art in all its forms

art in all its forms


A mausoleum in Lapeyrouse cemetery

Photo by Erin Caner from the Trinity at Alice Yard blog.

A mausoleum in Lapeyrouse cemetery in Port of Spain is juxtaposed against the PowerGen energy plant, which provides electrical power to Trinidad and Tobago in this photograph by Erin Caner from the Trinity at Alice Yard blog. The image appears as part of a discussion of the role of religion in Trinidad life. READ MORE here.

Michael Jackson comes back from the dead


Since his death in June, the image we've had in our minds of Michael Jackson is of a man overwhelmed by drugs, with a frail body, enduring a rapid and undignified decline; reeling in the aftereffects of plastic surgery. Jackson's personal life, soft voice, bizarre behaviour, as well as the reported details of the state of his corpse, did not help. We heard of the phantom needle marks all over the King of Pop's body, black marks on his legs, his peach fuzz of hair which he constantly covered with wigs, the state of his skin and his nose, claims that he penciled in his eyebrows and lips.

But This is It, which I saw this week, brings to the forefront another aspect of the story. The film is based on rehersal footage for a planned series of concerts (called 'This is It') which was to be held at London's O2 arena. The series was scheduled to begin in July 2009 and continue through March 2010. But less than three weeks before the curtain came up, and with all concerts being sold out, Jackson died from cardiac arrest in the wake of a drug overdose.

This is It is a compilation of interviews, rehearsals and backstage footage of Jackson and his crew as he prepared for the series. The film, directed by Jackson's long-time collaborator Kenny Ortega, is actually a touching and, ultimately, tremendously entertaining documentary featuring candid footage which, more than anything in recent decades, reminds us of the genius of the most important pop icon of the century. And if you thought that Jackson would not have been able to endure a 50-stint concert series, this makes you think again. If you are searching for the closest substitute you could have gotten for the O2 series, this this is it. Jackson performs song after song from his classic catalog of hits.

We see a side of Jackson that has rarely been seen: that of the artist in rehearsal as he painstakingly hones his craft and works with those around him to get them to the standard that he required. Here was an artist who was on form, whatever the state of his health. Although he was just in rehearsal, Jackson's voice sounds perfect, for example, when he at one point belts out 'Human Nature' with a kind of effortless, alien grace. Even the normally quite wooden audience at Movietowne broke out in cheers and applause almost at the end of each performance.

We come away feeling like we got a better glimpse of the man's talent. For instance, during sound checks he stops to correct a single wrong note, saying wryly: "That's why we have rehearsal." He warns a guitarist at one stage to "funk it up" more. For a complicated sequence in which he is expected to give a cue with a giant video screen behind him, he tells the directors that he will have "to feel" the image on the screen behind him before giving the cue. At another stage, he implores the band to let a pause "simmer" before resuming in order to achieve the full effect.

This was a man, then, who in his last days remained utterly attuned to his craft. His music was so familiar to him; so integral, that we feel that seeing him on stage was like seeing the man entirely, even though questions over his private life remain.

Going into the film, many voiced concerns over whether or not the film simply represents commercial exploitation; another chance to make money off Jackson's death. For sure this is true. But the film is to an extent redeemed because it is actually a fitting (if not final) tribute to genius. It focuses on one thing: the music and nothing else. And perhaps that approach, in showing this pure rehersal footage complete with only personal glowing tributes to the man from his crew, is correct. For only through the very things that may have contributed to his decline could Jackson have lived and sustained his peculiar art. And it is the art that lives.

In the end what we come away with is an even deeper sense of tragedy; a sense that we were robbed of something great. Jackson may have stepped off the concert stage decades ago, but in this film, it is as though he never left.


Clowns are the creepiest beautiful things EVER

'Sweeter than Roses', a "work in progress" from Here Comes the Clowns by Tanya Marie.

Tanya Marie is a graphic designer working in Trinidad who paints. This work in progress is from a series she's posted on her blog. Check out Tanya's blog here.


