Formed in 1990, Renaissance Cadienne is a 20-member folkloric-theatre troupe specializing in the older music from France, Canada, and Louisiana. With its own band, the group sings and dances the music from the l8th and l9th centuries and re-creates a wedding from the year 1900.
Their music paints a vivid picture of the way the Louisiana Cajuns lived two hundred years ago and encompasses the various ethnicities which have contributed to Louisiana culture. Their dances include a German schottische, a French bourrée, a Scots-Irish reel, a Canadian Contre dance, the French Quadrille des Lanciers brought to Louisiana by Napoleon III's soldiers, the typically Louisianan danse à la patate, and even a Polish mazurka. Research is in progress on a dance brought by Spanish settlers in the eighteenth century. The group often combines song and dance in selections which include French and Acadian songs and Fais Trois Tours, which highlights the Afro-Creole tradition in Louisiana.
The group has performed in Canada, France, Belgium, on national television in France and the United States, on the European channel Arté, and at home, including Festivals Acadiens, Le Festival International, the live radio show Rendez-Vous des Cajuns at the Liberty Theatre in Eunice, le Festival Francophone in New Orleans, and from Morgan City to Lake Charles to Nachitoches. They toured Nova Scotia in July 1999 and performed at eleven family reunions and official functions during Congrès Mondial des Acadiens in August. The group performed in the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in April 2000. In July 2000, Renaissance Cadienne participated in the first annual ArteVida International Folk Festival in Berea, KY.
Renaissance Cadienne was awarded the Prize for Authenticity in June of l997, given by the Sacres du Folklore in Reims, France, and received the Cultural Heritage Preservation Award by VermilionVille in August 1998.
The group's hallmarks are audience participation and flexibility. They have taught songs and dances to children, senior citizens, and handicapped adults, on both sides of the Atlantic.
Mon père aussi ma mère:
Why choose as the title to our CD a song no longer sung in Louisiana? Because mon père, et aussi me mère, and all those who have gone before whom we never knew, have made us what we are. Like the tenacious live oak, we are nourished by the rich soil of our past: our stories, our music, our beliefs, our folklore. Our roots ground us when the hurricanes come