Since its creation in 1992, the work of Calabash has been 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 they engender.

In his artistic approach, Wayne Barbaste mixes jazz dance, a condition for its renewal and 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 creation is accompanied by a new device that the choreographer questions, based on his gestures, in his choreographic proposals.

In permanent residence in Cesson-Sévigné near Rennes (35) at the beginning, this company moved in 2012 to the town of Seynod (74). Since 2016, the Centre Chorégraphique Calabash in Lyon (69) has hosted the company as well as a training centre and an amateur school.
In 2021, under the impulse of Wayne Barbaste, this company will find a new lease of life: a completely renewed troupe of dancers, brilliant successes with the piece "dans la foule", and a burning desire for new creations.

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. In 1992 he took up permanent residence in Cesson-Sévigné (35) and created the CALABASH Company. From then on, he began researching jazz dance in order not to break with his choreographic origins while confirming that he belonged 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 developed all kinds of actions, training, awareness and dissemination, initiated 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 dance school 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 continues his different work areas between creation, distribution, cultural actions, awareness raising and teaching. 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 teaching career (United States and Europe) and always responds to invitations from the biggest international workshops. Since 2016, Wayne Barbaste has transferred part of his training and creation activities to Lyon, creating the Centre Chorégraphique Calabash. This is the place where the different axes of the Centre are now concentrated: Stage Training, EAT Preparation, Regular Dancer Training, Dance Teacher Training, Dance School, Workshops... One of its essential concerns is to involve the audience emotionally, to challenge them, to involve them in their thoughts: to communicate. So, like a laboratory, his multiple and thorough research is made of trial and error, of meetings and exchanges. The explorations nourished by his years of searching reveal a choreographic and conceptual orientation, the Jazz New Concept. Today, this serene maturity gives Wayne Barbaste a strong artistic identity and the desire to share his work.

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