Entertainment News

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Ministry brings Masala vibe to Woodford Square

Lifestyle - Fri, 06/01/2018 - 00:37

Our nation celebrated the 173rd anniversary of the arrival of our East Indian ancestors to T&T on Wednesday, and the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts (MCDCA) paid tribute to the rich cultural legacy brought by these ancestors at its third installation of the [email protected] Concert series at Woodford Square.

Titled [email protected] Masala, the event’s headliners were 2018 joint Chutney Soca Monarch Neval Chatelal and Nishard M, with Rick and Vanessa of the Fusion Band and Andre Mangatal rounding off the cast.

The attendees enjoyed doing the now famed ‘masala’ dance as the artistes brought their performance from the bandstand to guests huddled around the trees of Woodford Square.

The MCDCA will dedicate the month of June to its Brown Bag Series featuring the National Performing Arts entities, and therefore, the next edition of [email protected] will be held in July.

Categories: Entertainment News

Pan Jazz at WeBeat St James Live 2018 comes off on Thursday

Lifestyle - Fri, 06/01/2018 - 00:34

Jazz heads to St James on day two of WeBeat St James Live 2018, the cultural experience hosted by the St James Community Improvement Committee (CIC).

Pan Jazz Night, offering an impressive line-up of well-known entertainers, takes place at the St James Amphitheatre, Western Main Road, St James, on Thursday, June 7, starting at 8 pm.

Featured performers are the National Steel Symphony Orchestra (NSSO); Codrington Pan Family; Golden Hands Steel Orchestra and Moore’s Music. They will showcase from smooth jazz to classic jazz, to calypso and groovy jazz.

Also sharing the spotlight will be this year’s honoree Power Stars Steel Orchestra, formerly known as Blue Stars.

The band was established in 1957 as Blue Stars, but ten years later acquired sponsorship from the T&T Electricity Commission (T&TEC) and subsequently became known as T&TEC Power Stars. The relationship existed for 41 years.

Over the years, Power Stars formed alliances with many junior steelbands, inclusive of St Francois Girls’ College of Belmont and Mucurapo Senior Comprehensive School. In 2008 the band lost its sponsorship, but continues to strive to keep itself firmly fixed in the steelband firmament by engaging in activities to ensure its continued existence, in addition to becoming a source of upliftment to the St James/Cocorite community.

For yet another year, the committee is inviting patrons to walk with their favourite beverages on the occasion, as chasers, non-alcohol drinks, and ice will be on sale.

Tickets for the event are priced at $150 each, and will be available at the door.

WeBeat St James Live is designed to promote the community of St James and plays a role in promoting an opportunity for artistes to showcase their talent, while seeking to build a sustainable tourism product with domestic allure. (DMC)

Categories: Entertainment News

Danielle Williams—the experience of seeing sound

Lifestyle - Fri, 06/01/2018 - 00:33

Every now and then, somebody initiates a challenging discussion about the relationship between art and science. Leonardo da Vinci is perhaps the best example of someone who straddled these disciplines with excellence; but he was one in a million.

Several contemporary musicians have emerged from hard science backgrounds to provide proof that these vantage points on the world and how it works are actually not that far apart.

For example, in T&T, medical doctor Kongshiek Achong Low performed for some time as a calypsonian by the name of ‘Dr Soca’, and Trinidadian aviation engineer, Sheldon Garfield Skeete, was named Calypso Monarch of the United Kingdom in 2012.

Accomplished young T&T soprano, Danielle Williams, who describes herself as a “singer/scientist,” seems pretty clear on the main issues here—the distinction between science and art is something of an illusion.

There is much in Williams’ background to reinforce the point. Not only has she completed advanced studies in Biochemistry and Nutritional Sciences, in anticipation of a now seemingly-abandoned future career in medicine, Williams also has an Artist Diploma in Music Performance from the University of T&T and has completed advanced artistic training at an opera studio programme in Härnösand Sweden.

For Williams, being a singer/scientist “is really a distillation of who I am and what I would like to offer to the local and international community. I’d like to use music and science to help transform the world. The worlds within and around us.”

It’s not all modern-era artistic gobbledygook though. The 30-year-old works hard at song and science and the numerous junctures at which they intersect. She is absolutely no slouch onstage as an operatic soprano and has matching accomplishments in scientific studies.

Being a singer/scientist, she says, “allows space for my brand to evolve to reflect all of my artist and scientific interests: vocal science and performance, pedagogy and eventually vocology and clinical practice.”

“I approach each facet of my life and artistry through this art/science filter—research well, find a balanced data-centred perspective, understand best practice, test, refine.

“Then, with a healthy dose of tell-a-story, emote, let go, feel.”

There is a major project of hers in the making that challenges popular beliefs in such matters. It involves the establishment of an ArtScience Foundation which Williams, 30, sees as a facility that will “create experiences designed to encourage critical thinking through the exploration of the interaction between art and science.”

How she sees this working in practical terms is through the use of “themed pop-up installations” that will be “immersive, interactive and participatory with a view of further developing the critical thinking and problem solving skills of the participant.”

This thesis will be put to the test on June 9 and 10 at Grundlos Kollektiv, 11 Cipriani Boulevard in Port-of-Spain when Williams presents Seeing Sound—“an immersive interactive visual and sonic experience which fuses digital art, film, music and dance.”

The live show will be an interactive art installation that explores cymatics (sound and vibration) and chromesthesia (sound and colour synchronisation).

The musical component of the experience will include hits, in different musical genres, from popular movies, operas and musical theatre.

“Woven together with film and poetry,” Williams says, “Seeing Sound will take the audience on a captivating journey that will leave them entertained, inspired and renewed.”

Interested? Click on www.daniellekwilliams.com/tickets or call
685-8970 or 785-8743.

Categories: Entertainment News

Flamenco, capoeira, merengue at Latin Nights 2...

Lifestyle - Fri, 06/01/2018 - 00:31

See live performances by flamenco dancers, capoeira artistes (Afro-Brazilian martial arts), merengue dancers and a lot more at Nalis’ second edition of Latin Nights from June 11 to 16 at the National Library of T&T (Nalis), located at Hart and Abercromby Streets, Port-of-Spain. All events are free to the public.

