North Coast, Trinidad

The Dance & Performance Institute

“The vision is Movement. To render Trinidad & Tobago 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 colonization; a space where we could “each re-strategize our own personal vision”.

                                                                                   - Makeda Thomas

Now in its 12th year, the Dance & Performance Institute is an international community of dance and performance artists, a forum for exchange, and series of programs on contemporary dance and performance based in Trinidad & Tobago. The Institute is directed and curated by Makeda Thomas, with the support of a growing community of artists, scholars, teachers and partners. 


Since 2010, the Institute has created spaces of intellectual and imaginative inquiry for over 800 artists, scholars, and students of the Caribbean and its Diasporas. The Institute includes the Artist in Residence Program, New Waves! Institute, and Carnival Performance Institute. Placed within the multiplicity of the Caribbean historical and cultural context - in an organizing principle of ‘Emancipation’ - the Institute continues to be a site of creativity, experimentation, and critical thought about contemporary art-making processes engaged to community.  As we look toward the next decade, we center on "practicing upwards".

Let's Dance!