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The Carnival Performance Institute’s workshops, performance studies, and dialogues run alongside Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival. The program positions Carnival at the centre of performance studies and engages artists, scholars, and students in critical thinking about Carnival's performance histories and events, how gender is played out in contemporary Carnival performance, and how Carnival performance intersects with nationalism, transnationalism, and global mobilities.

NOW

INDEPENDENT STUDY

31 March 2024."Studies in Mas & Carnival Performance" will be available as an INDEPENDENT STUDY. The Independent Study involves live session recordings, readings, lectures, and practice prompts that are accessible for a self-guided process for 6 months. Contact us for more info. 

Studies in Mas & Carnival Performance II

with Institute Director, Makeda Thomas

3 NEW ONLINE SESSIONS: THURSDAY, 22 FEBRUARY, THURSDAY, 29 FEBRUARY; THURSDAY, 7 MARCH 2024. 6PM-8PM AST. $225 USD. OPEN. 

3 ONLINE SESSIONS:  THURSDAY, 25 JANUARY 2024THURSDAY, 1 FEBRUARY 2024; THURSDAY, 8 FEBRUARY 2024. 6PM-8PM AST. $225 USD

CLOSED.

"Studies in Mas & Carnival Performance" offers critical inquiry and embodied research around mas and Carnival - the ways in which dance and movement practice is informed by Carnival praxis, how mas aesthetics and methodologies are present in the lives of Caribbean diasporic people, how spaces of queer performance in Carnival create possibilities in dance theater, and how the relationship between Carnival and diasporic identities define Caribbean diasporic movement in our increasingly virtual realities. We ask: How does Carnival and mas performance allow us to rethink our shared potential as dance artists? How are practices of resistance expressed through dance in Carnival and mas performance? How can mas and Carnival performance practice be specified, activated, and organized to invoke its inherence as a form of Emancipation through shifting cultural and ecological landscapes? Invited guests have included Marvin George, Dr. Lyndon Gill, Dr. Cathy Thomas, Dr. Adanna Jones, and Dr. Emily Zoebel-Marshall. All sessions will be recorded for independent viewing.

This online module is a program of the Dance & Performance Institute's Carnival Performance Institute. 

UPCOMING

Baby Doll Mas as a Healing Methodology in the Mother-Daughter Relationship

Makeda Thomas in conversation with Dr. Nana Brantuo and Dara Healy

Join Belmont Baby Dolls Band Leader Makeda Thomas in the first of. a series of conversations around Baby Doll mas. Guests: Dr. Nana Brantuo, an educator, facilitator, researcher, and writer based in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area who is deeply committed to the creation and sustainment of transformative and equitable spaces, structures, and systems and centers Black feminisms, Black geographies, and intersectionality within her pedagogical and political praxes. Dara E. Healy is a storyteller, performer, and founder of The Idakeda Group, dedicated to impacting the lives of vulnerable young people and communities through culture, heritage and the arts.

"What am I mounting here? Baby Doll mas performance in the context of Trinidad & Tobago’s Carnival as a performance of love, as both a strategy of survival and intentional reclamation of open, apologetic, and soft relationships between mothers and daughters; where empathy does not sacrifice accountability and reckoning with our selves, others, and in the spaces between and all around; where the benevolence of mothering or daughter-ing resists being weaponized...where a Black girl's emerging womanhood does not transition her to competitor but as an expression of generations to come; of futurity. In either way the mas is played - and there are infinite ways I imagine - the Baby Doll mas performs the demand for accountability, of which the would-be recipient is deserving, thus teaching daughters respect and reciprocity, both within the mother-daughter relationship and outside of it. This mas reaches far back and forward into the "mother line" - that which activates in our daily lives. This ritual dance of the mas - playing Doll - is an ancient source of healing...and a dance of the spirit of sedition."     - Makeda Thomas

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"Dance de Mas: Corporeal Technologies in Carnival Praxis"

Baby Doll as Healing Methodology
Photo by Maria Nunes.
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