Dubbed Latin Nights 2, this series of events is a celebration of Latin culture, folklore, films, arts and cuisine. It is geared towards bridging cultural divides and promoting the use of Spanish as T&T’s second language.

Through their embassies in T&T, participating countries will include Brazil (the only Portuguese speaking country taking part), the Dominican Republic, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, Peru and Spain.

The formal opening of Latin Nights 2 will be held on June 11 at 6:30 pm. Marlene Mc Donald, Minister of Public Administration and Communications; Dennis Moses, Minister of Foreign and Caricom Affairs; Jose A. Serulle Romia, ambassador of the Dominican Republic and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps; and, Neil Parsanlal, Chairman of the Board of Nalis are expected to deliver remarks. The formal opening will be followed by performances by Los Alamos de San Flores

T&T’s contribution to the festival, a cocktail reception and the opening of an exhibition showcasing artefacts from all participating countries. The artefacts will be on display throughout the duration of the festival.

On June 12 at 6.30 pm, the embassy of the Dominican Republic will present merengue, a type of music and dance originating from that country which forms part of the island of Hispaniola. The award winning film Chicama will be screened at 9:30 am by the Embassy of Peru in the Audio Visual Room, National Library on June 13 and in the evening, Brazil will present Capoeira artistes.

On June 14 the embassy of Costa Rica and Cuba will present their countries’ offerings at 10 am and 6:30 pm respectively. Costa Rica’s presentation consists of workshops and the screening of films targeted to primary and secondary school students themed Our Essence Defines Us.

The Cuban classic film titled Clandestinos will be shown at the Audio Visual Room for persons of all ages. This film is a 1987 drama directed by Fernando Perez.

Chilean artist, Luis Vasquez La Roche will chat with members of the public at the News Media Room where his works will be on display on June 16 from 1 pm. The curtains will come down on Latin Nights 2 at 7 pm with performances by flamenco dancers. This show, put on by the Spanish embassy will be held at the Amphitheatre. Mexican ceramics, for which Mexico is popularly known, will be on display at that Rotunda of the library throughout Latin Nights 2.

By Act 18 on 1998, Nalis is mandated to provide library and information service, easily accessible to members of the public, in order to facilitate cultural, economic, educational, political and social development of the people of T&T. Latin Nights provides an avenue for Nalis to present information in a variety of formats towards fulfilling its mandate.


Latin Nights was first held in 2017. It was as a direct response to the increasing number of Latin Americans, particularly Venezuelans, living in T&T and visiting our libraries.

Latin Nights is a celebration of Latin culture, folklore, arts and cuisine. The event is intended to bridge cultural divides by providing an insight into the culture, literature, poetry and films of our Spanish community resident in T&T.

Last year, the embassies of Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Chile, Cuba and El Salavdor showcased their culture through films, poetry readings, folklore and performances by indigenous dancers.

Coming out of the relationship with Latin countries, Fernando Garcia-Casas, the Secretary of State of Spain for International Cooperation and for Latin America, during his visit in July 2017 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations with T&T, handed over 88 Spanish language books to Nalis “to contribute to the advancement of the Spanish Language, learning and use.”

Other embassies donating collections since Latin Nights include Peru, Guatemala and Cuba. These and other collections will form part of the Spanish Language Corner at the Port-of-Spain Adult Library.

So excited were the embassies about their new found relationship that they sought collaboration with Nalis to establish a Spanish language conversation club titled Club de Español for persons who wish to practise their Spanish. From September to December the club met every Wednesday at the National Library for one hour from 5 pm. When the second cycle started in January, the sessions were extended to two hours weekly.

Sessions are conducted by ambassadors and other embassy officials. The establishment of the club is in keeping with government’s drive to encourage the use of Spanish as our country’s second language/first foreign language.

On April 23, the Spanish Embassy in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Secretariat for the Implementation of Spanish and Nalis partnered to celebrate World Book and Copyright Day and the International Day of the Spanish Language.

Nalis is a long standing member of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA). At IFLA, Latin America and the Caribbean countries are grouped together to work towards a global vision to increase the region’s impact and visibility on the world-wide stage. As a consequence, Nalis enthusiastically embraces collaboration with the Latin American countries with a view to forging enduring relationships with the Latin American embassies and the respective National Libraries.

In 2001, the Hispanic Women Club of T&T, started a Bilingual Story Hour at the Children’s Library, thereby providing a foundation for the children’s second language development.

In 2003, the club, with assistance from the Inter-American Development Bank, donated a collection of Spanish language books to the Children’s Library. These books are still used by the children for their enjoyment and enrichment.

Categories: Entertainment News

The indentureship story berths at Trincity Mall

Lifestyle - Thu, 05/31/2018 - 02:40

When the ships began departing from the shores of India to Trinidad in 1845, not only did they bring just under 144,000 immigrants to these unfamiliar lands, but a mission that was already carved on the souls of these ancestors.|

The Pichakaree song composed by Raviji titled Mission to the Caribbean speaks to the deceitful plot that started in India, but faith would twist this plot into a legacy that hundreds of thousands of descendants would wake up to each morning, armed with pride for their east Indian heritage as they navigate the demands of the western world.

“There is a mystery behind indenture history

Haa Sahaib take we, from the ancient country.

Beyond Kaalaapani, only half the story

But a secret voice was singing that they need you

So ah sending you.

Ja ah sending you on a mission to the Caribbean”

Pichakaree “Mission to the Caribbean” composed by Raviji

T&T has benefitted tremendously from this mission that started in 1845. Through the physical and political abuses, the iftars, bhajans, dholaks, wearing of ‘sindoor’ (red dot worn by Hindu married women); all of which are extracts from a vast repository of east Indian culture brought by our ancestors, have largely remained intact today thanks to the efforts of each generation to preserve the Indentureship discourse.

