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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. Placed within the multiplicity of the Caribbean historical and cultural context, in an organizing principle of ‘Emancipation’, the Institute has served as a site of creativity, experimentation, and critical thought about contemporary art-making processes inextricably linked to community, how the formation of sustainable communities in the Caribbean and its global diaspora may be accomplished by art practice, curation and organization.

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

New Waves! 2023
28 July - 1 August
Trinidad & Tobago

Join us in celebrating 13 years of the Dance & Performance Institute with New Waves! 2023 in Trinidad & Tobago. New Waves! Institute returns in 2023 with 5 days of performance, workshops, discussions, communal meals, and limes. From 28 July to 1 August 2023, New Waves! will gather dance artists, scholars, curators, teachers, administrators, and other leaders in the field of dance to celebrate, galvanize, play, workshop, commune, disrupt, engage, mourn, heal, and move.


We will embody the depth and spirit of contemporary dance and performance practice in the Caribbean and its Diasporas - in an organizing principle of ‘Emancipation’ - and connect in essential ways that alters and brings out light in one another. In marking the Institute Land Cooperative, New Waves! also invite community builders, farmers, gardeners, and traditional medicine healers to join us. All are invited to invoke a practice that includes dance, song, word, and play; to create a space where we can “dance and be healed from the laborious hierarchies of imperialism and colonization; a space where we could “each re-strategize our own personal vision”.  Let's Dance!

Plans for resuming New Waves! are in progress. Full program details and updates will be made available here. Feel free to email us at with any questions. 

New Waves! 2023 Dates: Friday, 28 July - Tuesday, 1 August (Emancipation Day)

Registration Due Date: 31 March 2023

Register online here.

Call for New Waves! 2023 Artists-in-Residence: Six dance artists will be selected for two-week residencies leading up to and including New Waves! 2023. Learn more and apply for a New Waves! 2023 Artist Residency here.


To join us for New Waves! 2023, register online here by Friday, 31 March 2023. A 50% non-refundable deposit is required. The total participation fee is $500 USD for Internationals and $1000 TTD for CARICOM, which includes all program events, workshops, and local transportation. 

Let's Dance!

Makeda Thomas

New Waves! Founding Director




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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."  
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Performing Emancipation

1 August, Port of Spain

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