The producers of KAMBULE, the Idakeda Group, will be offering a series of online workshops focused on the theory and practice of traditional carnival art forms. The series will begin today and takes place in light of the 2021 carnival celebrations canceled due to the covid19 pandemic.
Kambule is the ritual reconstruction of the 1881 Canboulay riots made by the group each year. Written by poet and playwright Eintou Springer, Kambule imagines the conversations between stickfighters and jammers as they prepare to fight with Police Commissioner Captain Arthur Baker. Springer used the spelling “Kambule” – a Kikongo word meaning “procession”, which has been confused with the more well-known spelling Canboulay, which is a French patois word meaning “burnt canes”.
Idakeda founder, Kambule choreographer and Newsday columnist Dara Healy said the workshops were held to keep the spirit of the season alive.
“Kambule has become a staple of the annual Carnival celebrations, but it is much more than a play. We have a returning cast of over 50 youngsters and we think it’s important for us to maintain that connection whether or not there is an official two-day celebration on the streets. “
Healy said they have kept in touch with actors throughout this challenging year for artists and cultural workers.
“We all felt it was important to keep going. This is the essence of what Kambule teaches us, that we have to keep our traditions alive. And the digital space offers us an opportunity to do so.
The online workshop series begins November 14 with percussion led by Kayode and Iremide Charles. There will also be community theater workshops led by Brendon Lacaille and Keon Francis, African Spirituality, facilitated by Eintou Springer and a Kalinda workshop facilitated by Bois Academy of TT.
The workshops will be broadcast live via Facebook and YouTube and donations collected via fundmetnt.com will be used for an online production of Kambule for Carnival 2021.