In an attempt to capture this epic chapter of our nation’s story, the Remember When Institute of the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts, in collaboration with the National Archives of T&T, has facilitated a comprehensive exhibition leading up to Indian Arrival Day to honour the struggles of these ancestors at the Micles Atrium in Trincity Mall. This year marks the 173rd anniversary since this mission to the Caribbean started.

On the exhibition, Dr Nyan Gasdby-Dolly states that, “Each citizen, regardless of their origin, should venture to the Micles Atrium to feel the trepidation of these ancestors through the pages of the General Register of Indentured Immigrants, allow the energy and melody of the tabla sounds to pulse through one’s veins, and pause to reflect on the role of the East Indian community in shaping a thumbprint that is unique to Trinidad and Tobago.”

The exhibition runs until Saturday, and members of the public seeking to learn more about the relics or information displayed can contact 225-4023.

Categories: Entertainment News

Alta students write

Lifestyle - Thu, 05/31/2018 - 02:37

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 enrol 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 Tranquility Government Secondary School venue share how Alta has impacted their lives.

Student name: Leotta Walters

“I am an Alta success story. I was born in Jamaica and came to Trinidad at age 17. I came to meet my mom who came to Trinidad when I was 11. Between that time, I had to take care of myself and got caught up with the wrong crowd. I gambled and had a lot of friends because I made big money. My mom got ill and my job did not allow me to take care of her properly so I had to hire assistance to take care of her, that’s when I met Debra.

Debra noticed my reading problem and encouraged me to sign up to Alta classes. I used to call everyone because I couldn’t read or write text messages. Now! I can read and write! Praise the Lord. My life has changed the things I used to do, the places I used to go it’s no more. I lost all the friends I had who were after my money. I’m part of the family and found new friends. They are a bunch of faithful, caring people I can call my family. They always make themselves available to help me.”

Student name: Angelie

“I came to Alta so that I can read and to be a better person. When I started Alta I was so afraid the teacher will not be good to me so I used to be shy to let them know my problem but they knew what to look for so they can help you to read.

I continue to come to my class every day. Then I expect my life will get some great help.

This has turned out so wonderful for me. It help me to go into my own business and it also makes me count my money and write up my books for myself every week so I will be able to check how much a money

I make. I can help my grandsons when we are going out. He will ask me the name of something when we are passing in the maxi taxi.

And it gives you a lot of knowledge. I will be to go on in life a lot better so when any one gives me a paper to read I will read it out loud for they all can hear me read to my best ability.”

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

Scholarship named after exemplary deceased cop

Lifestyle - Thu, 05/31/2018 - 02:36

After an outstanding career in the T&T Police Service, retired detective Inspector Lance Aaron Lashley died on September 23, 2016, but his impact on community and family life is remembered.

The Lashley family will like to continue the legacy of Lashley, who was committed to helping at-risk male youths from East Port-of-Spain improve their lives, and has established the Lance Aaron Lashley Memorial High School Scholarship, to be awarded to two students with academic potential, and financial need, who will be entering high school.

Lashley’s sister, US-domiciled Professor Lynette Lashley said: “Lance believed that educational opportunity, was key to steering at-risk males away from crime. The two students selected will each receive $2,500 to help with the purchase of uniforms, textbooks, and school supplies, as well as a laptop computer.

“We have selected Nelson Street Boys’ RC Elementary School for these awards. We will like you to attend the presentations at the National Library and Information System of Trinidad and Tobago (Nalis) on June 29, from 10 am to noon.”

Among some of Lashley’s strategies to reach at-risk male youth, was becoming an honorary member of City Sun Valley, an East Port-of-Spain community youth steelband situated in Nelson Street

This enabled him, first-hand, to meet, mentor, motivate, and counsel the players and supporters, to focus on staying in school to obtain an education, instead of turning to crime. He would often help some of them, financially, to purchase textbooks, and other school supplies.

Lashley was also a visble figure, especially at Panorama in the Queen’s Park Savannah, offering security services for reigning National Panorama champion bpTT Renegades.

When Project Reason was formed in Trinidad, in 2015, Lashley joined the organisation, and worked as a Violence Interrupter, to help thwart crime among at-risk youth in East Port-of-Spain. Project Reason used the Chicago Cure Violence Method which employs methods and strategies associated with disease control—detecting and interrupting conflict, identifying and changing social norms. He worked there, up to the time of his passing. Crime had been reduced in those areas by over 85 per cent. Unfortunately, the organisation is now defunct.

Lynette added: “Although Lance is no longer with us, we are determined to keep his legacy alive. We would appreciate it if Lance’s former colleagues in the police service, and even present police officers who never met or knew him would attend on June 29.”

Categories: Entertainment News

We all need to learn to suspend judgment

Lifestyle - Wed, 05/30/2018 - 01:10

As I approached the team-building exercise at the St Mary’s Children’s Home last week, all I could consider was the importance of the term and principle called suspending judgment. It is an element—a virtue, even—so necessary for good interpersonal relationships as for good marriages, child rearing and any other human situation of relationship building.

For my own wellbeing, growth and maturity and as a deliberate action to improve my empathy for others, I have been practicing suspending judgment. The benefits are amazing.

When I see a situation, I try to take it in the moment and use only the current and available values to inform my treatment of the people involved. If I do not do that I may make assumptions, without merit, about the people involved or the situation itself. Then I can walk away from that situation contented that I have a proper assessment, which I really do not have.

And in the culture that surrounds me, the next time I engage that situation, say in a conversation with others, in pure “Trini” conduct, you may well hear me speak as an expert on the situation/subject and with confidence too, enough to convince others that I know the facts; I am well informed.

Every now and then though, as with old habits, I still find myself defaulting to being too quick (and definitely out of place) to judge situations and people. I’m usually guilt-pricked because I have come to realise how often rushing to judgment served me nothing good.

Simply defined, suspending judgment speaks to withholding an opinion until there is sufficient information.

And, I am realising that it is still possible to rush to unfair judgments even with the appropriate amount of information. It’s a human erring, I find too, that it is related to my own or a person’s self-esteem.

Quite often rushing to judgment has more to do with a ones own shortcomings. We are socialised to be better or at least to pretend to be better than the other person. We are taught to mostly look at others and make judgment calls without much consideration for our own position. That unhealthy desire to be better is the impetus for judgment and gossip, also.

