Entertainment News

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T&T dancers stun Martinique

Lifestyle - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 00:50

Founded by the late Beryl Mc Burnie in 1947, the Board and management of The Little Carib Theatre is ensuring that its 70th anniversary is a bumper one. A fortnight ago, the iconic performing space showcased its Carib Dance (CD) company in a spectacular performance, choreographed by Andre Largen.

Last weekend, CD performed at Bele Djouba in Martinique, an event which happens every two years. T&T and St Lucia were guest performers.

The nucleus of CD that travelled to Martinique was supplemented by performers from Tobago to enable T&T to be fully represented as a joint representation. As this was a joint venture, there were three female dancers from Tobago as well as the three drummers joining the five dancers from CD.

Guest performers each gave 25-minute performances on two nights, Friday and Sunday. During our contingent’s performance they did what is called ‘the Trinidad and Tobago Bele, done by our eight dance ambassadors. Its choreography included the Bele reel, jig and Congo Bele by the Tobago dancers; Bele by CD’s male dancers; and, the grand Bele danced by all. On Sunday, the combined troupe did the Bele yard honouring the ancestors.

Last Friday, the contingent did a workshop for school children where over 100 children attended.

On Saturday, the T&T gave a workshop for adults which was packed to capacity and attended one on Sunday given by Martiniquan dancers. Demonstrating our unique dance were choreographers Deon Baptiste and Karen Berkeley-Charles.

A CD spokesperson told T&T Guardian on the contingent’s tour: “All in all it was a resounding success and left attendees wanting more. We have been invited back again so we might return in two years. The Martiniquans also extended an invitation for us to return sooner, on holiday.”

CD’s next big outing is the 51st World Congress on dance research, to be held in Greece on July 4– 9. There they will perform Sancoche (the steelband piece, to the music of Pamberi Steel Orchestra) and Hosanna, both of which performed to raves at the recent Carib Dance: Celebrating the 70th Anniversary of The Little Carib Theatre fund-raising production.

In Greece, the Company will also be presenting a paper at the World Congress of Dance Research, as well as teaching a series of workshops on folk dancing.

CD choreographer Andre Largen, who is ably assisted by rehearsal director Hazel Franco, said in a recent interview about the performances in Grece: “We are showing two different styles because we are using the music of Andre Tanker and Pamberi Steel Orchestra, so we’ll be using their music.”

As The Little Carib Theatre continued its milestone anniversary and, in commemoration of Indian Heritage Month, the Theatre staged its Arrival Day Concert last Monday.

That evening of Classical Indian Culture featured Nrityanjali Dance Theatre dame Mondira Balkaransingh and dancers, Susan Mohip and her dancers and sitarist Sharda Patasar

More info

The Little Carib Theatre was formally opened in November 1948. The foundation stone was laid by Paul Robeson, who at the time was visiting Trinidad, and whom the founder Beryl McBurnie had met in New York.

By the 1960s, the work of the Little Carib Dance Company had been recognised and celebrated overseas, having performed at such events as the Caribbean Festival of Arts in Puerto Rico in 1952, the Jamaica Tercentenary Celebrations in 1955 and the opening of the Federal Parliament of Toronto in April 1958. In the 1960s the Little Carib building had to be closed down and was re-built in three years.

Many of the plays of Nobel Prize-winner Derek Walcott were first staged at the Little Carib Theatre, where he held weekly theatre workshops as founding director, from 1959 to 1971, of what became the Trinidad Theatre Workshop.

Categories: Entertainment News

Technology at its best

Lifestyle - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 01:21

After partnering with the non-governmental organisation Restore a Sense of I Can (RSC), to implement a Digital Citizenship Programme for four secondary schools in February this year, the Digicel Foundation collaborated with the RSC to host the first National Tech Expo at the Chaguanas South Secondary School, on Friday, June 1.

The National Tech Expo exposed over 100 students and teachers from Chaguanas North, Chaguanas South and Palo Seco Secondary to alternative careers in the field of PC repairs, Digital Media, Robotics, GIS Mapping and Gaming.

The excited students were keen to visit the various booths being exhibited at the Tech Expo where they gained hands-on experience as they tried out many of the technology items on display. With internet safety being a paramount global concern, the students displayed a positive outlook on the use of technology and how it can have a great impact on their lives as well as others.

The Expo is just one of the components of the Digital Citizenship Programme which also includes development of tech clubs that allow students to get involved in all things IT. The programme also encourages philanthropy among the students, where refurbished personal computers are gifted to organisations in need.

Digicel Foundation has invested $110,000 to implement the Digital Citizenship Programme at Chaguanas South, Coryal Secondary in Trinidad and Roxborough Secondary and Mason Hall Secondary in Tobago.

Categories: Entertainment News

Couple teaches locals the art of jewelry

Lifestyle - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 01:19

Nestled comfortably at the Buccoo Integrated Complex, Tobago Dorothee Hatzky-Wuenstel and her husband Frank Wuenstel are teaching nationals the fine art of jewelry making. The couple moved from their native Germany over a decade ago and have made Tobago their home.

They offer classes in Art Clay jewelry-making, with certification; as well as services in 3D Printing and 3D printed, and castable wax-model from personalised CAD design.

Frank, a trained goldsmith, expanded his vision to create the Academy of Jewelry and Art in 2011 with the objective of combining traditional processes with modern technology. The duo has conducted training with YTEPP in the trade of precious metal design. They also lend support to the National Training Agency as a lead body member for developing curriculum in the jewelry industry and assists the UWI with their jewelry workshops.

Guardian Media recently visited one of the workshops held in the rural community of Tabaquite where participants were using a product called Art Clay to create silver jewelry. Dorothee, who is a certified Art Clay teacher and artist at Tobago Gold Creation Limited, explained that Art Clay technology allows for unique designs since Art Clay is molded and shaped into patterns and ornaments.

She explained: “Art-Clay Silver is a fine silver powder mixed with cellulose based binders and water, originally produced from recycled pure silver. When fired, the binders burn away, leaving a fine silver piece.

There are no allergies attached as the end-product jewellery is pure silver and contains no base metals like nickel which causes the allergy in jewellery.

“It is easy to step into jewellery making with a precious metal for beginners with Metal Clay. Metal Clay is available in silver, gold, copper and bronze. It is ideal for hobbyist but also the professional goldsmith can challenge himself for new design possibilities with this innovative material. Once you dip a toe into Metal Clay, and you get addicted, there is a possibility for further education in a Level Certification.

The Level Certification is a seven-week class where several techniques and projects need to be accomplished, with classic goldsmith knowledge and Metal Clay knowledge combined ”

Dorothee added that the artist can also use various moulds with pre-determined designs. The creation is then fired in a kiln where the binder melts and the silver remains fused to form an item of jewelry.

Frank, who is CAD/CAM designer, noted that the academy is providing vocational education focusing on the latest prototyping technology and digital fabrication. He added: “We also offer a unique services for jewelers to ease up their manufacturing process to make a 3D print in high resolution wax.

