About the Grant

$35,000 to support the premiere production of Makandal (MAP 2007), a contemporary opera inspired by accounts of the first Haitian slave revolt as written by Cuban novelist Alejo Carpentier in his 1949 book, The Kingdom of This World. Conceptualized by multidisciplinary artist Carl Hancock Rux, in collaboration with Haitian American composer Daniel Bernard Roumain and Haitian American visual artist Edouard Duval-CarriÈ, the opera explores themes of escape, freedom and homeland as it intertwines the struggles of Carpentier and two groups of refugees, one Haitian and one Cuban, with the journey of Haitiís legendary folk hero Macandal.

About the Project

Makandal is a contemporary music theater work co-commissioned by Carnival
Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Harlem Stage in New York and
CalArts in Los Angeles. It will premiere in Carnival Center’s Knight Concert
Hall in December 2008.
Multidisciplinary artist Carl Hancock Rux was inspired to create Makandal
after reading The Kingdom of This World, by Cuban novelist Alejo Carpentier.
Published in 1949, this novel is an early example of magical realism and
relies on this literary device to tell the story of Haiti’s first slave
revolt and the legendary folk hero who led it, Makandal.
Rux’s Makandal interlocks the stories and histories of Carpentier, Makandal,
and two groups of refugees, one Haitian and one Cuban, to explore the nature
of heroics, freedom and the desire to escape from oppression into a new
Rux has joined with Edouard Duval-Carrié, Miami-based, Haitian-American
mixed-media artist, as the visual director of Makandal. His work uses images
from Haitian lore and African and Western mythology to illustrate a familiar
history of humans combating prejudice, greed, and unchecked power.  South
Florida-born, Haitian-American composer Daniel Bernard Roumain is the
composer, drawing on his unique blend of funk, rock, hip-hop and classical

Related Websites

Carnival Center for the Performing Arts


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