Wayne Barbaste

Artistic Director and Choreographer

Presentation of Wayne Barbaste

Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, his dance career began in 1977 in Africa and the Caribbean, and continued in the United States (Alvin Ailey Repertory Company). His career as a choreographer began in 1978 (West Indies University Trinidad, Louisiana Dance Foundation USA). In 1985, he moved to France where he worked with the Rick Odums Company, Off Jazz Gianni Loringett and Anne-Marie Reynaud. Welcomed in permanent residence in Cesson-Sévigné (35), he created the Cie CALABASH in 1992. From then on, he started a research work on Jazz dance in order not to break with his choreographic origins while confirming his belonging to the current creation. This research becomes more precise with what he calls "Jazz Nouveau Concept", where he questions the musicality of the body which induces the danced movement.

After the creation of choreographic pieces and European tours, Wayne Barbaste widened his field of intervention with the public of the Brittany region. He develops all kinds of actions, training, awareness and dissemination, initiates multidisciplinary artistic meetings, created the International Dance Festival of Cesson-Sévigné and the Forum of Young Performers. From 1992 to 2011, he directed the municipal school of dance of Cesson-Sévigné (35). He also offers choreographic workshops in collaboration with the National Education and contributes to the elaboration of continuous training or artistic supports with various departmental associations for the development of music and dance.

In 2012, he set up his company in Seynod in Haute Savoie (74) where he pursues his different axes of work between creation, diffusion, cultural actions, awareness and pedagogy. In 2013, he initiated a training course for stage dancers in Annecy and created the Young Ballet Calabash. At the same time, Wayne Barbaste develops a career in teaching (United States and Europe) and always responds to invitations from the largest international workshops. Since 2016, Wayne Barbaste has transferred part of his training and creation activities to Lyon, creating the Calabash Choreographic Center. Place where the different axes of the Center are concentrated from now on: Stage Training, EAT Preparation, Regular Dancer Training, Dance Teacher Training, Dance School, Workshops... One of its essential concerns is to involve the public emotionally, to challenge it, to involve it in its reflections: to communicate. So, like a laboratory work, his multiple and thorough researches made of trial and error, of meetings and exchanges. The explorations nourished by his years of quest reveal a choreographic and conceptual orientation : Jazz Nouveau Concept. Today, this serene maturity gives Wayne Barbaste a strong artistic identity and the desire to share his work.

Jazz Dance New Concept 


Why "Jazz New Concept"?

I develop a "New Concept" jazz dance. It is neither a technique nor a style but a creative process where the performer is taken into account with notions of political and cultural awareness.


Do the dance movements have to fill all the music?

By questioning jazz dance, I modify the parameters of the relationship between dance and music through a work of composition and choreographic writing. I integrate the theatricalization of the body, the expression and the way of organizing a musical score. We are no longer in the classical configuration of a choreography stuck on a music.

It is the feeling that gives birth to the gesture?

The body of the jazz dancer has its own musicality that must be brought to life. This gesture consecrates the emergence of a jazz dance borrowing from both innovation and heritage. It inscribes its difference in its relationship to space-time. A dynamic that is not reused but reintegrated by the body, almost "reingested".

Historical presentation of the center


The Calabash Company

Since its creation in 1992, the work of Calabash is intrinsically linked to the personal evolution of its choreographer Wayne Barbaste.

Societal, political and cultural issues are at the heart of this company. Since its inception, the company's objective has been to question our societies, to highlight the many dysfunctions and injustices that they generate.

In his artistic approach, Wayne Barbaste mixes jazz dance, condition of its renewal and its constant enrichment, and inscribes it in the artistic transdisciplinarity. The use of video and the projection of recorded or live images is a constant in the company's research work. Each new creation corresponds to a new device that the choreographer questions, based on his gestures, in his choreographic proposals.

Workstreams and actions



The Calabash Choreographic Center perpetuates its training, creation and mediation actions with different audiences. We are lucky enough to be able to intervene in the Lyon area, as well as on the national and European territory. As a force of proposal, the CCC likes to weave links and bridges with other cultural actors in order to radiate but also to allow the young generations an opening and an access to the various fields of the possible.

We want to be open to the world and to be able to grasp everything there is to grasp. We see culture as an opening onto humanity. This is why we carry out actions both within the centre and outside:

- Performances

- Outdoor stage

- Festival

- Revival of creations for other places (DNSPD, CIRA...)

Do not hesitate to contact us for any question