“The Digital Manufacturing process is more cost effective and time-saving, still unique in its design possibilities. By sending us the design idea in picture or drawn, we use the latest digital manufacturing technology to design for the clients a ready to cast wax-design.”

Sri Lata Nankissoon, 27, of Princess Town who attended the class in Tabaquite, said she started classes with the duo in Tacarigua. Nankissoon said: “I have been a student with Dorotheè and Frank since 2016.

They are amazing teachers who are extremely generous with their knowledge of this fine skill.”

Nankisson continued: “Art Clay is, in essence, self expression molded into timeless silver. I learn something new every day because they constantly challenge and guide me to achieve greater projects.”

The Wuenstels can be contacted via email [email protected]

Categories: Entertainment News

Alta Student Stories

Lifestyle - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 01:16

In celebration of Alta’s 25th anniversary, Alta students around the country were asked to write about the impact the organisation has had on their lives. Since 1992, Alta has provided classes around the country for thousands of Trinidadians who struggle with reading and writing. Alta students enroll in the programme at many different levels of literacy and leave when they have accomplished their literacy goals. While it is difficult to manage work and family life alongside Alta classes, students continue to persevere and in all cases see changes in their lives after attending Alta classes.

In the coming weeks, Alta will share their pieces through this column. This week, two students from the Tranquility Government Secondary School venue share how Alta has impacted their lives.

Student Name: Dean

“I came to Alta Spelling Programme to improve my reading and spelling skills because I thought my academic skills were not good enough to suit my new job and life style. My expectation is to learn and improve and to build on my reading and spelling vocabulary. Since I came to Alta things are turning out exactly the way I wanted, I can see a lot of improvement in myself. I’m spelling words with a lot more confidence and reading more now. The experience is great, the teachers are warm, welcoming, patient, always willing to assist us with any difficulty.

The change in my life and my family life is tremendous; I can help my eight-year-old daughter with school work. I am feeling much better now. My plans for the future are much brighter.

Alta is doing a very good job. I appreciate it so much, good job to all the teachers and I want to say thanks to you all. My future plan is to take CXC Exam, learn two languages Spanish and French, Computer graphics, or even be an Alta teacher.”

Student Name: Tennille Millington

I am Tennille Millington. I am 37 years old and I came across Alta on the radio. I always wanted to better myself and this was the opportunity to do so. Going to Alta taught me to overcome my fears and also made me more confident in myself. That is what I expected.

My Alta class has turned out the way I wanted because I learned a lot from my teachers and the class is a good place to help you achieve much more. I am spelling better than before. I would like to tell anyone who is having problems to read to go to Alta. They will help you but you also have to help yourself. Alta has allowed me to relate to my friends and family in terms of speaking to them and writing business letters.

I feel a little better about myself because some things are better to do on my own. I can read some books better than before.

My plans have not changed because I still need to do more as an Alta student so I said to myself more practice is needed.

Volunteer, Donate or Sponsor-a-student. Call 621-5708 or email [email protected] for more info. Keep up to date with ALTA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: ALTA

Categories: Entertainment News

Where Old Stones Are Set

Lifestyle - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 01:14

Artist Tamara Tam-Cruikshank’s debut exhibition — Where Old Stones Are Set: The Poetics and Politics of Cultural Memory in the Built Heritage of Port of Spain, Trinidad — examines the relationships between the layers of the built environment as well as the natural and built environments. The exhibition continues until June 29 at Soft Box Gallery, 9 Alcazar Street, Port-of-Spain.

The exhibition, which is submitted in partial fulfillment of a Master of Philosophy degree in Cultural Studies at the UWI, uses the layering of images to make the viewer consider how the national environment influenced the colonial and post-colonial architects and architecture.

Tam-Cruikshank said her work looks at how the architecture we see everyday determines our sense of place and how we think about our heritage. “It’s really about place and meaning and the layers of meaning.

We venerate built heritage, but what does it really mean to us?

“I think we should question and think and attach our own meanings, because we’re told we need to love this heritage, treasure it and protect it but where did it really come from?

And how did it influence the whole place?

“I think that we can look at the place, the natural landscape, the natural setting and climate and all of that and we could see patterns developing in the architecture.

So it’s like an exchange, so when the colonists came, they may not necessarily have wanted to be influenced by the environment that they were in, but they had to be in some way, like using fretwork because they needed the air to flow through the house, etc.”

The artist said some of her work looks at the materials used to construct the architecture, such as yellow bricks, blue limestone and the concrete pavers in Independence Square, and she attempts to peel back the layers of meaning within them. “What does it mean to have this kind of architecture in our landscape? The yellow brick came as ballast, which I associate with slavery and colonisation and colonialism, so that’s the historical connection.

“Then there’s like blue limestone which came from the hills of Laventille which is often mixed with the yellow brick to reinforce it and that to me symbolises this kind of material marriage which is unique to Trinidad. I’m just saying colonisation was this meeting point of cultures and places and a whole new place had to be created.

“Then there’s concrete, as in the concrete pavers and the pillars of the Treasury, which represents this modernisation and this sense of Trinidadian independence, the pavers for instance on the Promenade are in this red, white and black colour and then they’re also in this wavy pattern and that area was the seashore at one time, so it’s peeling back at all those layers.

It’s really about deconstructing the history and past and looking at the connections between material and architecture and the past and memory, how we remember the past.”

Tam-Cruikshank said she thinks the approach is to save whatever old architecture is present, without knowing how it fits into the culture. that Trinidad doesn’t know its history well enough to teach it properly, so instead. “I don’t think we know our history well enough to teach it, so we speculate as to what things mean and where they come from. In my view, we have this nonchalance and this kind of laid back attitude towards built heritage on a whole and probably a love-hate relationship with it.”

Categories: Entertainment News

Akuzuru presents her new art performance Opus

Lifestyle - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 02:04

A kuzuru is “a performance trans-disciplinary artist from T&T,” whose practice has spanned more than 25 years, establishing her as a visionary whose provocative oeuvres have brought prestigious invitations from famous institutions such as the Perez Art Museum Miami, US and the Buchheim Museum in Munich, Germany. Her work will be exhibited on Father’s Day, Sunday, at 3 pm, at the Green Market, Santa Cruz.

Akuzuru’s Scrolls Between Spaces is described as “an immersive, expansive environmental experience in the valleys of Santa Cruz at the Green Market, a site of significant symbolic reference.”

Its bio continues, “Re-connecting the body-mind-scape to the ecosystem of marvellous meta-morphoses of invisible spaces, this performative experience will include installation components integral to its live rendering.

“The Scrolls, a continuum of the artist’s iconic ‘healing chambers’, aim to activate the inner self through an engagement of cosmic sound vibrations, ak-Tions and gestures within the monumental magnificence of nature’s bosom. The intent is to re-establish a deeper meaning of existence, thereby taking this discourse to a higher level of overstanding, with a renewed understanding of what it means to be human.

