What’s New @New Waves! 2013
Apply online TODAY: http://makedathomasinstitute.tumblr.com/newwavesapp.
*Late applications are being accepted until 18 May 2013.
Join the international community of New Waves! Institute. New Waves! is made special by alumni from all over the world, whom testify to life changing experiences and lifelong New Waves! friends. Here’s what some have said:
This Institute was a two-way learning country road – filled with surprise and I feel I will be unpacking the experience for weeks to come.
New Waves is just what the medicine woman ordered. So THANK YOU for being grounded, brave, passionate, wise, generous, and focused enough to LIVE YOUR DANCE. It truly is transforming many worlds with each step…more than you know.
The New Waves Summer Institute has left massive marks in my dancing, thinking abilities and my heart as well. Your faculty was so giving and so sincere and passionate about dance which set the tone from the beginning. Waking up every morning to rush to Chris’ class to sing and dance was so surreal for me. I felt so surrounded connected with my peers, the space, and the spiritual realm; it was a magical moment that I will never forget.
What’s New @ New Waves! 2013
2013 Courses Offerings:
Contemporary Dance w/Makeda Thomas, Caribbean Dance w/Chris Walker, House Dance w/Rennie Harris, Pilates, Forces of Nature Workshop w/Dyane Harvey-Salaam, Modern Dance w/Andrea Woods, Repertory Workshop w/Sonja Dumas, Contact Improvisation w/Jacob Cino, Jouvay Process w/Tony Hall
T&T Moves Film Festival: Special Screening Featuring Dance Related Films
In this special edition of the T&T Moves Film Festival, presented in partnership with the Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival Community Screening Program, the Institute has curated 2 evenings of dance-centered or dance-related films that exist as vectors of gender, class, sexuality, popular life, and culture in a pan-diasporic Caribbean framework. Films include: Carmen & Geoffrey and Alex D’Verteuil’s Jab! The Blue Devils of Paramin.
Carmen & Geoffrey. Wednesday, 24 July at 7pm,
TT Film Festival 99 Belmont Circular Road, Port of Spain.
Jab! The Blue Devils of Paramin. Thursday, 25 July at 7pm
Springbank Avenue Residence, Port of Spain.
This program is made possible by the University of Trinidad/Academy for Performing Arts.
Roundtable Series with Scholar-in-Residence, Claire Tancons.
Saturday, 27 July, Tobago.
Claire Tancons (1977, Guadeloupe, French West Indies) is a curator, writer and researcher whose work focuses on carnival, public ceremonial culture and popular movements. She was the associate curator for Prospect.1, the first New Orleans biennial and Contemporary Arts Center, also in New Orleans (2007-9) and a curatorial consultant for Harlem Biennale (2010-12). As curator for the 7th Gwangju Biennale (2008) and guest curator for CAPE09, the second Cape Town biennial (2009) she organized processions mixing the traditions of political demonstrations and carnival parades, opening the way to what has since been seen as a new model of curatorship, an example of cross-cultural curating. In 2012, she founded Extemporary a research-based artistic and curatorial platform dedicated to public performance and was a research curator for Benin Biennale.
The Roundtable Series is part of Making Stage: A Space of Radical Openness and Emancipation, a 5-year research project headed by Director of the Institute, Makeda Thomas. The project engages the work of scholars-in-residence Ananya Chatterjea, Claire Tancons, and Tony Hall through a series of public roundtable lectures, collection of written essays, and publication of “Making Stage”.
Tobago Heritage Festival
The Tobago Heritage Festival is an annual event created to preserve the unique cultural traditions of Tobago - the “jewel of the Caribbean”. The Festival runs from the middle of July to early August. Villagers from different communities perform with singing, dancing and feasting and wear costumes that depict life from the early 1900’s. During the year each Community has its own festival, with events that range from ole time mas, ole time dance, old time wedding, limbo and jig to stick fighting.
More info soon again! Let’s Dance
New Waves! 2013 Announced! Let’s Dance!