My mother—bless her sleeping soul—was the queen of adages. It was her quickest way to deliver her messages and warnings to us when she had a lesson to give or a point to make.

“Monkey can’t see he own tail” she would say as a way to tell you that your problems are as much as, or even worse that the other person you are criticising. She was usually right and if you took to her lesson and begin looking at or for your own “tail”; and if you were sufficiently honest or simply brave enough, you would begin to look at your own shortcomings and hopefully that could bring some humility to your judgmental heart, mouth, and spirit.

We as a people, are given to very strong opinions on things we do not really know. How often have you heard people pronounce on matters using hearsay as their best reference? I have heard some loud-mouthed arguments in my time from people I know to be uneducated on the point but speaking with shocking authority.

Very often too, we use myths and misunderstanding to cast judgment on people. I teach that very often when I am trying to give people a perspective on why we should not be too quick to judge people’s conduct/behaviour/situation, and especially be brazen enough to diagnose others with illnesses of which they/we know nothing.

Judging others promotes misunderstanding but also supports the bigotry to which we have grown accustomed. We are a people very quick to diagnose others and pronounce on them. We are so unafraid to make judgments of others but if we understand anything about the consequences of rushing to judgment we can become better people and so promote better communities - in the home, village, workplace or nation. 

Steve Pavlina speaks about suspending judgement and puts it like this in his blog: “Whenever I write about certain topics, especially those that seem contrary to mainstream conditioning, some people voice very strong opinions. They communicate their thoughts with a high degree of certainty, as if adopting the posture of an expert.

“However, upon further inspection, it becomes readily apparent that most of these people have little or no direct experience upon which to base their opinions. Their knowledge of such subjects can hardly be classified as knowledge at all, since it’s derived largely from non-primary sources like media conditioning, third-party rumours, and supposition.” https://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2010/06/suspending-judgment/ That is so common in our community. That elixir of ignorance and coupled confidence and deep (without basis) conviction make for a society without compassion, without empathy, without grace and graciousness in the affairs of others. It signifies to me a depth of ignorance about living in this world. It exposes the lack of mindfulness in which we live—not dealing appropriately with the moment in the moment but rather, using our injured self and broken experiences to rush to the judgment of others.

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

Nalis impacting communities and region

Lifestyle - Tue, 05/29/2018 - 01:32

Last month, Beverly Williams, the National Library and Information System Authority’s (Nalis) director, Public Libraries Division, conducted an informative session at a parenting workshop held at the Beetham Gardens Community Centre, Port-of-Spain. The event, which was an initiative of the Inter- Agency Task Force (IATF) Hearts and Minds Programme, was themed Parenting through Partnerships.

Williams, who spoke on the topic of Empowering your Child to Read, talked about the impact of libraries on communities. She also presented information about library resources, services and activities that support parenting efforts. Chief among them were library and information materials on parenting techniques and strategies, which were on display for participants to peruse.

Following the presentation, parents and other guests in attendance were invited to join the library in order to obtain free access to the wide range of lending, technology and reference services available for children, teens, adults and seniors. These include access to audio-video materials, books, the internet, literacy classes, clubs, research assistance, databases, eBooks, reading programmes, exhibitions, displays and more.

The event was also attended by Catherine Romain, Nalis’ executive director; Jesse Ann Bernard, library assistant II; and, Devon La Touche, library assistant I of the Public Libraries Division.

Other workshop presenters included representatives from Sagicor, Digicel Foundation, North-West Regional Health Authority, Crime Stoppers T&T and guests from nearby communities.

The IATF workshop was intended to provide parenting skills, techniques and strategies to parents in communities located in East Port-of-Spain, enabling them to address issues of child care, healthy lifestyles, safety and protection. Nalis as a national provider of reliable, equitable and inclusive library and information services, is a proud supporter of the project.

In other Nalis developments, Nalis Library Conservator Danielle Fraser will be one of two keynote speakers to be featured on June 5 at the 48th annual conference of the Association of Caribbean University Research and Institutional libraries (Acuril) which will be held in the Dominican Republic on June 3-7.

Fraser will be speaking on the topic Disaster Preparedness Strategies for Assessing, Planning and Protecting Cultural Collections. On June 6, she will be hosting a workshop entitled, When Disaster Strikes: Emergency Response and Salvage of Collection Damaged by Water.

The Acuril conference is the only one of its kind in the Caribbean. It has provided training and networking opportunities for librarians in the region since 1968. Nalis is, therefore, pleased to be represented in such a significant manner at a conference of this nature.

For more information on library services and activities visit www.nalis.gov.tt or email [email protected]

Categories: Entertainment News

T&T poets shortlisted for Forward Prizes ...the Oscars of poetry

Lifestyle - Tue, 05/29/2018 - 01:29

Two T&T writers are in the running for major international literary awards, awarded by the Forward Prizes for Poetry in London.

Vahni Capildeo, a Trinidadian poet based in the UK, has been shortlisted for the 2018 Forward Prize for Best Collection with her latest book, Venus as a Bear.

Capildeo is a previous winner of a Forward Prize in 2016, and has now achieved the rare feat of being shortlisted again for the award just two years later.

She is joined by Shivanee Ramlochan, whose her debut book of poems—Everyone Knows I Am a Haunting—has been shortlisted for the 2018 Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection. This is the first time a Trinidadian writer living at home in T&T has been in contention for the award, described in the British press as the “poetry Oscars.”

Considered among the most prestigious international awards for poetry, the Forward Prizes have been awarded since 1992. In recent years, an unprecedented number of poets of Caribbean birth have been  hortlisted or named winners.

Both Capildeo and Ramlochan launched their respective books at the NGC Bocas Lit Fest. Joining them on the Forward Prizes shortlists is another Bocas 2018 writer, the Iranian-American poet Kaveh Akbar.

“This is exciting news,” says Marina Salandy-Brown, Bocas festival director. “If we ever needed more proof that our literature is in excellent health and deserves celebrating, this is it. Many congratulations to Vahni and Shivanee, and also to Kaveh Akbar, all of whom delighted us at last month’s NGC Bocas Lit Fest.”