Thus, a truly transformative experience reconnecting with nature through art intervention.”

Akuzuru has produced, presented and become known for her experiential multi-genre works, including her many performances and large sculptural-installation Spatial Works which have been exhibited worldwide including the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, Asia and the United States.

Her evolution as an artist has seen a steady embrace of performance art and interdisciplinary practice, having engaged a very dynamic intersection in both the human and natural world, which catalysed her study of the science of movement and gesture, nuances of which are deeply felt in her works. Entry to the exhibition is scheduled for 3 pm, admission is $100, and the performance will commence promptly at 4 pm.

For more information and reservations, call 221-9116.

Categories: Entertainment News

Harvard Club cooks up art entertainment and culture

Lifestyle - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 02:02

T&T, currently on a stringent pathway of widening its sporting disciplines and shining its brand of athleticism excellence for impressive national and international competitiveness – is noted for its sweet-hand, bubbling-a-pot, love-to-eat culture.

And so, on June 10, an initiative to help engender camaraderie, boost morale, grow membership and sharpen sporting skills in the rugby discipline, saw the Harvard Club’s rugby family out in full force with bats and balls turned-down, and serving spoons, eye patches, sails, bandanas, skulls and lanterns turned-up.

Ahoy, ahoy!!! Pirates invaded the Harvard Rugby Family Kitchen.

Holding fast to their conviction that rugby players can cook too, players and members netted big, serving-up menus that included succulent arts of meat this, a fund-raiser carded as one of their celebratory events commemorating the club’s 75th anniversary this year.

For the sake of sport, this $150 culinary art, entertainment and culture one-pot revealed families, friends, supporters, children, the wider membership; music; bouncy castles; the Pirate’s Wish, competitions; recognition of wedding anniversaries and birthdays; and a well-stocked bar.

With a no-piracy policy aboard this vessel on Serpentine Road, St James, from 11:30 am to late afternoon, those with insatiable appetites ate to capacity staring food to spare in their plate, while contemplating the dessert still on the horizon to partake of.

No pint o’ rum in the pot

Apart from the traditional side-dishes of vegetable rice, creamed potatoes, lentil peas, callaloo, and salad, the meat dishes were a culinary culture to behold – visually appealing, palatably satisfying and descriptively intriguing.

Standing-out among some of the salivating arts of meat were: Treasure Cove Lamb, Scallywags Delight, Father and Son Fish, Ahoy There Pork, Mermaids Delight, Shipwrecked Goat, Pirates Code Chicken, Jack Sparrow Secret Pork, Pickaroons Lamb, and Galleons Chicken.

Welcoming female players to the Harvard rugby machinery for the first time, this year, and in-keeping with the sporting thrust of increasing, respecting and protecting Women in Sport as vehemently championing by Brian Lewis, Board member of Havard Club and SIGA, and president of the TTOC and CANOC, and others of open mind, globally, guests were served in part, by female rugby pirates chefs who educated on their respective dishes.

While the two DJs kept guests in high interactive spirit, veteran calypsonian Carlos “Skatie” James added to the hype with many infectious, nostalgic renditions.

With lots of fun aboard, the Beard Competition bubbled-up from a call by Master of Ceremony Thabiti Benjamin for guests with the best (natural) beard.

Stirring-up competitors, the competition was won by pirate chef Asa Lewis, but in a category of his own, pirate chef Kenny Arneaud, displayed an outstanding fake pirate’s beard non-surpass.

Of course, integral to ensuring sport, art, culture and entertainment stay alive, grow, and succeed to fulfilment, keen and ongoing attention must be paid to children. Handsomely catered to, the one-pot saw children exhibiting their jumping and flipping skills in the bouncy castles. They too, partook of the culinary masterpieces and scrumptious desserts.

So, pirates are people too!!

As the vessel’s sails were being lowered, serving receptacles and tables cleaned-up, in simmering mode, pirates and guests broke loose in true trini style to Skatie’s version of seven-time soca monarch, Austin “SuperBlue” Lyons’ Soca Baptist.

Celebrating the success of the event; showing appreciation for the unstinting support, corporate partnerships, commitment of members; and exhilarated by the positive telescopic view of the Harvard Rugby Family – all who contributed are thanked.

As Lewis stated in his Trinidad Guardian’s May 15, 2017 column, “I will continue to lobby and advocate hard and relentlessly for respect and recognition for a sport industry in T&T.”

Perhaps, this vision will be soon realised by way of the Harvard Club Funds from the event go towards the continued improvement of the rugby team.

• For information to join the club or rugby family: 684.8421

Categories: Entertainment News

Starbucks T&T Barista heads to Costa Rica

Lifestyle - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 01:55

Starbucks MovieTowne held the Barista Championships on Friday to select the best barista to represent T&T at regional competition in Costa Rica. Bradley Gras, from Starbucks Endeavour, Chaguanas branch, won the championship and will be representing our country in the Latin American Regional Barista Championship competition in Costa Rica on August 6–10. Starbucks T&T will participate for the first time in the Barista Championship within the Latin American region connecting over 2,000 partners.

“Honestly, I cannot believe it. I don’t know how to feel. I need time to process it. I want to perfect my craft,” said Bradley. Seven store level competitions were held last month to submit the best barista from each branch.

The final barista championship was held at the MovieTowne, Port-of-Spain branch for the opportunity to represent the country at regionals. Baristas were judged on their presentation, technical beverage routines and overall customer connections.

“The Starbucks Barista Championships brings out the best in baristas and they have worked incredibly hard to perfect their technical skill and customer connections,” said Human Resource, Learning & Development Partner, Nesha Malchan. “It is amazing to see baristas compete at store level and then refocus to support and develop their branch winner. Now we will see all baristas encouraging the country winner to represent T&T well in Costa Rica. This is team spirit.”

Bradley will now focus on winning in Costa Rica at the Starbucks Latin America Regional Barista Championships on August 6.

Categories: Entertainment News

Suicide discourse plagued by myths, judgment

Lifestyle - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 01:53

TRIGGER WARNING: This feature contains sensitive information on suicide, suiciding and death by suicide

Before I saw the Facebook tag from author Joanne Haynes, I had already jumped on the ideas in her post as I was occupied with responding to the issue of death by suicide and looking at every fresh and refreshing comment from deliberate thinking.

Haynes asked, “What if persons who commit (sic) suicide see suicide as self preservation? We label everything we don’t understand and think because we label it we understand it. So many great mystics cut themselves off from the world, yet the person who chooses to (do) it by taking their own life is labelled depressed simply because we refuse to acknowledge that every person is an individual and does not March to the beat of societal norms and values?”

It remains one of the most thought-provoking comments. More so, it echoes some of the other ideas I have been entertaining especially since suicide remains largely an issue of more questions than answers.

Amidst the cacophony of opinions, expertise — real and imaginary, expressions, condemnation and judgment, there was one common thread that, to my mind was the loudest take-away message. That had to do with the fact that we, none of us really do know the answer to the “why” of suicide.