New Waves! 2013 ANNOUNCED.
To run alongside Tobago Heritage Festival
Claire Tancons joins as Scholar-in-Residence
Commission Project Presents Sonja Dumas’
“Strange Tales of an Island Shade”
15 October 2012 - Port of Spain - The 3rd New Waves! Institute will be 10 days, to be held 22 July through 1 August 2013. New Waves! 2013 is distinguished by its programs being held in Trinidad AND Tobago, to run concurrently with the Tobago Heritage Festival. The Institute is offering 3 days of intensive classes,workshops and unique experiences in Tobago and a week of programs at the University of Trinidad and Tobago/Academy for Performing Arts. Faculty include Makeda Thomas, Chris Walker, Rennie Harris, and Dyane Harvey-Salaam. Claire Tancons is the 2013 Scholar-in-Residence along with Tony Hall, who will lead a special Jouvay Institute for Dancers, co-developed with Institute Director, Makeda Thomas. The New Waves! Commission Project will present “Strange Tales of an Island Shade” by Trinidadian choreographer, Sonja Dumas.
→ New Waves! Commission Project
→ Sonja Dumas & Strange Tales of an Island Shade
“This is exciting times for the Institute,” says director Makeda Thomas. “Having recently received support from the Ministry of Art and Multiculturalism, and with development of the Wild Seed Scholarship Fund - created and completely funded by New Waves! alumni - we’re encouraged about the possibilities for what it means to create dance and how we project ourselves into the future.” Thomas is currently writing “Making Stage”, a book on the development of the Dance and Performance Institute, part of a 5-year research initiative developed with the scholars-in-residence.
“The participants who come to New Waves! do so not only attend to study dance with world-class artists, but to engage in meaningful conversation about our practice, to re-articulate overstandings of race, gender, sexuality, historical narratives and cultural production, and to create a shared history in which we each function not merely as abstractions, but connect in essential ways that brings out light in one another. The entire process goes further than just coming to a new landscape. It’s about developing new eyes with which to see that landscape and thus, experience it differently. We’re continually constructing and deconstructing the mechanisms by which we engage the space and our selves. Now in our 3rd year, an established rhythm with a kind of structured improvisational mode has emerged.”
Applications for New Waves! 2013 can be found at www.makedathomas.org/institute and are being accepted until 4 May 2013. Email questions to email@example.com.
"In this model, culture spreads like the surface of a body of water, spreading towards available spaces or trickling downwards towards new spaces through fissures and gaps, eroding what is in its way. The surface can be interrupted and moved, but these disturbances leave no trace, as the water is charged with pressure and potential to always seek its equilibrium, and thereby establish smooth space."
Situating performance: Site Specific Considerations in Caribbean Space”
On Saturday, 12 October at 5:30pm at Medulla Gallery in Woodbrook, as part of the COCO Dance Festival, Institute Director Makeda Thomas led a discussion “Situating performance: Site Specific considerations in Caribbean Space”:
If site-specific dance can be defined as dance presented outside of the concert stage, then how is that contextualized in the Caribbean space where our great performance traditions are, as a matter of course, presented outside of the concert stage? Because, it is not the mere placing of dance ‘in de road’ or in a gallery space that makes it site-specific. That would be site-based, site-influenced or even site-adapted work. Site-specific works involves layered processes, beginning with the choreographer’s creation of the movement; to considering how that movement will be viewed from multiple perspectives, away from a static audience position; to conceptuality and theatricality generated from specific architectural, historical, political, economic, social and/or environmental characteristics of the site; to the audience members (who could also be participants), who become “an embodiment of the site’s cultural knowledge” (LeFevre). In other words, the work is intrinsically and permanently connected to the site - opening us up to the possibilities of the space, the people in it, at that particular point in time, creating a communal memory to bear new, living meaning(s) on our understanding of the space and the performance.