Capildeo’s Venus as a Bear, published by Carcanet Press, “explores the strange affinities humans have for creatures, objects, and places.” It includes poems inspired by Trinidad, St Lucia, and Puerto Rico, as well as Scotland, Ireland, and Iceland, and their imaginative terrain is equally broad-ranging.

The author of five previous books, Capildeo—who has lived mainly in the UK since 1991—is increasingly recognised as a major voice in world poetry.

Ramlochan’s book Everyone Knows I Am a Haunting, one of the most eagerly anticipated recent debuts by a Caribbean poet, was commended by the Forward Prize judges as “a work of witness.”

Said Ramlochan in a 2017 interview in Caribbean Beat magazine, “Clarity, honesty, and truth are things I’m almost obsessed with. I think that is because poems are probably the place where I tell the most truth for any given and sustained stretch of time. What are the things in the poem that would otherwise absolutely never be said? Whatever those are become mandatory.”

Ramlochan is a member of the team behind the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, the Anglophone Caribbean’s largest literary festival. She is also the book reviews editor for Caribbean Beat, deputy editor of The Caribbean Review of Books, and works as well with Paper Based Bookshop, T&T’s oldest independent bookseller.

“I first encountered Shivanee’s poems almost eight years ago, and they were arresting even then,” says Nicholas Laughlin, programme director of the NGC Bocas Lit Fest.

“When Everyone Knows I Am a Haunting was published last year, it felt both long overdue and exactly on time. I can’t think of a more momentous, more hair-raising debut by any other Caribbean poet. Her readers here at home already know Shivanee’s poems are earth-shaking, and I hope this recognition by the Forward Prize judges will bring her to the attention of more international readers. She is a dangerously thrilling writer.”

The winners of the 2018 Forward Prizes will be announced on September 18 at a ceremony in London, which both poets will attend.

Categories: Entertainment News

Local artist to shine at Children of the Sun

Lifestyle - Mon, 05/28/2018 - 02:20

Continuing the trend of promoting and supporting local art and culture, Uncorked Wines and Spirits Limited along with assistance and curation by The Fashion Arch presents, artist Sarah Burrows with the Children of the Sun. This is a solo exhibition of mixed media and is made up of a combination of acrylics, inks and colour pencils.

Burrows is a self-taught mixed media artist, specialising in colour pencils and more recently acrylics. Sarah began her artistic journey at a very young age, however when she was 15 years old she entered and won her first art competition. As a young adult, she continued to enter and win several art competitions; the most significant was the On the wall, Off the wall, Queen’s Park Oval wall art competition.

As a result, Sarah’s work was featured for almost two years on the Oval’s wall. Since then she has participated in several group exhibitions both locally and regionally.

Sarah has participated in several group exhibitions with the Art Society. She has also been involved in smaller group exhibitions (3-5 persons) such as: Eden (2013), Colourscape (2013), Let there be Life (2014) and Emerge (2015). She hosted two solo exhibitions: War & Peace (2012) and New Hope (2017). Sarah has also hosted art classes with her favourite medium, colour pencils. She has even volunteered along with other artist to create murals for Mamatoto Birthing resource centre and most recently the New Fire Festival in March 2018.

Burrows participates in seasonal local art and craft shows and her work is currently displayed in the Hotel Normandie and Art on Purpose Dance Studio. She has also been featured in several online publications.

Following in the footsteps on her last exhibition New Hope, Children of the Sun explores the idea of looking outward, to find a solution to an inward problem, in other words, putting life in perspective.

Currently there is a feeling of uncertainty in Trinidad and the world in general, what this exhibition seeks to remind us is that we are all part of a much greater plan or rather Universe. Our problems, as big as the may seem, are temporary and we can get through them if we work together, take care of ourselves and the environment.

The exhibition is a reminder that we are all Children of the Sun.

Children of the Sun opens on Friday, at 6 pm – 9 pm and runs until June 15, during the hours of 10 am – 6 pm from Monday to Friday, and 10 am – 4 pm on Saturdays.

For more information please email [email protected]

Categories: Entertainment News

Kishore Kumar singing contest tomorrow

Entertainment - Mon, 05/28/2018 - 02:15

Twenty local and foreign singers will participate in the Kishore Kumar Singing Competition, carded for tomorrow, Tuesday, at the NCIC Nagar, Chaguanas. Staged by the National Council of Indian Culture (NCIC), $150,000 in prize money is up for grabs in the contest.

NCIC PRO Surujdeo Mangaroo said the organisation ran a similar competition 25 years ago that was won by popular local Indian artiste Anil Bheem. He said there had been many calls to the NCIC for the competition to be reactivated.

“We have been bombarded with calls from near and far for a clean family type competition so we wanted to give this to patrons,” said Mangaroo. He added that the show will be held in an alcohol-free atmosphere, and patrons would be hearing the talents of 15 local singers, and five from abroad.

Local artiste includes Anil Bheem, Roshan Sankar, Neeshad Sultan, Satrohan Maharaj, Boya Shahfayat Mohammed, Leon Madho, Rehanna Gopaul, Sondar Sooknarine, Varma Maharaj, Badri Nath, Lalchan Rama,Nadia Madhoo, Rajesh Dallah,Anand Adheen and Prakash Ramcharan.

Mangaroo said Kishore Kumar was a well-loved playback singer in T&T whose career spanned several decades and peaked in the 1960s to his death in 1987. He said Kumar visited T&T several times in the 1970s and served as inspiration for many local singers who have tried to emulate the extremely talented and loved artiste, and perform his songs on many local and regional stages.