The other disturbing idea was the one which condemned people as selfish, as not considering the pain of others they left behind. And to that I say that stigma and miseducation have enveloped our thoughts to a point of numbness to the emptiness of such a suggestion. We have accepted that reasoning of “selfishness” over time to become people who sound devoid of good sense.

I ask, when else are people bashed for dying? Is death from a chronic ailment or by accident any less painful for “those left behind?” Please do not rush to answer. Think. Then think some more.

At St Joseph’s Convent last May, during the question and answer period after a mental wellbeing talk to Form Four students focused on stress, a parent asked me to share with the students whether I had ever contemplated suicide.

The simple truth was that I had.

It was also the first time I had been asked this and the first time I shared in public. As a matter of fact, beyond my two friends who did everything to protect me and keep the matter quiet that day, I’m uncertain whether anyone else knew. I was a teacher at a Tech-Voc school. This happened during a free period.

I recounted that just past my 18th birthday, having already had two major nervous breakdowns, one day I decided to swallow all my Valium. It was a handful of 10 milligrammes. I usually would take them at night with all other manner of drugs and would awake with that lost, subdued feeling that made me hate moving around. Everything moved slower and that haziness was compounding the depressed state in which I had been living since 15.

I clearly remember when the deep effects of the ingested drug began to take a hold of me, I knew then that I did not want to die. That was my afterthought.

But in the moment of opening my mouth and raising my hand full of pills, all I knew was the pain I had been experiencing. I was reeling from the stigma of being a teen in secondary school who “ went mad.” I lived in Moruga. You cannot imagine the stories of “people doing me bad,” the bush baths, spiritualist and cocoyea broom therapy I had already received.

And the disappointment of feeling my life was railroaded and could amount to nothing.

I loved my mother. She was the undying support. She is my forever love. In the moment of feeling like my pain was too much it did not matter to me that she may be hurt beyond repair. All I knew was my pain, my sadness, my depression, my disappointment.

I’m guessing that is one of the reason people think suicide is selfish. But for me, in the moment, I just felt it was the best way to preserve myself. I could not consider the feeling of others in an impaired state of mind —that did not make me selfish, it confirmed I was troubled beyond a reasonable thought.

It says to me that my pain was a blinding heat that I wanted to escape. And while I cannot speak for anyone else who has suicided or has attempted suicide as an escape from pain, and frankly neither can you, I offer you today my emotions at the time of drinking the water to wash down my medication that was meant to bring me relief, which I was then using as a permanent solution to my pain.

When people attempt to die by suiciding and they actually die not even a suicide note could really explain all that that person experienced between the decision to suicide and death.

But nothing I say here would ever stop the guessing, condemning, prejudice and bigotry because we are a society that does not understand the virtue of suspending judgment on others. We have mostly lost our way in the area of compassion and tolerance in a dog-eat-dog kind of behaviour in all we do.

In T&T, everyone is an expert on everything even if they have not taken ten minutes out of their life to give consideration to critical thinking or even reading an Internet article on the subject matter. Free data and wide Internet access compounds the miseducated campaigns to a startling limit. Take a breath people.

Cheers to life!

Caroline C Ravello is a strategic communications and media professional and a public health practitioner. She holds an MA with Merit in Mass Communications (University of Leicester) and is a Master of Public Health With Distinction (UWI). Write to:

[email protected]

Categories: Entertainment News

Rapso artiste Sista Ava to receive award at the 2018 Yoruba Village Drum Festival

Lifestyle - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 01:51

Dancer, poet, chanter, story teller, community and cultural activist, Sista Ava (Ruth Ava Sam Shallow), will become the first woman to receive the Keeper of the Tradition Award from the Emancipation Support Committee of T&T (ESCTT). The presentation of the award is one highlight of the tenth anniversary of Yoruba Village Drum Festival, scheduled to take place on Saturday, June 16 at the Yoruba Village Square, located at Piccadilly Street, opposite the new Besson Street Police Station and the Deliverance Temple. The Festival is scheduled to begin at 2 pm.

The Yoruba Village Drum Festival is held annually on the day before Father’s Day, in tribute to the fathers of the community. It is also in recognition of ancestors of the community, the Yoruba-speaking population, who resided there from the 19th century, at which time the community was known as Yoruba Village and Yoruba Town.

The Yoruba people, who were rescued from the ships of British, France and Spanish plunderers, following the abolition of the Slave Trade, were brought to that part of the city of Port- of-Spain, where they resided as free men and women. They came originally, mainly from Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Togo. Today the only semblance of the town’s history and existence is the Yoruba Village Square.

However, despite the persistent, calculated and prolonged efforts to deculturalise the community, many of the rich customs and tradition of the Yoruba, remain in the Yoruba Village, which is synonymous with East Port-of-Spain and include, Belmont, Gonzales, Morvant and Laventille. Indeed, it is from within the bowels of this community of highly spiritual and inventive Yoruba people that the steelband, calypso and many aspects of our Carnival traditions originated.

The Keeper of the Tradition Award is presented annually to someone who has worked diligently to preserve and develop African art forms and traditions in the community. This year’s first female awardee, Sista Ava, grew up in an environment with strong African spiritual influences. Her mother was the founder and matriarch of a Spiritual Baptist Healing School and Ava lived next door to the Ile of Egbe Onisin Eledumare where she was initiated into the African spiritual tradition of the Orisha and now holds the position of Youth Arm Officer.

Sista Ava’s cultural journey began as a pannist with Merrytones Steel Orchestra of Diego Martin. While residing in the Laventille community her father facilitated her involvement in the Best Village competitions as a dancer and dramatist - first with the Lower Laventille Folk Performers and then the Reflex Dance Company, where she became the lead dancer. She went on to work with the Pamberi Steel Orchestra as a rapso artiste and in 1995, she was initiated into the Rapso movement as a solo performer and as a member of the Network Rapso Riddim Band, with Brother Resistance at the helm. She has also taken her rapso performances to the calypso tents, including Kaiso House, Klassic Ruso and the Divas Calypso Cabaret.

Sista Ava, who is also a qualified nurse, has also been working within communities, from Port-of-Spain to Petit Valley to Point Fortin to Valencia with women and children. In the Yoruba Village she has worked at the Credo Centre for Boys, the St Dominic’s Children’s Home and in the communities of Belmont, Beetham, and Charford Court ensuring the retention of our African tradition. In these communities she assisted young people in the development of skills in construction and playing of drums, in the oral tradition including rapso and storytelling. Her outreach has included the prisons where she worked with inmates to also develop skills in the oral tradition as part of the Prison Rehabilitation Programme.

Sista Ava’s work as a performer and in the communities and institutions of T&T has defined her as a cultural activist, a Rapso Queen, who delivers her messages both on stage and among the people to ensure that her listeners are enlightened and empowered by her words and action. She is the recipient of awards from the Diego Martin Regional Corporation as well as from Servol in recognition of the work she has already done and continues to do.

