Roxane Butterfly

  • function:
    artistic director
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participation in

  • WOMEX 2008

Roxane Butterfly's Worldbeats
Founder and Artistic Director of Worldbeats
A Rhythmic Odyssey Across The Mediterraneans

With a father from Romansh-Switzerland, a mother born in Morocco and a love-story with american tap-dancing which kept her in New York for 18 years, French-born Roxane Butterfly (now partly established in Barcelona) perfectly fits the definition of a world-class citizen. In 1992, while baptizing her ''Butterfly'', bebop tap-master Jimmy Slyde could not possibly imagine that her light-footed ''Papillon'' would so radically transform the landscape of tap, _a language born out of african-american slavery on the plantations. Neither could he think she would take his beloved art-form all the way back to the African Mother-Land through the exploration of her own mediterranean roots.

Created thanks to the support of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, her recent production DJELLABA GROOVE is an international cast of artists, fusing sounds of Morocco to tap, flamenco, poetry, and a landscape of kaleidoscopic video that takes the audience across the Mediterraneans from Turquey to Andalucia via Jerusalem and the Sahara.

Fluent in the jazz idiom (Roxane can sing with her feet most standards from the fake-book!), she embarked on the world-music journey in 1995 as percussive-dances started fading away from the jazz-culture. Since, she continues to apply the same law of improvisation which rules over her life and travels, to her many collaborations. Such collaborators include percussionists Zohar Fresco, Ravi Bandhu (Sri-Lanka), Boté Percussions (Guinea), Evelyn Glennie (Scotland), Jean-Pierre Drouet (France) et AMORES (Spain), singer Maya Ganguli (India), flamenco guitarists Pedro Cortès and Javi Gavara (Spain), pianist Cheikh Tidiane Seck (Mali), saxophonist Phil Wood,
guitarist Stanley Jordan (USA), bassist Mariano Martos (Argentina), Barre Philipps and Ron Carter (USA), udists Moulay Sherif (Morocco) and Yoel Ben Simhon, cornetist Graham Haynes (USA), vocalist Elizabeth Kontomanou (France), drummer Aldo Romano. (France)... and many more.

Her ensemble WORLDBEATS has toured France, Spain, Canada, Germany and the US (including New York's Lincoln Center, Summerstage, Symphony Space, Global Fest...). As a soloist she has presented original work in Asia, Africa, South and North America, Russia, Central Europe, The Middle -East, The Indian Ocean.....The only woman tap dancer to have received a Bessie Award for Outstanding Creative Achievement, she continues to open new paths for contemporary tap with her documentary films HOOFALOGIES.

Roxane Butterfly

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