***TONIGHT: Mikhail Salcedo @ Drink!


Magical Hands on the Magic Drum...Mihkail Salcedo joins us with an Intimate Session at Live Thursday at Drink! wine bar (Corner Roberts, Rosalino and Warren Streets, Woodbrook, Port of Spain ****Showtime 9 pm ****

Go look at Embah's 'Measuring Tape'

Flyer for Embah's 'Measuring Tape' featuring his 'Monument 11'

Go check out Embah's latest exhibition, 'Measuring Tape' at the Fernandes Industrial Estate, Laventille. The exhibition has been on since September 29, viewing hours 10am to 6pm. There will be a "toast" in Embah's honor tonight from 6pm, hosted by Abovegroup.


After death, a King of Pop could live

There are big questions looming over This Is It, which opens today at MovieTowne, Port-of-Spain, where they've been selling advanced tickets for weeks. Is it going to be any good and possibly serve as a fitting tribute to the dead Michael Jackson? Or is it simply shameless commercial exploitation by his chagrined concert promoter? (Jackson was in rehearsal for 50 concerts in the United Kingdom for concert promoter AEG when he died of a drug overdose.)

Of course, it's probably a combination of both elements. But there's a growing sense that if the film (apparently part documentary, part concert) is no good, then that will be the final insult in what has become a shameless (but predictable) exercise in squeezing as much money as possible out of Jackson's death.

THE FILM first screens this morning at 10am and there are more screenings throughout the day including at 5.45pm, 7pm and 8.30pm. Apparently, the whole thing is for "two weeks only", in line with the way the film has been marketed almost like a concert in which the dead King of Pop is expected to rise again.

Elizabeth Taylor has already given it rave reviews and suggested that the film be nominated for each and every Oscar category. We'd rather wait and see for ourselves.


From L.V.L.A.

From Dibujos (Drawings) on Luis Vasquez la Roche's website L.V.L.A.

Calling all stalkers of Shurwayne Winchester

Soca singer Shurwayne Winchester 

Join Shurwayne Winchester & Y.O.U. tonight as they celebrate their Anniversary with an up-close and personal performance at Woodford Cafe at MovieTowne, Port of Spain at 9pm. There will apparently be a "surprise international artiste", according to the organisers. There is no cover charge for this event, but "donations for the under-privileged for Christmas" will be accepted.


Artist interview series

Is an interview series featuring Trinidad artists. Over the coming weeks, we'll feature poets, painters, writers, musicians, actors and others. They'll tell us about themselves in questionnaires that follow a standard template of: WHO? WHAT? WHEN+WHERE? WHY? The aim is to get them to literally do all the talking and to capture them at a moment in their lives.

The series, which will come out at random intervals, began October 25, 2009, with the brilliant Trinidadian poet Vahni Capildeo. Capildeo's book, the critically acclaimed Undraining Sea, was launched that month in London.

No. 1: Vahni Capildeo, poet
No. 2: Embah, painter
No. 3: Dave Williams, dancer 
No. 4: Adam Williams, potter 
No. 5: Akuzuru, experientialist
No. 6: Alicia Milne, art school grad
No. 7: Lisa Allen-Agostini, writer
No. 8: Yao Ramesar, filmmaker
No. 9: Jemima Charles, art student
No. 10: Amanda Smyth, novelist
No. 11: Fedon Honore, Midnight Robber
No. 12: Nikolai Noel, graphic artist
No. 13: Navy, performance poet
No. 14: Marlon Darbeau, graphic artist
No. 15: Monique Roffey, novelist



My father (d. 2003) was Devendranath Jawaharlal Capildeo. He wrote poetry including children's poetry. He was also a sufferer from paranoid schizophrenia all his adult life. I remain appalled by (a) the lack of understanding of the rigidities and miseries of mental illness, by people who write fashionable academic treatises on 'madness' and 'creativity' (b) the lack of social provision for the mentally ill in Trinidad.

My mother is Leila Capildeo. I am very proud that she was born to the Bissondath and Narayansingh families in Sangre Grande! Her stories of chickens fluttering up to sleep on the ladder that led up to a pommerac tree, and of her father shooting a jumbie in a tree in the Valencia forest, bring Trinidad of earlier times alive to me. (For more on my obsession with trees, see here). Leila regularly reminds me that she is just an ordinary old Indian woman/housewife.  She will not want me to mention that she won the girls' Island Schol. in the 1950s, but without her grounding I would not have survived the miseducations of which today's schooling is comprised. Not that she taught me. Far from it. She told me stories to keep me out of trouble. These stories were often frightening. I wish that I could grow up to be just an ordinary old Indian woman/housewife but at the moment I am just migrating into unencumbered and unemployed early middle age.

