August 2012 by Arnaldo JJ Chris and Cath Emancipation.jpeg

New Waves! Institute

a program of the Dance & Performance Institute

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Photo by Arnaldo James.

New Waves! has become a rite of passage for dancers of the Caribbean and its Diasporas, having engaged hundreds of dance and performance artists, scholars, teachers, researchers and students in Trinidad & Tobago, Haiti, and New York. From 2011 to 2018, New Waves! was realized over the course of two weeks and through performances, intensive workshops, movement, reasoning sessions, public lectures, screenings, shared meals, and informal limes. In these ways, New Waves! has embodied the depth and spirit of contemporary dance and performance practice in the Caribbean, in an organizing principle of ‘Emancipation'.​

"This revolution of Emancipation, the revolution of Independence...that did not happen, it is still to happen."  -  Tony Hall,  New Waves! Founding Faculty


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"I can articulate these connections now, but it would not be until I visited Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, to attend the New Waves! Dance and Performance Institute in 2018 that I would witness God’s queerness so fluidly across sites of religious ecstasy and hedonistic abandon. It was during that trip that I realized I could take queerness and my God (in all their forms) with me, wherever I go, without shame or consequence. I’d come to the institute in 2018 intending to observe — a collaborator of mine, a choreographer, was there participating in daily movement workshops -  "
"... but my plans to be a passive gawker were immediately thwarted: I was told that observation without participation was not permitted, and deeply “colonial.” The New Waves! founder, Makeda Thomas, has been facilitating the Institute for several years and the space — exclusively dedicated to African and Caribbean futurisms, ancestral spirituality, embodied practices, and most importantly, Black liberation — required collective fellowship in corporeal movement as a central part of its practice and operation."  READ MORE