More info 

Kishore Kumar’s most popular songs are:

Roop Tera Mastana
Dil Aisa Kisi Ne Mera
Khaike Paan Banaras Wala
Hazaar Raahen Mudke Dekheen
Pag Ghungroo Baandh
Agar Tum Na Hote
Manzilein Apni Jagah Hain
Saagar Kinaare
Zindagi Ek Safar
Yeh Jo Mohabbat Hai
Chingari Koi Bhadke
Mere Dil Mein
Gaadi Bula Rahi Hai
O Saathi Rei
Om Shanti Om

Foreign singers

They include:
Jimmy Subhidass (Fiji)
Joe Seenath (US)
Rishikumar Baitali (Suriname)
Randy Bhagwandin (Canada)
Mala Harripersad (Guyana)

Categories: Entertainment News

Drama Association of T&T appoints more executive officers

Lifestyle - Mon, 05/28/2018 - 02:07

The National Drama Association of T&T (NDATT) has appointed three new members to its Executive Board. They are Dese Simon (Treasurer), Edwin Erminy (Education Officer) and Lorraine Nero (Area Representative for Tobago). The new positions were announced at an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) held on May 20.

Additionally, Ria Carrera-Toney demitted the post of Assistant Secretary to take up that of Resource Development Officer. Wendell Etienne, Triston Wallace, Safa Niamat-Ali and Paula Lindo retain their positions as President, Vice President, Secretary and Public Relations Officer, respectively.

Wallace said: “I want to share the words of Dr Efebo Wilkinson, who in reference to our current situation noted ‘the Executive now finds itself working overtime simply to maintain the organisation and keep the membership hopeful that a new day is truly here.’

“Each position on the Executive is at this time a full-time job that is being done by a committed, part-time person. This demand, coupled with other emerging commitments in the personal and/or professional lives of some of our elected team members, resulted in their inability to continue their work with us in an official capacity.”

The EGM was called to vote on a motion to shift NDATT’s financial year from April 1 to March 31 to October 1 to September 30, in line with the Government’s fiscal year. The motion was successfully moved, with 25 votes for, none against, no abstentions and no spoilt ballots.

The association then launched its new project, The Business of the Arts Education Workshop Series, spearheaded by Education Officer Edwin Erminy. The series is geared toward developing the skills within the NDATT, so its members may have a competitive edge in T&T’s diverse theatre landscape. The first cycle of workshops will be held every other Saturday over a six week period and will be free to NDATT members.

The first instalment of the series focused on Social Media Marketing, and was facilitated by Michelle Eng Leang, a Brand Development Specialist, Social Media Influencer and Writer with TT Chatterbox. During the workshop, participants learned about using social media to market themselves, their productions and their careers to potential audiences.

Eng Leang said dramatists are all storytellers, and they should use these skills and the determination they bring to their craft to engage their audiences. Queen’s Hall Technical Coordinator Curtis Bachan said “the workshop was an excellent experience for someone in my age group who would stay away from social media because we don’t think we understand it, and the presenter did a good job in explaining it to me in a way that I would now want to join Instagram.”

UTT student Narad Mahabir said the session was informative and encouraged him to use social media, while theatre practitioner Tafar Chia Lewis called the workshop “empowering, insightful and engaging” and long-time NDATT member Ifabunmi Rhonda Valentine-Charles said it was “edifying and motivational.”

The association is currently recruiting members. For more information, go to their website www.iamndatt.wordpress.com, find them on all social media platforms at @iamndatt and email [email protected].

Categories: Entertainment News

A Noble Cause for a dance icon

Lifestyle - Mon, 05/28/2018 - 02:04

The Noble Douglas Foundation For The Arts hosted A Noble Cause, a benefit fund-raiser and gala at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s, on May 17.

The event was to aid Douglas, iconic dancer, teacher, mentor, carnival producer, and choreographer with back problem expenses incurred over the years of teaching the dramatic arts and dance.

The show commenced with an entertaining dance piece by the Lilliput Children’s Dance Theatre performing Romeo and Juliet in Tobago Love, a dance play directed by Wendell Manwarren. The Noble Douglas Dance Company (NDDC) also treated guests to Hysterics, a provocative style of choreography, directed by Douglas herself. The performance was done with accompaniment from Malick Tassa Drummers to enhance the dramatic scenes unfolding in the excerpt.

Other performances during the show were the BP Marionettes Chorale which included a traditional character Dame Lorraine during its performance of Calypso Rose’s Leave Me Alone, 3Canal with the trio’s classic Good Morning, Together and Over the Mountain, for which they were joined by the NDDC.

Renowned US-based bassist Ron Reid made his cello speak during his performance with guitarist Theron Shaw while Willard “Relator” Harris went back to basics with the classics accompanied by David “Happy” Williams and Etienne Charles. The show closed with NDDC’s performance of Bago, a piece choreographed by Delton Frank.

At the end, there was a cocktail reception where patrons where treated to live entertainment by Shell Invaders Steel Orchestra, and there was a silent auction of a Margaret Sheppard Pitchin Marbles acrylic piece on canvas painting. 

Categories: Entertainment News

Bodoe: Put Mudhouse on tourism agenda

Lifestyle - Sat, 05/26/2018 - 22:00

MP for Fyzabad Dr Lackram Bodoe will be making representation on behalf of the Mudhouse Museum in Fyzabad to Minister of Tourism Randall Mitchell, to have it included on the list of projects on the tourism agenda.

He made the remarks at the official opening of the museum on Old Siparia Road on Monday.

He said "This is Indian Arrival month and the significance of opening this museum in May 2018 signals the 173-year anniversary of Indian Arrival Day in Trinidad and Tobago. The values of our Indian ancestors included courage, resilience, vision, hard work, culture, and community spirit. The Mudhouse Museum can create an impact on tourism and I am looking to meet with the Minister of Tourism to bring this to his attention and to see what can be done to assist the committee here in taking the project further."

Bodoe said there are other tourism projects that need to be addressed by the ministry and he is hoping that they can be completed to bring more activity to the area.

He asked "What about the proposed Heroes Museum in Fyzabad? That could be another tourist attraction for the community. I trust that the Government will find the necessary funding to complete this project as the oil industry played a major role in the development of Fyzabad since 1913 when Trinidad Leaseholds Limited began drilling at Forest Reserve.

"Similarly, the South Oropouche wetlands can be developed as an ecotourism site to assist in the diversification thrust as Trinidad and Tobago seeks to develop and increase revenue outside the oil and gas sector. Likewise, the potential for rice farming which has a long history in the South Oropouce Lagoon can now be revisited."