Along with Sista Ava, a male and female young person of the Yoruba Village, will also be awarded for his / her achievement, in recognition of the United Nations International Day of the African Child and all performing fathers will receive a gift from the ESCTT.

At the Drum Festival, drumming groups and dancers include Wasafoli, St James Police Youth Club, 2nd Freeport Sea Scouts, St James Cultural Artisans, Belan Drummers, Sogren Trace Laventille Enhancement Organisation, Frontline Drummers, Egbe Omo Oni Isese, Daffodils and Persistent Drummers, Drum Line, San Juan South Cultural Organisation, Ghanaian Association of T&T, Yoruba Village Heritage College.

Performing will also be rapso and reggae artistes including Oba Dread, Curious Ringo, Mc Meo, Gillian Gould, Lion Ro Lion, Soul Fyah, Wise One, Knocker, Brother Book and Butcha, backed by the Black Beat International Band.

Categories: Entertainment News

Local producers talk shop at FilmTT event

Lifestyle - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 01:21

Members of the local film community recently came together as the T&T Film Company (FilmTT) hosted its inaugural Producers’ Talk event at Grundlos Kollektiv, on Cipriani Boulevard, on June 4.

This event was the first of its kind for the film company, which facilitated three of the country’s producers in a discussion on their maiden feature films: Abigail Hadeed, producer of Play the Devil by Maria Govan (2016); Teneille Newallo, producer/writer of The Cutlass by Darisha Beresford (2016); and Emilie Upczak – director/producer, Moving Parts (2018).

FilmTT General Manager, Nneka Luke, explained that the Producers’ Talk was a forum for peers to gather and learn from each other’s experiences, in service of the overall progression of the film and audio-visual sector.

“It’s a challenge producing a film for the first time. Each of these films went through slightly different journeys to get to a place where each has an international sales agent, which is a big deal for films from our region,” she disclosed.

The interactive conversation focused on several key elements needed to produce an independent film, as well as each producer’s experience and approach to filmmaking.

Categories: Entertainment News

Global Cocktail Challenge propels Angostura’s growth in new markets

Lifestyle - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 01:18

The Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge is one of the world’s most grueling and challenging cocktail competitions. Earlier this year, rigorous and fiercely competitive regional and national heats culminated in a cultural cocktail explosion at the Grand Finals in Trinidad, won by New Zealander Ray Letoa.

The Challenge is exciting for all the competitors and offers one of the best prizes out there for the ultimate winner: US $10,000 and a two-year contract as Angostura’s Global Brand Ambassador.

But it’s much more than a fun competition. It’s also a valuable tool in Angostura’s competitive arsenal as the company grows its presence—and steadily improves its sales—on the international front.

“The thinking behind the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge is very strategic,” says Angostura CEO Genevieve Jodhan, “it’s an initiative that achieves very specific goals: First of all, it improves awareness of our brands, reinforcing our position as the world’s best-selling and the #1 trending cocktail bitters and increasing international awareness and usage of our rums and Amaro di Angostura.

“The Challenge also helps Angostura expand and develop our international bartender and influencer network. This year 260 bartenders from 47 countries competed. Each of those bartenders emerged as a lifelong advocate of our brands, with a deep understanding of the role of Angostura® aromatic bitters in cocktails, and ardent enthusiasm about the Angostura portfolio of rums and Amaro di Angostura®.”

In addition to recruiting new bartenders into the Angostura franchise, the national and regional competitions served to promote Angostura in each of its international markets, building relationships with the company’s distributors and with the trade itself.

In the 47 countries that hosted competitions last year, there was a marked uptick in brand awareness for Angostura, with stories of the company’s brand heritage and leadership in the cocktail industry featured in trade publications and shared widely across social media.

Angostura was quick to reinforce this effect, taking advantage of every opportunity for brand education and sampling.

“The tremendous impact that the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge has on the trade plays right into our strategy to deepen relationships with our international distributors— critical partners in the company’s growth” says Natasha Mustapha- Scott, Executive Manager -Marketing.

“The competition gives our distributors a valuable tool that they then use to promote the brands on trade, and distributors have really taken the opaportunity and run with it: They leverage the competition to drive brand awareness via Public Relations coverage, special advertising campaigns and extensive social media mobilization amongst the bartending community,” says Mustapha-Scott.

All of this has proved particularly advantageous for Angostura in the company’s strategically targeted markets in Eastern Europe, with high levels of bartender interest and participation in emerging markets like Romania, Bulgaria, Czech Rep, Poland, Armenia and Macedonia, and Jodhan adds that “the effect of the Challenge on sales in Russia, Austria, Italy and the USA has also been notable.”

Categories: Entertainment News

All that is We in Lopinot

Lifestyle - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 01:00

The route to Lopinot Village takes you along winding roads bordered by towering bamboo arches and lush green mountain sides. This was the natural, undisturbed beauty and historical site for the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts’ Community Festival on June 3, dubbed “All that is We.” The event saw scores of families, neighbours, friends and children from the Lopinot and communities near and far come out to enjoy the day; and none would be disappointed. It was a day to bask in the sunshine, learn about the community’s rich history, tour the caves, enjoy the talent, taste the endless food, dance to the music and support our local craft artisans.

Exploring the grave site of Count Lopinot, the cocoa house and visiting the Lopinot Complex was part of the long list of things to do at the festival and historian Martin Gomez, provided rich details about the colourful history of the community and its cultural heritage. Simultaneously, while some patrons enjoyed the shade of the trees and others prepared their cook on their ring stove, the heat proved to be too much for some tiny mites who opted to refresh themselves in the cool Lopinot river water.

Students from the Community Education Skills (CES) training programme were on hand to showcase their handcrafted work, delicacies, cosmetology skills in make-up and skin care and the men were not to be outdone as they were on hand to demo their barbering skills. The youngest of the craft artisans being nine-year-old Kyra Solozano, who was very excited to display her handcrafted jewelry. At such an early age she has already developed a passion for jewelry making, a passion she got from her mother, herself a student of the Community Education Programme.

Gary Jupiter a former teacher was very elated to be part of the day’s festivities and commented, “we live in Arouca and there are some people who I have not seen in a long time but today, it was great to meet up with old neighbours and persons from the area to take in the festivities.” Community Festivals highlight the creativity, talent and cultural heritage of the communities across Trinidad and form part of the activities to commemorate Community Development Day, which is observed on July 5 every year. The Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts encourages persons to be part of the merriments as you learn about the beauty of Trinidad and its rich diversity; it is a chance to really know and understand, All that is We.

Check cdca.gov.tt or the Ministry’s Facebook page for updates on upcoming festivals.

Categories: Entertainment News

The Willi Chen Story of T&T

Lifestyle - Mon, 06/11/2018 - 03:10

Willi Chen is a businessman, playwright, poet, author, sculptor, inventor, painter and stage designer who once switched from running a café and bar to operating a bakery, before eventually going into the printing business.