My brother is Kavi Capildeo. He lives in Trinidad with his family and works as a doctor.

My significant others are the dear dead of literary tradition and my friends however far-flung. And a Jamaican rabbit named Florizel, whose preferred diet is bananas.


What do I do, exactly? I dust the skirting boards, occasionally. This is a kind of hell, as it happens. It seldom happens exactly. I do not do confessional poetry, which happens inexactly. If you would like a very good recipe for wood polish, which will leave your home smelling of lavender, contact me via Mr Bagoo.


First book: No Traveller Returns (Salt, 2003) Second book: Person Animal Figure (Landfill, 2005) Third book: Undraining Sea (Egg Box, which was launched this month in London!) Fourth book, already written: Dark & Unaccustomed Words (forthcoming in 2010).

At the minute I'm in a dry thorny tumbleweed spell and miserable not to be writing. Was working on another book that's come a cropper. Think I'll move on to prose.

Whatever else I work at, if I'm not writing I don't feel I'm working and indeed resent the use of the word 'work' for anything else, if I'm not writing. I dare say some writers are like Gertrude Stein, happy enough to sit on the car bonnet while the mechanic was mending her car, and knock out another text. Myself, a steady(ish) job that could see me planning hours to spend with my duck egg blue mug of tea would be the saving of the work! Does anyone need a baker? I make lovely cakes, and these days I mostly feed them to the Etymologists at the Oxford English Dictionary, UK, where I freelance. I used to work on historical spellings there. The team needs cake. Indeed, they need CAIK. I work at caik.


I am doing this because I was told that I would be allowed to borrow glitter and a feather boa, paint odd objects, and have a turn prancing. Seriously! The email came through this evening and now I cannot resist.

Seriously, I write because I must. I no longer care if this sounds pretentious, or compulsive. It is neither of those things. I have a sense of the living language running like a great swathe of light and time; it's a sort of mental image I've had from earliest childhood. It is the strongest thing in me and operates without kindness: there is a sense of what must be when I am composing and revising, a relentlessness and a rightness, a patterning. Sometimes someone says something or does something or an issue is raised or a memory is reawakened and suddenly there is a kind of catching and quickening of ideas and form. Even without these kinds of prompts, all I have to do is collect myself and allow space and time for concentration and I can start to write.

I have no use for the idea that what needs to be written will get written. I am fully aware that if practical circumstances allowed, I'd write more, and of better quality, that now probably won't get written. I don't mean this to sound mystical. It's quite practical really. I think many good writers never make it and much good writing is lost or undone.


I said this under 'WHY'. I'm not saying it again! Once was more than enough! I think I ought to say something to do with truth-telling, also living up to and memorializing beloved individuals; also a ferocity against cowardice, vagueness, equivocation, exploitation etc. But I'm hungry. And also there is that objective-seeming thing, the sense of the living language...


I feel I've already misrepresented myself! "So when you coming back (to Trinidad)?" See above. Only the employed get holidays...

* * *


Vahni Capildeo is a co-editor of TOWN, a public arts initiative, and a contributing editor of the Caribbean Review of Books. Oh, and she's a cousin of Nobel laureate VS Naipaul, too. She lives in the UK. This is what she looks like:

 Photo by Nicholas Laughlin, taken at New College Lane, Oxford, September, 2008. Header photo by/model Terry Perry-Budin. 

LISTEN to Vahni reading her poetry here.  READ FROM Capildeo's No Traveller Returns here. And a sample from Undraining Sea here. READ an original poem written by Capildeo for the PLEASURE blog here.CHECK some cool poetry links here (Egg Box Publishing) and here (Inpress Books). FIND OUT MORE about This/discourse/has/no/start(middle)nd here.


