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 study and conversation around: how Carnival performance express unique histories and events, and intersect with nationalism, transnationalism, and global mobilities; how gender is played out in contemporary Carnival performance; and how the local context of power and meaning influence the ways in which participants think of their experience. Due to current COVID-19 restrictions in Trinidad & Tobago, the Carnival Performance Institute will be held online through 2022.

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Studies in Mas & Carnival Performance

with Institute Director, Makeda Thomas

Begins: 1 February 2022

"Studies in Mas & Carnival Performance", the Dance & Performance Institute's online module 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. Questions of inquiry include:


  • How does Carnival and mas performance allow us to rethink our shared potential as dance artists?

  • How are practices of resistance to gender and race-based discrimination and violence 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?

This module will be led by Institute Director, Makeda Thomas and will include invited guest artists, historians, researchers, and mas practitioners.

"Studies in Mas & Carnival Performance" begins Tuesday, 1 February, meets every Tuesday from 5-7pm, and concludes on Carnival Tuesday, 1 March 2022. Time Zone: EST

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


Studies in Mas & Carnival Performance: Independent Study

"Studies in Mas & Carnival Performance" is also offered as an Independent Study, with live session recordings, text, and video accessible for a self-guided process. This Independent Study module is available beginning 1 March 2022. 

Dance de Mas: Corporeal Technologies in Carnival Praxis

Further information will be available in June 2022. Feel free to contact us at

Module - Critical Caribbean Feminist Performance

Further information will be available in December 2022. Feel free to contact us at