The vision of Dr Ramcoomair Chatoor (1932 to 2006) and the persistence of his wife, Prof Irene Chatoor and former school teacher and Siparia Regional Corporation councillor Rajwantee Bullock must be commended. Taitree Chatoor, Ramcoomair's mother, the cocoa proprietor, completed the Mudhouse in 1885. After 1868 most cocoa growers started to acquire legal titles to the land they cultivated. At that time, cocoa was the chief peasant crop and it was cultivated by Black, Peon, and Indian peasants.

Most peasants lived in small huts of tapia or wood, thatched with palm leaves. Usually, they had only one room that contained little furniture. Cooking, living, and sleeping were conducted in this one room and on the surrounding land. The Mudhouse is open to all visitors.

CAPTION: Dr Lackram Bodoe, third from left, joins Indian High Commissioner to Trinidad HE Bishwadip Dey, second from left, former Fyzabad MP Chandresh Sharma, fourth from left, and two members of the Mudhouse committee at the front of the museum.

Categories: Entertainment News

Arrival Day hike to Matura

Lifestyle - Sat, 05/26/2018 - 00:34

It promises to be the perfect family outing for everyone, including children five years and over. Come Arrival Day on Wednesday, Island Hikers is making a visit to the Mermaid Pools, located in Matura. In terms of difficulty, this hike is rated 3 (fair) and 35 minutes one-way. Assembly is at 7 am, at the corner of O’Meara Road and Churchill Roosevelt Highway, Arima; next to the doubles vendors. The expedition departs for Matura by 8 am.

The district of Matura, enriched with an abundance of rivers, and natural resources, is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Its seven miles of coastline is a favourite seascape to observe the nesting of the leatherback turtles.

The name Matura originated from Amerindian and Spanish dialect and referred to as a region of dense unbroken forest. The river, which is timeless and patient, remains uncontaminated from human interference as it meanders through the vast landscape of uninhabited and continuous woodland. To experience its natural treasures, one has to explore the river. A favourite fun spot for a river adventure is the Mermaid Basins where there are fascinating pools to swim as well as relax in the beautiful ambiance of the wilderness. Further, upstream another remarkable destination is the Manulot Falls, which originates from a tributary cascading into the primary source.

Along the bank, the tall and majestic mora trees add splendor to the already picturesque landscape. The sun shining on the crystal clear waters reflect vibrant colors of emerald green. It remains a mystery how the name Mermaid came about maybe it is the serenity of the landscape and the irresistible temptation to sit on the rocks and sway one’s feet in the soothing waters of the river.

The expedition to the Mermaid Pool starts at Thomas Trace, situated just before the Matura Outreach Centre. The trek down to the river will take 35 minutes and to access the basins there are two shallow areas to cross. During the dry season, the landscape is prone to bush-fires and to preserve the environment, the Forestry Division replanted the forest with pine trees (pinus caribae). These trees not only beautify the landscape but also protect the watershed in the prevention of soil erosion. There is a fire observation tower built at a strategic location to oversee its miles of territory.

Over the years, the popularity of the Mermaid Pools has increased, and it is the responsibility of citizens to carry out their litter and not light fires for cooking in sensitive areas.

For this outing, vehicles will be watched by residents and a donation collected. Registration will be on the morning of the hike, and hikers are recommended to walk with a change of clothing and footwear. Life jackets provided but if you have one bring it along.


For more info call hike leaders: Marcia (490 242); Jamal (761- 1889); and, Mario (749-2956), or www.islandhikers.com

Categories: Entertainment News

Dine With The Saints is here again

Lifestyle - Sat, 05/26/2018 - 00:31

The St Mary’s College Past Students’ Union will host the 19th edition of its popular fund-raising event, Dining With The Saints, on Saturday, June 23 at the college compound, in Port-of-Spain, (entrance on Pembroke Street). This annual affair is widely regarded as the best of its type, and one for which patrons are assured of getting value for their money.

As in the past, patrons can select main items from approximately 100 chefs, comprising mainly alumni of the college with support from some parents and well-wishers. Traditionally, the chefs serve up a wide range of exquisite cuisine and this year promises to be no different.

Among the dishes usually served by the guys are various types of fish, shrimp, pork, beef, chicken, lamb, goat, and duck, with the feature being a pig roasted on the spot. Together with these dishes, there are healthy servings of ‘side-dishes’ prepared in a variety of ways, for example, potatoes, rice, pasta, vegetables, peas and salads. (One does not have to partake of every side-dish, but you may if you so desire).

Well-known politicians, past and present, from both sides of the political divide (and in-between) have always supported their alma mater by bringing a dish and they usually seek bragging rights based.

It is expected that among those to be seen in their CIC apron and chef’s hat are Messrs Colm Imbert, Terrance Deyalsingh, Stuart Young, David Lee, Gerry Hadeed, Larry Howai, Mariano Browne and Larry Howai.

Dining With The Saints is one event where the politicos set aside whatever differences they may have, real or perceived, and enjoy friendly picong among themselves as they go about raising much-needed funds for their College.

One past student who will not be able to do his part this year is Maxie Cuffie who is recuperating after recent surgery but CIC parent, Faris Al Rawi, will again join his colleagues

There will also be a number of past students from other professions who will be displaying their culinary skills at the event. Expect to see attorneys George Busby of the DPP’s office and Gregory Delzin; from the business community, Ian Chinapoo, Richard Young, DOMA’s Gregory Aboud and the three Hadad brothers, (Robert, John and Joe), famous for their delectable Arabic dishes.

The banking fraternity will be represented by Nigel Baptiste, Derwin Howell and Damian Cooper, all of Republic Bank. Other CIC alumni who will be cooking up a storm are Kairon Serrette, Brent and Stewart Sankar, Leslie Clarke, Kabron Henry, Dominique Chatoor and Andre ‘D’Fearless One’ Baptiste. No doubt, saintly dishes will come from Holy Ghost priests, Frs Rex De Four and Ron Mendes.