What is changed here by the presentation of these works this evening? And what does it mean? Continuum’s “Angels & Lights”, an experimental work around the sculpture of Wendy Nanan, nods at the history of the term site specific, which came out of sculpture in the 1970’s. It “cites” Nanan’s work, which considers the imagery of Lord Krishna and the cherub (rather than the gallery space) as place; as the site. The blue indigo presence of these sculptures reminds the choreographer of the blue devils of Carnival. And as an audience, we know where this lives. But as transparent as the layers of glass doors which separate each sculptural piece, (like the site-specific choreographic process) is a question about the ability of dance to inscribe itself in this space, particularly when we consider Dumas did not paint the dancer’s body for not wanting to ”stain the beautiful Medulla floors with blue paint at this time”. Of course, as Dumas pointed out during the discussion, no one is interested in ‘damaging” the Medulla space. But bare feet, sound in the usually quiet space, and bodies climbing the walls aside, the questions remains: What agency does the Caribbean dancing body really have in a, this gallery space? And how is it seen?
Makeda Thomas, Director of the Dance & Performance Institute shares 10 of her favorite photos from New Waves! 2012 by Photographer-in-Residence, Maria Nunes. Let’s Dance!
GIVE THANKS for an incredible 2nd season of New Waves!
I’m so proud of this 2nd year of the New Waves! Institute. We’ve grown - and I can see the Institute starting to conjure its own alchemy. In a recent interview for a new Guardian magazine, I talked about the Institute being a body; a body that is of all of us, but which has its own life; its own way of drawing breath; of expelling; that it has its own pulse; its own systems of checks and balances, with both negative and positive characteristics that makes it vital; that it has its own way of doing and making meaning. I compared my work as director of the Institute to labor and midwifery; how much like when I gave birth to Shiloh, and even though I’d never given birth before - I knew that I had the body knowledge to know what to do.
45 participants - from Kenya, Guadeloupe, Venezuela, China, United States, Canada and, of course, Trinidad & Tobago - joined the core of 8 faculty members and 8 guest artists in two weeks of dance, discussion, and life together. I saw a giving group of dancers with a brilliant collective mind. For the vigorous roundtable series, we discussed: ”the situational compass of the Caribbean, and more specifically, of Trinidad; how we could re-articulate our understandings of race/gender/sexuality/historical narratives/cultural production” (Chatterjea) and how we could all function not merely as abstractions (e.g. in strict roles), but connect in essential ways that alters and brings out light in one another? The inhale and echoes of this conversation was felt throughout our journey together. And of this sincere gesture towards another form of knowledge and overstanding (success, failures and all), I am proud.
Birthing a dance movement
"Movement is the last manifestation of your reality. It is not what you say, but what you DO that confirms you."
New Waves! 2012 Mantra by Rennie Harris, New Waves! FACULTY
The Space of Radical Openness & Emancipation
At the end of New Waves! 2012, I had a conversation with 3 participants - Catherine Denecy (a former member of Urban Bush Women), Laura Levinson (an undergraduate dance major at McAlister), and Emanuelee Bean (a poet from Houston) - about the future of the Institute. It was an important conversation…
Individuals coming to New Waves! must shift their ideas from a passive engagement of the Institute, to thinking about the Institute as a practice of freedom. It is not only about what is taught in the space, but how it is taught. When some of us hear ‘freedom”, we automatically jump into a space of “I can do whatever I want.” The Institute places freedom within the context of community.
It’s been my experience that in this practice of freedom, and in trying to have a democratic teaching practice, there are moments of outbursts - from faculty and participants alike. I will admit, it can take some time to unpack the experience. But how do I, as the director, in that moment, balance all that energy? And with artists, it’s plenty energy. It can take up a lot of space - mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and even physically. Sometimes, I ignore it. Give it no energy. There is great wisdom in that. Sometimes, I send the madness packing. Faster than that! And sometimes I try to instill hope in the value of what they have to offer the community. “To successfully do the work of unlearning domination, a democratic educator has to cultivate a spirit of hopefulness about the capacity of individuals to change.” (Hooks, 73)
WORLD PREMIERE of “Moreechika” by Ananya Dance Theater for the NEW WAVE! COMMISSION PROJECT, International Choreographers Commission Program. 27 & 28 July 2012. Images by Photographer-in-Residence, Maria Nunes.