Mr Chen, what on earth have you always wanted to do and have not had the chance to accomplish? “Make money.” Chuckles.

At 83, he does not always remember everything, but Chen’s wit is sharp, and his jokes appear out of the middle of nowhere, mid-sentence in an  interview or following a pause for a forgotten name or place or time.

Then there was the time he engineered a pile driver with a makeshift boom and concretefilled four-inch pipes powered  by a jeep to fill the land upon which now stands a two-storey Marabella building that now houses his printing business.

Downstairs, he occupies a small, busy office that appears to serve as a thoroughfare for staff fetching things. He endorses some cheques and offers one to the interviewer. Smiles and a follow-up offer of “Chinese fried bake” (meat pies) and wontons.

He has plans for a grand multi-media exhibition of all his work—books, scripts, paintings, prints, sculpture and a collection of line drawings. “Everything will be there,” the double national award holder says  is Chen’s opportunity to tell his own story.

The proposed exhibition is yet to be named, but it can well be “Willi Chen’s Story of Trinidad and Tobago” a tale that spans a lifetime of prolific artistic offerings from one of the country’s most remarkable talents. It is an occasion that has been long in the making and now Chen has his eyes set on a 2019 event. He hopes to use the facilities at the Central Bank in Port of Spain where his massive “My Solar Marinorama” steel mural is currently mounted.

In fact, the Central Bank has commissioned a refurbishment of the 30-year-old 64’ x 14’ mural and Chen has worked out a work schedule spanning weeks. Out of all the books, plays, stage sets, paintings and poems, he considers this work to be in the order of a magnum opus.

Back in 1988, the mural led a field of competing artists - including the celebrated Carlisle Chang (Chen’s artistic mentor) who placed second - to earn the right to have his art permanently displayed at the facility.

Since then, huge structures have been the name of his sculpturing game. The Triumphant Christ which adorns the front of the Christ the King Catholic Church in San Fernando and the now poorly-maintained Escriva Lighthouse Tower at the Point-a-Pierre roundabout are his work.

Yes, there have been books as well. Lots of them. Seven collections of short stories, three poetry anthologies, 11 plays and skits and two novels including the provocative Gosang—the Saga of a Trini-Chinaman, which explores race relations in 1930s Trinidad.

In Gosang, humour is an anodyne for the hurts of prejudice and conflict. More than one reviewer has hinted at an autobiographical undertone Chen has never openly denied.

Listening to the writer talk about his father’s “tempestuous” fortunes as a businessman, moving from rural village to rural village and town to town, there is little question that Gosang’s conflicted emotions are as intimate as they as artfully represented in the novel.

Today, Chen sits behind his cluttered, laptop-free desk the way Gosang stood behind his counter openly welcoming everyone “through the narrow door of his country shop.”

There are books on that desk.

Some for the interview, others filled with ledger sheets that keep financial score. Some with colourful labels and mock-ups.

Then there is a low-hanging, bright fluorescent light perhaps to examine artwork for print. When Chen leans forward to laugh or to stress a point, the lamp rests like a stretched crown on his reluctantly greying hair, two Virgin Mary statuettes perched atop the fitting.

There is a fading photograph of Chen and VS Naipaul on the wall overlooking the desk. Chen, in a dark suit and black hair slicked back, is standing and smiling for the camera. His more famous countryman looks shyly on, a medal held in place by a lanyard the colour of Chen’s red bowtie hanging over a grey woolen blazer. Sooner, rather than later, Chen is going to bring the story of his life’s work as creator extraordinaire to T&T and the world. The late Anson Gonzalez once described the tireless artist as “the benevolent Renaissance man of the Arts in Trinidad and Tobago.”

He, in turn, describes himself as someone who has never abandoned his dreams. “You have to work hard,” he tells the young photographer/ videographer. “Do what you think you want to do and keep along those lines. Don’t let people tell you this, that and the other. Put in the hours and stick with it.”

It’s a creed Chen clearly has lived by over a lifetime as a tireless all-rounder who, as a Jack of all trades, has attempted to master all.

Categories: Entertainment News

Stars above and beneath

Lifestyle - Mon, 06/11/2018 - 03:05

Starry night and sweet songs contributed to an almost perfect night at the St James Amphitheatre for WeBeat St James Live18 production of Pan Jazz and Honoree’s Night, on Thursday evening. Performing to an almost filled, open-air facility, the show commencing promptly at its advertised 8 pm opening, was the National Steel Symphony Orchestra (NSSO).

Appropriate to the grandeur of the event, the NSSO musicians were satorially attired in our national colours of black and red, their perfectly tuned chrome and silver instruments radiant as if to symbolise the purity that is white on our flag. As sharp as they looked, theNSSO musicians sounded even sharper as they read music scores going through the repertoire as directed by Akua Leith.

NSSO was also joined by vocalist Kay Alleyne whose pore-raising rendition of Summertime awed the crowd to loud applause. Not to be outdone, smooth, seductive tones emanated as well from the saxophone of acclaimed Anthony Woodroofe, aka “Tony Paul”. Equally esteemed guitarist Dean Williams also performed a solo piece accompanied by NSSO.

One is left to wonder why more isn’t done by the powers that be to propel NSSO unto the frontburner of national and international recognition as a musical entity and cultural ambassador of our country. One can only hope that this group of musical literate musicians are not left to fall by the wayside in the manner Divine Echoes were discarded.

The Codrington Pan Family was next on the programme and delivered an enthralling performance with pieces such as Pan In Harmony, a percussional composition entitled Rhythm Vibes. Undoubtedly a family enterprise that has been expanding, Yvette Superville, a Codrington son’s mother-in-law, was also accompanied by the band when she delivered a vocal piece. The versatility of this family outfit, especially that of young, former Steelband Music Festival champion Keisha Codrington, is nothing short of amazing.

Southern sensation Moore’s Music Production, a band comprising of family members as well, inclusive of Candice, Diana, Eleanor, Spud and Vanessa Moore, also brought their unique flavour to the blend.

As if patrons didn’t get their money’s worth in the previous spectacular performances, reigning National Panorama (Small) champion Golden Hands Steel Orchestra culminated the programme.

Directed by Franka Headley, the band’s repertoire included a solo performance by assistant director and arranger, Vanessa Alexandra Headley. Golden Hands showed the pedigree of a true champion.

Thursday night’s programme also included a honour acknowledgement of St James’ Power Stars Steel Orchestra, formerly Blue Stars Steel Orchestra.

On hand to receive the awards presented by Port-of-Spain Mayor Alderman Joel Martinez and St James Improvement Committee chairman Cecil Tomkin were Power Stars’ executive members Gregory Lindsay and John Harris.

Apart from the fantastic music on stage and honoree segment, hand crafted items by indigenous culinary delights by Heaven Bliss and Diamond Vale artisan John Cooper were also on sale, as well as delicious corn soup by popular St James rastafarian vendor Jumbo.

