Dance classes, culture with New Waves

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NEW WAVES, a week-long programme beginning tomorrow, will engage participants in intensive dance classes, workshops, building community, and experiencing the cultural landscape of TT.

Founding director of New Waves Institute Makeda Thomas said New Waves draws a stellar faculty of international dance artistes and scholars each year. This year Dr Sheron Wray will be the scholar-in-residence.

All programme courses will be held at the University of Trinidad and Tobago’s Academy for Performing Arts (APA) at Frederick Street in Port of Spain.

The eight edition of New Wave end on August 1.

Faculty and guest artistes will lead three tracks of focus: Caribbean Futurisms with Thomas and André Zachery (Renegade Performance Group); Caribbean Dance with National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica choreographer and University of Wisconsin-Madison professor of dance, Christopher Walker and Haitian dance artist, Jean-Sebastian Duvilaire; and Performance Art with performance artists Michelle Isava of Venezuela/Trinidad and Sheena Rose of Barbados.

Thomas said Trinidadian performance artist, Isava, is set to present a highly-anticipated, new performance work, and Rose will present a special performance of Island and Monster on Friday at 7 pm.

Returning New Waves surfer (as participants are affectionately called) Alanna Morris Van Tassel, one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” for 2018, will present a showing of Yam, Potato an Fish!, initially developed during a creative residency with Art On Purpose in Arima, Trinidad.

Thomas said in addition to a continued partnership with the UTT’s Academy for Performing Arts, New Waves offers programming in partnership with Jouvay Ayiti’s Emancipation Mas Camp 2018.

A new partnership with Art on Purpose will formalise its children’s programme, with Uhuru movement and music workshops for children led by Jamie Philbert.

“We’re thrilled to be back in the Caribbean this year, after last year’s successful programming in the US.

“This New Waves is unparalleled in its artistic quality, with its triple focus on Caribbean futurisms, Caribbean dance and performance art.

“There’s much to look forward to, and it promises a transformative experience for all that participates”, said Thomas.

Since establishing in 2011 the New Waves Institute has gathered over 300 dance artistes, teachers, and scholars in the Caribbean. Each year, participants, staff and a renowned faculty of international artists form a supportive and inspiring community that has created a unique space for dialogue, networking, experimentation and collaboration.

The programme was held at APA in Port of Spain in 2011-2013 and 2015.

In 2014, it was held in Jacmel and Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and in New York in 2017.

Asked what impact are organisers expecting from the event this year, Thomas said: “We expect, that through our programming of workshops and performances, dance artists and audiences are engaged with world-class dance presenting right here in the Caribbean. New Waves has earned its place as the premiere institution for contemporary dance training and research in the Caribbean. We expect to meet that expectation and hope that it’s a transformative experience for our participants.”

New Waves will feature over 40 workshops, master classes, special events and performances.

“This is our eight year and we go into it will all the confidence of that experience. All of this aligns with the vision of the Institute, which is to render TT an important site for thought and experimentation in contemporary dance and performance. To create an autonomous institution where vital conversations on the body, movement, cultural production, hybridity and diaspora could be had; where dominant discourses on art and culture could be challenged and where new progressive languages could be spoken; a space where dancers could dance and be healed from the laborious hierarchies of imperialism and colonisation; a space where we could ‘each re-strategise our own personal vision,” Thomas said..

New Waves! participants are aged 18+ and they come in from all over the world. Thomas said: “Our audience is made up people who love dance, theatre, movement and performance; those that are interested in what contemporary dance makers, teachers and scholars are doing and thinking about.” She added that their goal is to do the work, to continue to build a unique space for dance and performance artistes in the Caribbean, and its diasporas.

New Waves is also interested in facilitating excellent dance training for pre-professionals and critical engagement for practising artists. New Waves opens at 10 am tomorrow with the keynote address Dr Wray and later, an opening party at 7 pm.

For an up-to-date schedule of events and more info: www.makedathomas.org/institute.newwaves.

The post Dance classes, culture with New Waves appeared first on Trinidad and Tobago Newsday.

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