Venezuela meets Couva

'Untitled' by Luis Vasquez La Roche

He's from Venezuela, lives in Couva, but produces art about Trinidad. Meet Luis Vasquez La Roche here

Holy Regina! Trinis claim Commonwealth prizes

Queen Elizabeth II by Andy Warhol

Three Trinidadians were among the prize-winners for this year's Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Alake Pilgrim won the best story (Caribbean region) prize for her piece "Shades", while the wonderful and talented Barbara Jenkins was highly commended for her piece "No News is Good News" as was Heidi Holder for "Love Story No 8 – Jane and Philip". Congrats, and we look forward to more from them all. READ MORE here.


Poem without words

It was taken by photojournalist Rhondor Dowlat on October 17, 2009, at a labour camp for Chinese workers at Chatee Trace, Cunupia, Trinidad. The picture appeared on the cover of the Sunday Newsday the next day. The workers that week had staged a stunning silent protest, walking from Cunupia to the Uriah Butler Highway before being taken to the Chinese Embassy. By the end of the week, they had been illegally locked into the camp at Chatee Trace, while our officials wined and dinned over the Divali holiday. Read more here. And here. And here. And here. And here. And here. And here.

Go see the Lord @ StudioFilmClub


"Late Night Lime with Lord Kitchener and Peter Pitts  (Banyan/T&T/1990/60')

In support of TUCO's Calypso History Month SFC is pleased to present an important episode from the popular 1990 late night talk show series "Late Night Lime" produced by Banyan Productions. This episode features the Road March King of the World, Lord Kitchener in conversation with calypso commentator Peter Pitts, as they discuss the calypso art form and perform segments from their favorite songs. A+ must."

Screening begins at 7pm at the Fernandes Industrial Centre, Laventille, followed by a feature film.

NOTE: StudioFilmClub is a cool weekly film club run by artists Peter Doig and Che Lovelace in the front foyer space in Building 7, Fernandes compound, Laventille, Port of Spain, Trinidad. Doors open most Thursday nights at 7.30; main feature starts at 8.15. All screenings are FREE.

CHECK the blog here.


Chu Foon's 'Spirit of Hope' slapped with 'hospital green' paint

 Pat Chu Foon's iconic sculpture 'Spirit of Hope' has been painted over, as seen in this photo taken by Nicholas Laughlin.

The sculpture, located at the intersection of Tragarete Road, Dundonald and Richmond Streets, has been partially coated over in what Laughlin describes as a "new coat of hospital-wall green". 

"It tells me how unaware we are, as citizens, of the civic spaces we live and work in, and how irresponsibly we behave towards them. It tells me how little respect we have for the work of our artists and thinkers, and how eagerly the powers-that-be package that work in more palatable forms. It tells me we're far too fond of quick, superficial solutions to our problems," Laughlin writes on his blog which broke the news earlier today. 

It is bad enough that the sculpture has been painted over, but worse that whoever did this did not even finish the job. The defaced piece is left wallowing in the ignominy of its own bizarre mutation. 

The late Chu Foon once said of his art:  
"I am concerned with man's existence in time and space-time exists because of man's awareness of his existence. As a result, space becomes a reality with which he can refer to related images and concepts within the infinite plane. My paintings deal mainly with spiritual elements - outside universal space and its equilibrium with inner space in which I try to relate concepts resulting from mind-space images which are inherent or spiritually perceived. My sculptures are an extension of my paintings, occupying an area of positive space a point of reference within space which we all share in relation to an infinite."

What horror, then, he would experience were he alive today to see his work given this treatment which relegates it to nothing but a decorative thing at the heart of an indifferent Capital.

Elizabeth Nunez will read at the Reader's Bookshop

Author Dr Elizabeth Nunez

Will launch her most recent novel Anna In-Between at the Reader's Bookshop in Port-of-Spain at 7pm. Find out more about this novelist here.

OOPS SHOULD HAVE SAID: Nunez reads again at the Hotel Normandie St Ann's, Port of Spain, on Thursday along with acclaimed writer Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw.

Rock Rockst*r Wednesday with Cabezon

Stills from Cabezon's 'Reverse Back' video

Check the new ROCKSTAR WEDNESDAYS down in Claxton Bay today at 8pm at Uncle's On D' Bay. Featured act: Cabezon.


