía Nacional de Danza: at Teatro de la Zarzuela, Madrid (Spain), December 13th 1991
  • Premiere by Compañía Nacional de Danza 2: at Teatro de Madrid, Madrid (Spain), April 28th 2005

Rassemblement is a creation which gradually, through the liberating powers of music and dance, proves to be an impressive, thrilling and audience affecting appeal for human rights. These songs are mostly slaves’ songs from the Voodoo cult. They express the daily life of the slaves, their longing for Africa, not as a geographical reality, but as a mythical land of freedom. They express their resistance and their refusal: resistance to the colonist, rejection of his politics, his religion, his culture and his language.

During the history of Haiti, the face of the master has often changed. Capitalism, developing in Haiti, has transformed the sense of Voodoo. The ethnographer came first, and then the tourist for whom folklore was produced with revived exotic excitement. Voodoo, which for the poor exploited peasants, had been a celebration of the African roots of their increasingly more unbearable way of life, became a “religion”, one of the tools of power.

The birth of Voodoo in a land of exile, the first common language among slaves of different ethnic backgrounds, was a vital creative moment, a cultural unification which was to transform the world: an opening for the confined. That is the moment we sing about. Using the traditional music of Haiti we meet with other musical forms to open a way towards a contemporary music that knows no frontiers.
Toto Bissainthe

Musical Recording:

​Toto Bissainthe with MarieClaude Benoît and Mariann Mathéus: voice
​Akonio Dolo and Mino Cinélu: percussion; Patrice Cinélu: guitar; Beb Guérin: double bass
Recording: Arion (1977)


  • Choregraphy:
    Nacho Duato
  • Music:
    Toto Bissainthe (Rasanbléman)
  • Staging:
    Lena Wennergren-Juras
  • Set Design :
    Walter Nobbe
  • Costume Design:
    Nacho Duato
  • Lighting Design:
    Nicolás Fischtel (A.A.I.) (upon the original design by Dick Limdsctröm)
  • Set made by:
    Carmina Burana
  • Costume made by:
    CND wardrobe and Babette van der Berg
  • Running time:
    26 minutes
  • Premiere cast CND:
    Catherine Allard, Jennifer Grisette, France Nguyen, Mª Luisa Ramos, Tony Fabré, Luis Martín Oya, Ángel Rodríguez, Raúl Tino. Soldados: José Francisco Martínez, Fernando Navajas
  • Premiere cast CND2:
    Annabelle Peintre, Vanesa García, Kayoko Everhart, Beatriz Uhalte, Randy Castillo, Javier Monzón, Javier Rodríguez, Jonatan de Luis Mazagatos. Soldados: Samuel Deniz, Joan Sol Madrid