Categories: Entertainment News

Indera supports grow, buy, eat local

Lifestyle - Sun, 06/10/2018 - 03:13

Hers is the face you see and the voice you normally hear critiquing on politics and the economy.

But there is another side to Indera Sagewan-Alli—the ‘support-local’ activist, who’s speaking out candidly on the issue of growing, buying, and eating local, and its connection to sustainable diversification in T&T.

On her televised series, Diversification: Not Just Talk, which airs live every Wednesday on a Chaguanas-based television network, she gives an in-depth analysis on the topic and showcases entrepreneurs and businesses who have taken up the ‘total-local mantle,’ and are running with it.

Just type the hashtags #diversiftttnotjusttalk, #allahwebusiness,  #growcookeatlocal or #saveforex, in your Facebook, twitter, and instagram search bars and you will find videos, interviews and tips on kitchen gardening and buying local. Also found on Facebook are recipes and scrumptious total-local dishes by Sagewan-Alli and her mother, Chan, on their page, From Indera and Chan’s Kitchen.

She told the Sunday Guardian this initiative and several others are all flourishing and with a network of like-minded and newly converted people growing local at an accelerated pace, it is the hope through learning and sharing, mindsets will be changed and the population would begin to understand ‘people power.’

The economist, who has been blunt for years when it comes to economic diversification in T&T, reiterates there is life beyond oil and gas and she is frustrated with the redundancies of diversification becoming

vogue only when oil crashes and quickly returning invisible when gas flows again.

A passionate Sagewan-Alli argues, by the choices we make, by our silence when governments misuse our tax dollars, and by the acceptance of the neglect of agriculture, we are all guilty of failing the progress of sustainable diversification. “It is not big business using up scarce foreign exchange; rather it is about supporting businesses that maximise local content offering. The onus is on every individual when they choose foreign over quality local substitutes.”

She is adamant the “all-eggsin- one-basket” syndrome must end as T&T has to recognise the times are changing and it can no longer depend on one sector to drive the economy. Sagewan-Alli who underscores the plights of other support-local activists like agriculture economist Omardath Maharaj and Eat Local Challenge TT, said the policy makers were the biggest culprits as they continue to be backward in their thinking thus handicapping progress.

“Michael Porter, competitiveness guru, advises that economic clusters (groups of businesses producing basically the same or similar products) are a natural phenomenon, they exist because entrepreneurs know best where opportunities reside for investing, producing, selling, making money, and creating jobs,” she explains.

“The role of governments, universities, state enterprises, and institutions is to support the targeted growth and expansion of these clusters, which our policy makers don’t appear to understand.”

Sagewan-Alli said she spends a lot of time thinking about how economic diversification could generate sustainable high-paying jobs, revenues for the Government, and foreign exchange. While she admits there are no quick fixes, she believes there was too much stalling and ‘ole talk’ over the years keeping the topic of economic diversification in the future tense, when there is always ample opportunity for diversification to begin.

She speaks of the ‘bittersweet’ feeling she gets whenever she encounters ordinary people who understand the importance of sustainable diversification and are trying in their own way, building economic  clusterswith such passion and commitment despite the years of many road blocks, sometimes, even deliberately imposed on them.

“This is a national imperative and I am now convinced that unless we the people take responsibility for making it happen through the changing of mindsets, investment, and consumption patterns, we will never see economic diversification in T&T.”

Sagewan-Alli said diversification should also be the deliberate responsibility of businesses big and small, which made huge profits during the economic boom periods. She recommends it is time they move out of easy distribution and into real entrepreneurship, adding value to what T&T owns as nation building tools.

Through her activism, Sagewan-Alli said her end game was to create a people’s revolution of sorts that influences our actions and encourages consuming local as a first and best option.

“This is all ‘ah’ we business. There are so many untold success stories, we have plans to share these and to write the case studies that can replace the foreign cases used as teaching tools in our business schools,”

Sagewan-Alli says.

“We will call upon governments and other institutions to act and explain inaction, as there are things which they can only do to make diversification happen. We will do all of this transparently and under the glare of public scrutiny. Trinidad no longer has the luxury of time. We must diversify now!”

For more information on these initiatives, how to get involved or how you lend your support, send emails to: [email protected].

Categories: Entertainment News

Road March champ to perform in Jamaica

Entertainment - Sat, 06/09/2018 - 00:31

T&T’s Nigel Lewis, who won the 1996 Road March, is a headline act for tomorrow’s benefit concert for three hospitals in Jamaica. Lewis, Minister Keesa Peart, Patricia Levy (Sister Patt), Renowned Gospel Singers, and Michael Richards will perform at the High Point High School, 3601 Powder Mill Road in Beltsville, Maryland. This eagerly awaited gospel concert will be an evening of praise, worship, and inspiring gospel music.

Organisers of the concert pledge that all the net proceeds of the concert will go directly to benefit three major hospitals in Jamaica. This is one of the organisation’s efforts to help to alleviate the suffering of many poor and needy residents of the island.

Lewis exploded onto the soca music scene with Movin’ to the Left in 1996 and had everyone moving to the left and moving to the right. Winning that year’s Road March title, he became a household name worldwide. His success blossomed and he was on the road to superstardom.

Lewis’ dynamic style was influenced by many great performers from his island home. At the height of his soca career in 2000, he made a change and rededicated his life to Jesus Christ. Nigel’s transformation of his prolific style of secular soca lyrics and pulsating soca rhythms to more religious messages and reverence to God has been awesome.

His development into a noteworthy singer/songwriter/musician is expressed in songs that address poverty, world peace, and voting rights. He composes exalting messages and words of thanks to God which inspire listeners of his music.

“My music is about the people, not me,” Lewis says. His up-tempo style is inspired by his relationship with God. His dynamic performance of Follow the Leader is emblematic of his spirit.

Nigel’s excellent performances with songs such as Godman Style, Walk Away, Second Chance, Follow the Leader, When Jesus Say Yes, The Greatest Day, Jesus, Crazy Praise, and Blessed Today continue to grow his fan base and obtain more accolades.

In 2011, Lewis received the International Reggae & World Music Award (IRAWMA) for Best Gospel Song. In 2014, he received regional recognition with ten Caribbean Gospel Music Marlin Award nominations for his album, Unlock the Block, and took home the Marlin for Adapted Reggae Recording of the Year for his hit single God Over Everything.

Lewis now has seven Marlin Award nominations, including Album of the Year (N.O.W.—No Other Way), Producer of the Year, Reggae Recording of the Year (My God feat Papa San), Calypso Recording of the Year & Song of the Year for hit single, My God, featuring award-winning Bahamian choir ensemble Shaback.

Lewis says, “My goal is to light up the darkness. I do music because it’s the gift that was given to me by the Father. I use it to spread His message.”

Keesa Peart, a Jamaican native living in the Cayman Islands in 2004, won the Cayman Islands Gospel Festival competition for best song with her original composition, Come Let Me Show You. With that achievement, she decided to take her singing career to another level.

