KAMBULE producers the Idakeda Group will offer a series of online workshops focusing on the theory and practice of Carnival’s traditional art forms. The series will begin today and is being done in light of the Carnival 2021 celebrations being cancelled owing to the covid19 pandemic.
Kambule is the ritual re-enactment of the 1881 Canboulay Riots done by the group annually. Written by poet and playwright Eintou Springer, Kambule imagines the conversations between the stickfighters and jammettes as they prepared to do battle with Police Commissioner Capt Arthur Baker. Springer used the spelling "Kambule" – a Kikongo word that means "procession," which became conflated with the more widely-known spelling Canboulay, which is a French patois word meaning "burnt canes."
Idakeda founder,Kambule choreographer and Newsday columnist Dara Healy said the workshops are being done to keep the spirit of the season alive.
“Kambule has become a staple of the annual Carnival celebrations, but it’s so much more than a play. We have a returning cast of over 50 young people and we think it’s important for us to continue that connection regardless of whether there is an official two-day observance on the streets."
Healy said they had stayed in touch with the cast through this year of challenges for artists and cultural workers.
“All of us felt it was important to keep going. This is the essence of what Kambule teaches us, that we must keep our traditions alive. And the digital space offers an opportunity for us to do so.”
The online workshop series begins on November 14 with drumming led by Kayode and Iremide Charles. There will also be workshops in community theatre led by Brendon Lacaille and Keon Francis, African Spirituality, facilitated by Eintou Springer and a Kalinda workshop hosted by Bois Academy of TT.
The workshops will be broadcast live via Facebook and YouTube and donations collected via fundmetnt.com will go towards an online production of Kambule for Carnival 2021.