Here's where Ataklan can be found today


He'll be performing with his full band for the first time at Woodford Cafe at 10pm. There will also be a DJ Set by Shaun Christian. People can get in free before 10 pm apparently once on a list of some sort.


***TONIGHT: 'Battle session' @ Studio on Ariapita Avenue

Studio is located at Ariapita Avenue, Port of Spain


"This Monday 19th October, we bring to you the weekly STuDio SeSSioNS! This week however is gonna be a "BaTTLe SeSSioN" with the long awaited reuniting of THe DyNaMiC Duo after over a year plus!!!

STUDIO is a cozy lounge on ARIAPITA AVENUE that has become the HOTSPOT for its WEEKLY gathering on MONDAYS dedicated to PROGRESSIVE, ELECTRO & TRANCE offering a classy yet laid back atmosphere intended to start your week off with an uplifting vibe!!!


***VIDEO SESSIONS*** (5pm - 8pm)
- Studio's hottest dance video picks with Andre

***DJ SESSIONS*** (8pm - 1am)
- THe DyNaMiC Duo - digit@l buddha vs. Dj Ck
- Blazoe
- Jerry West


- Open from 5pm!!!
- Early bird DRINK SPECIALS on WINE, RUM, BEERS (5pm - 8pm)
- the usual great gathering of electronic minds!!!

♫ This event is powered by MuSiC and PoSiTiVe ViBeS♫
*************************************************** "

I knew this would happen

From Rodell Warner's series Horribly Said

Something cool from Trini graphic designer Rodell Warner's blog.

What? You're seeing women on the verge of a nervous breakdown?

Poster for Spanish film director Pedro Almodóvar's  
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Which screens today at the Institute for Critical Thinking as part of UWI's weekly Campus Film Classics series at 5.30pm. One of Almodóvar's first break-through films. The screening will be introduced by Dr. Christopher Meir, Lecturer in the Film Programme at UWI. A discussion of the film will follow.

According to Campus Film Classics, "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown revels in the glossy, larger than life potential of cinema to be the purveyor of magic and dreams, not to mention nightmares. For sheer delirious entertainment value, it is perhaps the director’s most enjoyable film to date, full of sparkling wit and invention, relentless style and panache."

Personally, it's not my favorite Almodóvar (which is actually Bad Education closely followed by Talk to Her and Volver). But this is certainly one worth seeing and is a fair introduction to one of the most exhilarating filmmakers alive today. It's a shame we don't get to see Almodóvar on the big screen more often.

CHECK out some of my favorite films here.


'I'm seventy-one going on fifteen'

 Trinidadian Geoffrey Holder is featured in the book A Wealth of Wisdom. (Photo by Donald Andrew Agarrat.)

"Trinidad has a British colonial class structure: what school did you go to, and who's your mother? Just like Charles Dickens, but with black faces. Strange!

I went to Queen's Royal College. It was very prestigious and expensive, but Daddy scrimped the pennies. I was a shy guy because I used to stammer. I couldn't speak. And I was dyslexic. I didn't know the word until Ennis Cosby made it known. It's important to know the word because otherwise you grow up feeling that you are a dunce when you can't read, or not well. Numbers also played games with me; I didn't know that was part of my dyslexia.

But I am blessed. I took it and I used it. If you cannot speak, you listen. Writers listen. If you cannot speak, you look. I can see better than somebody who talks too much. They're not looking. I walk the streets and I see the most beautiful people, people who don't even know they're beautiful. Gorgeous people. Not Hollywood gorgeous, basic beauty. What's beautiful is kindness and an attitude of respect for people. I'm a curious man. I'm seventy-one going on fifteen. And every day I go out, I see something for the first time."

FROM: A Wealth of Wisdom: Legendary African American Elders Speak, a new edition of which was published this year by Atria Books. A film about Holder and his wife, dancer Carmen de Lavallade, was this month awarded Best Film at the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival. READ MORE here.


For Peter Sheppard, this is Divali

"Divali" 24"x24" Acrylic on Canvas (Peter Sheppard 2008)

A painting from Peter Sheppard's 2008 show.

Sunrise over the hills of Belmont ain't so bad. Neither is my mom's prasad...