Her debut album in 2005, Touch Jesus, was tremendously successful and she released her second album, Your Life Is In God’s Hands, in 2008 with her hit single, Hold On.

Since the release of her albums, Peart has ministered throughout North America, Bahamas, Canada, Colombia, Aruba, Montserrat, and Jamaica where she presently resides.

Minister Keesa Peart has shared the stage with both local and international gospel singers.

In 2009, Peart decided to embrace full-time ministry and she and her husband returned to Jamaica where they felt God’s calling for ministry.

In 2012, she graduated from the Glad Tidings Institute having received her Master’s degree in evangelism.

During 2012, Peart released the international hit single I’ve got somebody with me, which earned an award for international song of the year 2014. She was awarded international female gospel artiste of the year for 2015.

In 2016, she released her third album entitled Without You Lord, which includes Di Devil Nah Get Mi Soul, I Know I’ll Make It and I’ve Got Somebody With Me.

To learn more about tomorrow’s benefit concert, call 301-440- 6132 or 240-505-7743.

Categories: Entertainment News

Seeing Sound explores a fusion of the arts

Lifestyle - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 00:13

Singer Danielle Williams’ upcoming concert, Seeing Sound, explores the fusion of digital art, music, film and dance in an interactive and immersive experience. The production will take place tomorrow and Sunday, at Grundlos Kollektiv, 11 Cipriani Boulevard, Port-of-Spain.

Williams said seeing sound, or cymatics, and hearing in colour, or chromesthesia, are two phenomena which she wishes to explore through this production. She explained: “Cymatics and chromesthesia have influenced everything from the song, projection and film selection, to lighting, sound design, and the art installations. What it would be like to see sound? And hear in colour? I don’t have chromesthesia but I do feel the mood of a piece of music in colour. For me it’s a question of energy. This program takes you on a journey through colour.”

Adding that the audience will be transported on a journey though light and sound, Williams said: “I hope that the audience will experience an intensely memorable, interesting and satisfying night out with friends or family.

“Seeing Sound is designed to allow the audience to explore, create, feel and be transported through a live show with breath-taking visuals and interactive art installations. The music spans many genres: pop, electronica, classical, popera and Caribbean sounds. We have integrated several art and science installations that allow the audience to create and explore seeing sound, so they are allowed to participate in the creation of the art and will in fact become part of the art itself. This will be an innovative one of a kind experience.”

She said she was inspired to create the exhibition after visiting the Wellcome Collection in Cental London. There she saw an exhibition on a mundane topic that left her awestruck. “What I saw was a work of genius,” said Williams. “An exhibit on Dirt!—of all things. They transformed such a banal subject into a transfixing discourse which used science, art, poetry, and philosophy to approximate to truth. I couldn’t ever look at anything ‘ordinary’ the same again.”

Williams said she wants to help create similar experiences here in Trinidad. She has been working towards the production for a year, but is only now ready to put it on following a catalysing event. Williams continued: “A visual artist that I was blessed enough to encounter passed away recently, and it really crystallised that tomorrow isn’t promised and that life is fragile. I may not be perfect, life certainly isn’t but we’re all here, alone together. I’d like to create and put out more art that’s congruent with who I am and can help inspire and encourage people. And the best time to do this is now.”

Williams said she chose to use underwater photography to advertise the event because of how closely it echoes the theme of the production. “When I think of the science of sound I think of waves, reflection and refraction. Working underwater allows us to capture some of that feeling. In fact, Swiss scientist Dr Hans Jenny coined the term Cymatics after the Greek κυματικά (kymatika) which means “matters pertaining to waves.

“In a metaphorical sense it also represents me ‘taking the plunge’ and launching my brand as a ‘singer scientist’ and my NGO the ‘ArtScience Foundation’.”

The event will feature the work of Clinical Media Group, Kats Imai, Kyle Richardson, Rodell Warner and Zayna McDonald.

The singer said she hopes the experience will inspire people to pause and reflect on their lives. “One of my favourite quotes is by Pablo Picasso which says, ‘Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life’.”

Tickets for Seeing Sound cost $200 and for more information, find Seeing Sound on Facebook, go to https://www.daniellekwilliams.com/tickets and call 785-9870, 685-8970, or 708-1849.

Categories: Entertainment News

ScoutsTT National Food Drive aims to alleviate hunger

Lifestyle - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 00:05

The largest youth organisation in T&T, ScoutsTT, is once again Scouting for Food. Its third annual national food drive launched on United Way’s National Day of Caring on May 20, when members of the First Naparima College Sea Scout Group collected food at JTA Supermarket, C3 Centre before delivering the donations to The Hope Centre in San Fernando.

Scouting for Food is aligned to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number two: “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.”

As SDGs are now a part of the Scout Programme internationally, and incorporated into our local programme, a major goal of the project is to get our young people to understand the problem and how they can be part of the solution.

The project started two years ago after recognising that more than 20 per cent of the country’s population lives below the poverty line and eight to 11 per cent are undernourished. Scouting for Food aims to educate the public of this issue among so many and engender a commitment to community, volunteerism and helping each other.

Donations of dry goods and toiletries can be made at the bins set up at JTA, Xtra Foods and Massy Stores supermarkets, where scouts in uniform will be present on weekends to promote the drive and assist with the collection of donations. The food collected will be distributed to families identified by scout groups in their districts across the country and to homes by the national office.

Corporate T&T is also urged to get involved with this initiative by setting up collection bins at their work places.

To learn more about Scouting for Food, including how to get involved, contact Scout Headquarters at 624-7271 or check the Facebook event page Scouting for Food 2018.

Categories: Entertainment News

Bedlam in Naughty Minister’s play

Lifestyle - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 00:01

From the producers that brought you the hilarious The Boy Toy, Man Callaloo, What My Best Friend Did To Me and Hotel 21 now comes the world premiere of their latest production Naughty Minister’s.

RS/RR Productions premieres their latest exciting and hilarious production on Father’s Day weekend, June 16-17, two nights only at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s.

Naughty Minister’s looks at the fictional story of a Minister who has won his seat on the sanctity of marriage and family life. His wife leaves to attend a weekend retreat with the Prime Minister’s wife. What happens when the wife is away leads to a night of complete chaos. Mix in an Independent Senator, the personal assistant to the Minister, a Venezuelan visitor and a country girl from an agency and bedlam breaks loose especially when the wife returns unexpectedly. This is a story of fiction…kind of.

Naughty Minister’s features a stellar cast that includes, Richard Ragoobarsingh, Penelope Spencer, Nikki Crosby, Debra Boucaud Mason, Ria Ali, Leslie Ann Lavine and Bradley Logan. It is directed by Richard Ragoobarsingh and Mason.

Box Office at Queen’s Hall opens from Monday, June 11, from 10 am to 6 pm daily, and of course tickets are available now at the usual outlets.

For booking or info call 624 -1284 (ext1) or 338-6024/744-7581.

Categories: Entertainment News


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