WORLD PREMIERE of “Palm Oil Rosary: Recall” by Chris Walker. NEW WAVES! COMMISSION PROJECT Local Dance Commission Project. 27 & 28 July 2012. Images by Photographer-in-Residence, Maria Nunes.
PALM OIL ROSARY: ReCall (2012)
Choreography: Chris Walker
Collaborators: Queen GodIs, Camille Quamina, Marvin George, Adam Pascall, Muhammad Mulwakil and Ras Mikey C
Music: Andrea Bocelli “The Lord’s Prayer”, Abbaye Cisterciennes “Tout Jubile, Aujourd aui”, “Santus”, with field recordings of traditional Kumina rhythms. Orisha music - vocals led by Camille Quamina , Drums by Marvin George, Sheena Richardson, Muhammad Mulwakil and Vaughn Toussaint. Text scripted from a devising process with Queen GodIs, performed by Catherine Denecy. “Time” written and performed by Camille Quamina.
Dancers: Jillia Cato, Mimi Cezanne-Stoll, Catherine Denecy (soloist), Alexis DeVance, Ladelin Garcia, Laura Levinson, Nicole Pemberton, Erica Pike, Jelae Stroude-Mitchell, Soumayah Nanji, Shanise V. Rhiney, Mara Rivera, Jonatha Sutherland, Aisha Watson and Keyasha Williams-Bailey
Partial funding support from Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) and Hefty Faculty Support Fellowship
Palm Oil Rosary: ReCall (2012) is a concert dance work with collaborative elements involving movement, voice and drums, imagery, theatre and spoken word / poetry. The work challenges a structural space where African religious practices and contradictory European religious practices often exist in the same body. The tension created is the energy force for the movement vocabulary, while the subject of “guilt” shapes the spoken narrative structure, against a peripheral wave of Orisha and other African Caribbean religious music expressions.
New Waves! COMMISSION PROJECT OPEN REHEARSAL - Ananya Dance Theatre “Moreechika”. Images by Photographer-in-Residence, Maria Nunes.
Dance Performance Highlights Harmful Impact of Oil Industry
By Erline Andrews for Trinidad & Tobago Mirror. Sunday, 29 July 2012.
In the mid 1960’s, a corporate partnership that included oil giant Texaco began extracting petroleum from a formerly pristine region in northeastern Ecuador. 30 years later, the environment was decimated and the health of the indigenous people who live there severely compromised. Compared to the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe in its impact, the disaster is the center of ongoing litigation.
The Shell petroleum company contributes to deadly gang violence in Nigeria, distributing money to gang leaders ostensibly for “community development” and as payment for job contracts an NGO investigation found. The violence killed about 60 people including many women and children in the town of Rumuekpe between 2005 and 2008. Residents of Nigeria’s Ogoniland region face health risks including cancer because of shells operations there the UN found. And oil dollars contribute to income inequality which is linked to corruption and violent crime in many parts of the world, including Trinidad and Tobago.
Stories like these were in the minds of award winning choreographer Ananya Chatterjea and her dancers as they put together the piece Moreechika: Season of Mirage which debuted at the National Academy for the Performing Arts on Friday night. A second performance is carded for Saturday. The performance will then head to the US. The piece isn’t a direct portrayal of people’s experiences Chatterjea explains. Instead, dancers express metaphorically what the disadvantaged particularly women experience because of oil production. “I’m interested in revealing the human core of pain, struggle, and resistance but also the sufferings, says Chatterjea who holds a PhD and is a professor at the University of Minnesota. “Activists can give us statistics. As an artist, I can only tell it an abstract way and I hope to invite people to enter into that process.”