Sunrise over Belmont

I DON'T like sunrises, that's why I studiously avoid them. But this week, on Divali, I managed to be out and about with camera on early Saturday morning (blame The Republic of Sydenham is all I have to say).


Makeda Thomas, Dave Williams last night at COCO, Queen's Hall

Makeda Thomas performs FreshWater again tonight at Queen's Hall so go people!

It's good when a title lives up to its name. Makeda Thomas' FreshWater was exactly that: fresh.

The piece, choreographed by Thomas, was performed at Queen's Hall at the COCO Dance Festival and will be performed again tonight. Thomas manages to subtly blend elements of local dance (such as belee and Carnival rhythms) in a way that is at once familiar, yet idiosyncratic. This is a vernacular that is sophisticated yet universal.

FreshWater--or at least what was presumably an earlier form of it--first premiered on Saturday 7 October, 2006, at what was then known as CCA7 during Galvanize. It has since been performed in Zimbabwe and Mexico and also MIT’s Kresge Little Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Last night Thomas was ably assisted by a sound design by Keshav Singh and vocal accompaniment by Attillah Springer and all were on form. The integration of the Minshall-inspired costume (done by Robert Young) was a little neat, though. That said, this provided Thomas with the creepy brackets and props she used to expose yet conceal that which is central to the crisis of Trinidad and Tobago identity. It was boss.

WE SHOULD NOTE: Thomas' performance last night opened a show which featured Dave Williams.

Dave Williams in SCAN - creation, civilisation, anarchy

Williams performed his SCAN - creation, civilisation, anarchy with Kevin Jack and Kwasi Romero. Snippets of this piece were first revealed at the gala closing ceremony of the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival earlier this month where Williams performed as part of a tribute to the great Geoffrey Holder. As usual, Williams reached his expected high standards last night. What else can we say? He's a god.

There was also an excellent piece by Nicole Wesley called Seeds. As well as another by Sonja Dumas which was called The Strange Tale of An Island Shade.

From Sonia Dumas' The Strange Tale of An Island Shade.

This was an effective and lively comment on race in Trinidad. In particular (whether by coincidence or not given the current plight of immigrant Chinese construction workers) there was focus on the role of the Chinese in shaping the race topography of the island. There was a beautiful anger to this piece, which arguably could be improved by some tighter choreography though. But it was nonetheless a pleasure to watch.



If you're a poet, today's your day

Photo by Eric Rose from the literary website tongues of the ocean

Today is officially National Poetry Day in Trinidad and Tobago, and to celebrate, the Writers Union is holding a bash at NALIS on Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain. All we have to say is the invitation conspicuously notes, "REFRESHMENTS WILL BE SERVED". Things start at 7pm, but you know how poets like to be fashionably late. There's supposed to be a feature address by Chalkdust (Hollis Liverpool), and performances by Willi Chen and Brother Resistance--all under the watchful eye of Paul Keens-Douglas.

Anyhow, some of the finest poets of this country are featured in the ever expanding online Bahamian literary journal tongues of the ocean. Check it out here. Particular favorites include Trinidadian editor Nicholas Laughlin's 'Here is the poem'.

Makeda Thomas' FreshWater @ Queen's Hall

Start Time: Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 8:00pm
End Time: Friday, October 16, 2009 at 10:00pm
Location: Queen's Hall, Port-of-Spain.


Trinidad born, New York based choreographer Makeda Thomas will perform her critically acclaimed 'FreshWater' as part of the Contemporary Choreographers Collective's presentation for Dance Festival 2009 at Queen's Hall on October 15 and 16.

Thomas describes ‘FreshWater’ as a dance between memory and reality. “The everyday reality of Trinidad is a cultural stream that fuses myth and fact, reason and irrationality, dream and vigil. I recall these rhythms, shapes, forms and symbols. I recall them in dance and music, which represents a vibrant, living institution for the study of the Amerindian-African- European-East Indian historical and cultural impact”, she says.

“I recall them in the performance art of mas, the defining aspect of Trinidad’s Carnival. I recall them in the folklore, song, vernacular, and chanted, improvised dialogue; in the sounds and gestures rooted and gleaned in daily life in Trinidad. ‘Fresh Water’ transforms these original sources and convokes a whole new universe out of fragments of it and my own personal life.”

