La Papillon: Celebrating Floyd Sonnier’s Acadiana

With 20 company members strong, Ballet Acadiana’s spring 2016 performance at the Grand Opera House of the South in Crowley, Louisiana featured and celebrated the work of Floyd Sonnier, world-famous artist from Cajun country. Ballet Acadiana’s Artistic Director Beverly F. Spell along with world-renowned dancer and choreographer Bill Hastings of New York choreographed this original piece. From May 13-15, a total of approximately 1,000 people from across the United States attended these original performances. This folk ballet presentation delighted French speakers as Dr. Michael Vincent, Ph.D. of the LSU AgCenter and young child actor Andre’ Badeaux, who attends a French immersion school in Lafayette, Louisiana, provided narration in French in addition to English. Crafted by the outstandingly creative Jon Rabalais, scenes from the iconic pen and ink work of Sonnier were projected via lights and images onto the stage while company members danced to live music provided by Has Beans, a well-known local Cajun Band. 


“As director of Louisiana’s state agency for the development of French in Louisiana, I congratulate you for this unique cultural product that is not only educational in terms of teaching the value of our local Cajun culture, but it also serves as an important authentic expression of a unique cultural identity, which absolutely needs to be expressed in multiple art forms.”

- Charles Larroque, Executive Director of CODOFIL

“Le Papillon is a moving and beautiful tribute not only to the wonderful artist Floyd Sonnier and his family but also to South Louisiana;s rich Cajun Heritage. This Ballet Acadiana production seamlessly merged the elegance of formal ballet with the playfulness of traditional dance. Showcasing the arts of music, artwork and dance in a brilliant way, I would heartily recommend La Papillon to anyone ready for this artistic adventure.”

- Moriah Istre, Ph.D.

“I wish this production could be seen by thousands of Louisianaans, both young and old, who would undoubtedly enjoy this elegant reflection of their traditional culture and music, as well as seen by Acdians from Canada, who always treasured the Acadian Culture from their Southern cousins!”

- Phillips Gustin, Lafayette International Center


Louisiana public broadcasting: LPB ART ROCKS

On Art Rocks! Friday, October 12 at 8:30PM and Saturday, October 13 at 5:30PM, we remember artist Floyd Sonnier, who created intricate pen and ink drawings depicting rural life in Acadiana. His illustrations live on in many homes and businesses, including his gallery in Scott, Louisiana, where Sonnier’s widow continues to share the stories behind his work.



Visit our channel to see videos of Floyd from the past as well as new product videos and events.


Art rocks episode 605

Visit the link below for episode 605 featuring the work and life of Floyd Sonnier. Watch the full episode or go direct to 1:40 into the video.