Skip to main content

Before there was Soca...there was Calypso

The sound, the energy, the life of the island of Trinidad and Tobago.....or any other land in the Caribbean is the PEOPLE.

Soca Music, a popular movement today by way of artists such as Machel Mantano, SuperBlue, Kes, Patrice Roberts and others derived from the sounds of Calypso....steel pan playing an instrument that is historically unique to the islands made from industrial waste: paint points, dustbins, oil drums, biscuit bins, car parts, and others.

To be a Calypsonian is to embrace the richness of life on the islands, tell stories amongst family and friends, recall events of the day, make jokes and carry on with people in the community.
After storming the band, dancing liming and feting with friends during Carnival the feathers began to weigh in on me. The sounds of popular songs played on the radio, the mention of Soca Kingdom and the familiarity of it all began to dull my excitement and enthusiasm. I felt like there was a part of that was missing, The Spirit of Carnival and the People is what mean the most to me. With the exception of a few elderly making their presence known in the crowd with matching outfits and costumes from time before...the majority you could find hangout on the front porch watching the Masquerading go by.

To remedy the situation I discovered the legendary Calypsonian figure "The Pretender".
A singer, performer, comedian, politician and proud Trinidadian.
He is the Fela Kuti, the James Brown, the Ray Charles, Pablo Neruda....of Trinidad & Tobago.
Take a look....




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Yes, Work, Get Your LIFE. Street/Dance Workshop Jacob's Pillow 2020 NYC

My Life at the Pillow..." ~by JR Glover Today was a Pillow Day. As an Alumni, I traveled North to help facilitate and support the Recruitment Tour amidst other beautiful dancing bodies. It's amazing to see how we have all grown through the years as Dancers, Creatives, Choreographers, Directors and lifelong students. Even more, it's inspiring to know that we are all keeping at it--pursuing Excellence and honing our craft day by day. What was meant to be a standby experience turned out to be a Full Dance Day for me. I give thanks to my peers who encouraged me to dance. It was a risk--knowing that I had not danced or taken a technique class proper in several months. However, due to the nature of GYROKINESIS as an instructor, I never lost body awareness, posture, alignment etc. So it was just a matter of tipping over the edge again to see where my body goes....and catching it again. It was a necessary challenge in fact, with the chronic pain of Trigeminal Neuralgia and C

Day #3 L'Acado Dance Workshop - A Traveling Black Woman

No Yoga for me this Morning. Instead, I was eagerly anticipating L'Antoinette Stiles company class and workshop featuring her specialized technique: L'anTech being held at the National Performing Arts Building as part of the University of Trinidad & Tabago. I first encountered this woman as gazed at a piece of fruit to eat one early morning in Dayton, Ohio at the International Association of Blacks in Dance Association Annual Conference in Festival 2019. Typical gypsy scenario, coming from long travels in need of nourishment after thing is all said and done. She bit into an apple that rested on a table beside me, she picked it up--looked at me it that was the beginning of my admiration for a such a this deeply rich cultured person. Company Dancers showing their special finger grip Her company brought Kingston to the stage for in the U.S. with only a taste of Caribbean culture through Katherine Dunham, deemed the mother of Modern dance who brought the classic style a

The Streets of the Caribbean, A Traveling Black Woman

“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” -  Ibn Battuta . Trinidad & Tobago really out did themselves with the Design and Set-up of Carifesta XIVp particularly at the Grand Stand in Queens Park. Whether you were entering through the side gates as personnel and staff or to meander through the welcome gate...there was a scenic route and display of color and culture all around. When you first enter in, you are greeted by mock flight attendants in side of the cabin of a plane, upon exiting the archway is there for picture taking with avenue signs name after the representing countries and islands. There is a vintage cobblestone Victorian town accompanied by colorful Cuban style houses with movie scene revolving lights--really making for the fun and magic of this reunion. There was much to see, do, taste and experience. The marketplace carried dishes from Haiti, Guyana, Guadelope and more, taking locals on a sensory trip off shores and pulling