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Yanvalou is a rhythm and dance of Haitian Vodou. Named after its associated movements, yanvalou may be interpreted to mean supplication. There are a number of variations of the dance based on the position of the body during the dance's characteristic undulations: yanvalou debout, yanvalou z'épaules, and yanvalou dos bas or, respectively, “upright,” “isolated shoulders,” and “crouching.”

Yanvalou is primarily reserved for rituals and ceremonies. Peformed for the Haitian lwa, or deities, Aida Wedo, Erzulie, and Ogou, and sometimes for the Gede, the dance is used to reinforce community and solidarity, as well as to induce a trance-like state in which the dancers may be possessed by these lwa. The movements of yanvalou have been described as fluid and are performed by creating undulating circular movements ...

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