Past students from other secondary schools usually support one another’s fund-raising events so that over the years, past students from Holy Name and St Joseph’s Convents, Fatima and QRC usually make their presence felt as they recount their glory days in academia and sport.

Entertainment this year will be provided by Raymond Ramnarine of Dil-e-Nadan show-casing the versatility for which he is now well known as he delivers a repertoire of R&B, pop and soca, plus the renowned Hadco Phase II steel orchestra led by Len “Boogsie” Sharpe. A new aggregation known as ‘RESONATE’ and comprising ace pannists Dane Gulston and Johann Chuckaree, together with this year’s joint Chutney Soca Monarch Neval Chatelal, will also deliver a varied repertoire.

The musical menu is such that it will entice patrons to dance and true to form, the Organising Committee has again arranged a space in front of the open-air stage for the dancing audience. DJ Charlo will provide DJ music
Secured parking will be available at Atlantic LNG carpark at the top of Pembroke Street and TSTT carpark at the corner of New and St Vincent Streets, with a free shuttle service to and from the venue.


Tickets cost $375 and are available at the office of the Past Students’ Union at St Mary’s College (624-8468) and from all members of the Management Committee.

Tickets can also be had in South Trinidad from Felix Montenegro (684-5839) and Lighthouse (653-3177); Gregg Mannette (678-7555) East; Louis Ramdhanie (371-9193) Central; and Enrico Rajah of Trini Revellers’ Mas Camp (745-4391) North.

Categories: Entertainment News

Stand for Love The Concert

Entertainment - Sat, 05/26/2018 - 00:27

Stand For Love is a fund-raising concert by which all proceeds will assist David “Okee Dokee” Huggins acquire a prosthetic leg.

The popular radio show host/musician/professional vocalist and voice over artiste lost his right leg last year due to a diabetic wound.

According to Okee Dokee: “With a waiting list as long as the road to heaven, I made the decision to start a fund-raising effort and so… Stand For Love was born.”

He added: “After a series of physiotherapy and private professional nursing, my residual limb is now healed and ready for fitting.”

Stand For Love, the concert takes place at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s, on Wednesday, May 30, from 7:30 pm.

The supporting cast reads like a who’s who in the entertainment industry. Over 18 local artistes have responded positively to call resulting in a mammoth line up.

Performers include Wendell Constantine, Wendy Sheppard, Debbie Nahous, Denyse Plummer, Johann Chuckaree, Raymond Edwards, Ray Holman, Sharlene Flores, Marcia Miranda, Sandra Hamilton, 3Canal, Quattro Musica, Jamal Winchester, Rico DiGuitta Man, Jodel Lutchman, Sergio Stefan Ayoung, Alexander Mack and David Huggins.

Hosts of the evening will be Maurice Brash, Louanna Habib, Sean Mendez and Francesca Hawkins.

A well-known presenter and producer for GEM Radio Network, as well as many of the local radio frequencies, including 105.1FM, Power 102 FM, Rhythm Radio 95.1FM, WeFM, Star 94.7 and 107.7FM, Huggins is also the primary soloist of the St Theresa’s RC Church, Wookbrook.

Friends and supporters are inviting all and sundry to come out, hear your favourite singers and musicians and let’s stand for love on the evening of Arrival Day, the public holiday, to help David “Okee Dokee” Huggins regain his mobility.

Categories: Entertainment News

Beauty pageant screening tomorrow

Lifestyle - Fri, 05/25/2018 - 02:00

For more than a decade producer Lydon Ross has been staging beauty pageants and with lots of experience under his belt will host screening for mothers tomorrow at Capital Plaza, Lower Frederick Street, Port-of- Spain, at 5 pm.

So, if you are a mother, have a performing talent, have a positive attitude, brim with confidence, a people’s person and a dedicated mother, make your way down to the venue for the screening as this is the kind of mother Ross and his committee are in search of.

Ross also produces the Little Miss Elegance, open to girls eight-12 years,

Little Mr Impressive, for boys eight-12, Miss Talented T&T, for young women without children, between 18-30.

The 2018 Ms Talented Mom Pageant is scheduled for July 22 (Talent) and September 23 (Grand Finals), at Cascadia Hotel, St Ann’s.

For further information, contact 321-3037.

Categories: Entertainment News

Intimate Arrival Day concert features acclaimed sitarist

Lifestyle - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 02:14

As The Little Carib Theatre celebrates 70 years of existence, internationally-renowned classical sitarist Sharda Patasar will take to its iconic Woodbrook stage for a special evening of Indian classical culture and expression on Sunday, June 10, celebrating the arrival of indentured Indian labourers to T&T in 1845.

The commemorative concert—one of four upcoming productions on a colourful calendar that also serves to celebrate the theatre’s 70th birthday—will also feature moving Indian classical dance numbers from troupes headed by Mondira Balkaransingh and Susan Mohip, for whom Patasar will provide the “plucky” North Indian-meets-local-classical soundtrack on the evening.

Daughter to the award-winning musician Mungal Patasar, Sharda has been involved in music from a very young age, and while known for being a solo artiste, has a broad history and interest in collaborating with others in various experimental forms.

Flexing her natural flair for the sitar both home and abroad, she has collaborated with the likes of artist Christopher Cozier and poet Andre Bagoo on experiments with sound, light and words; has worked on soundtracks for plays and local films, most notable among them Coolie Pink and Green, which won Best Documentary Short at the T&T Film Festival 2009; and, more recently, has even served as producer along with photographer Nyla Singh, and music director on the 2017 short film documentary Voices of a Century, which portrays brief oral histories of six East Indian centenarians.

Patasar is particularly looking forward to bringing a taste of India to a venue that is, and has been, an institution for arts in Trinidad. “I can’t think of any space that I love more than Little Carib,” she said. “First, there is the intimacy of the space, and second, the history of the theatre as a home for the arts. So I am thrilled to have been asked to perform for this occasion.”

Showtime for the Arrival Day tribute is 6 pm and tickets, costing $150 each, can be purchased at the venue. For bookings and further information, call 622 4644.

Categories: Entertainment News


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