With Carnival 2021 officially cancelled due to ongoing restrictions due to COVID-19 Idakeda Group, producers of Kambule - the ritual re-enactment of the 1881 Canboulay Riots - are keeping the spirit of the season alive with a series of online workshops focusing on the theory and practice of Carnival’s traditional art forms.
‘Kambule has become a staple of the annual Carnival celebrations, but it’s so much more than a play,’ explains Idakeda founder and Kambule choreographer Dara Healy.
‘We have a returning cast of over 50 young people and we think it’s important for us to continue that connection regardless of whether there is an official two day observance on the streets.’
Healy says they have stayed in touch with the cast through this year of challenges for artists and cultural workers.
‘All of us felt it was important to keep going. This is the essence of what Kambule teaches us, that we must keep our traditions alive. And the digital space offers an opportunity for us to do so.’
The online workshop series begins on November 14 with drumming led by Kayode and Iremide Charles. There will also be workshops in Community Theatre led by Brendon Lacaille and Keon Francis, African Spirituality facilitated by Eintou Springer and Kalinda workshop hosted by Bois Academy of Trinidad and Tobago.
The workshops will be broadcast live via Zoom, Facebook and Youtube and funds will go towards an online production of Kambule for Carnival 2021.
Written by poet and playwright Eintou Springer, Kambule imagines the conversations between the stick fighters and jammettes as they prepare to do battle with Police Commissioner Captain Arthur Baker. Springer uses the spelling ‘Kambule’ - a Kikongo word that means procession. This meaning became conflated with the more widely known spelling Canboulay, which is a French patois word meaning burnt canes.
For more information on the Kambule Campus please visit www.idakedagroup.com
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