Destiné, Jean-Léon. (1918–2013)
Unusual signed photograph of the Haitian-born American dancer and choreographer, who is shown in a dramatic costume photograph and has signed and inscribed to Paul McMahon at the lower left: "Pour Paul / merci et mes meilleurs voeux / J. L. Destiné." Fine. 8 x 10 inches (20.5 x 25.4 cm).
Jean-Leon Destiné was born in Saint-Marc and moved to the United States with the dance company of Lina Mathon-Blanchet in the early 1940s. He later studied at Howard University. His work, becoming well known in the 1940s, often addressed Haiti's history of resisting colonialism and slavery. He also danced with Katherine Dunham's company and founded a national dance company in Haiti in the late 1940s. He also danced at the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival from 1949 to 1970, and returned in 2004 to direct the Cultural Traditions Program.
From the collection of Paul McMahon, a critic, photographer and artist who worked for more than 13 years touring with Marlene Dietrich as the icon’s stage manager, announcer, dresser, secretary and escort, and later spent 25 years as an arts and entertainment reviewer and photographer with Gay Community News, Esplanade, Tommy’s Connection, The Mirror, Bay Windows and other publications.