Thomas performed ‘FreshWater’ in Zimbabwe at the Harare International Festival of Arts, in Mexico at Performatica: Foro Internacional de Danza Contemporánea y Artes de Movimiento and Barroquissimo Puebla 2009. 'FreshWater' had its US premiere at Seattle’s Broadway Performance Hall and was most recently performed at MIT’s Kresge Little Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Joining her onstage to provide live music will be musician and producer Keshav Chandradath Singh who created the original score for 'FreshWater' earlier this year. Costume design is by Robert Young of The Cloth, and Attillah Springer will provide live vocals from ‘More Power’ by Delano Abdul Malik de Coteau.


Tickets for COCO at Dance Festival 2009 cost $100 and are available from committee members. To reserve tickets please call 383-4658. For more information about Makeda Thomas and her dance projects, log on to 


'Lines that when folded make a hand gun'

 From 'WE DON'T PLAY GAMES NO MORE', a work in progress by Marlon Darbeau

How the individual artist reacts to crime in Trinidad and Tobago, and issues of violence and power in general, is peculiar to each.

Check out this from Marlon Darbeau's website where he presents what he describes as a work in progress and analyzes it thus: "A simple sheet of copybook size page with lines that when folded makes a hand gun."

That which is inchoate and subject to power, is transformed and becomes a deceptively potent symbol of power that is actually, despite the transformation, powerless. That which is innocent and weak, seeks something else, but ends up being a paper gun. 

***TONIGHT: A&I at Studio lounge, Port of Spain

A&I are the featured LIVE act at Studio tonight at 62 Ariapita Ave, Port-of-Spain. They aim to satisfy with "a smashing set of house, dnb & lounge compositions." It's absolutely free. And there is a DJ set by Irukandji right after the preformance, too.


People, the European Film Festival opens tday

 We are being spoiled...

THE 13th annual Trinidad and Tobago European Film Festival opens tonight with a screening of La Conjura de El Escorial, a Spanish film by director Antonio del Real featuring Julia Ormond and Jason Issacs. Showtime: 8pm at MovieTowne. Before that, there'll be a reception with plenty of flamenco, we've been warned.

Among the more anticipated films of the festival, which holds full screenings at MovieTowne from October 14 to November 3, is Four Minutes (Vier Minuten), the sensational 2006 German film by Chris Kraus which follows an elderly piano teacher as she trains a convict at a women's prison. The Times Online describes the piece as, "a marvellous piece of cinema that hides its secrets like a Russian doll." This one is already getting us wet.

Loads of other films are screening too, like the French film Un Secret, by Claude Miller,  which follows what happens when a 15-year-old boy unearths a shocking family secret. And there is the Italian film My Brother's Summer, by  Pietro Reggiani which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2005.

All of this comes on the heels of the recently concluded Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival (which reached new heights this year) and a Portuguese film week. Suddenly, film lovers all over the country are being spoiled for choice. We like being spoiled.


A Catholic beauty queen has something to tell you

Miss Universe 1998, Wendy Fitzwilliam and her twin sister (just kidding!)

Wendy Fitzwilliam has written a  memoir detailing the birth of her son Ailan. Letters to Ailan is good reading, even with flaws. See full review in today's Newsday here.


A Trini take on 'Jennifer's Body'


Jennifer has a serious tabanca. A tabanca for manjuice.
To satisfy her tabanca, she drinks guys' blood and eats their flesh as though she was gulping down a Curepe doubles. It’s sexy, it’s entertaining and, despite my initial cringe-reaction to all that vomiting of blood, I was soon wishing she would come over here and eat me.

For sure, this has something to do with the fact that Jennifer is played by Megan Fox in her first starring role. Boy can she whip it. I always suspected that she could actually act. Now I know she can. And, I’m having wet dreams about her sucking my blood. Not only did I fall in love with Jennifer, I became her!

THE PLOT: A sinister indie rock band from the city comes to town and they basically sacrifice Jennifer to the devil so that they can make it big.
ACCORDING TO MEGAN FOX: "A demon overtakes my body, I need to feed, I need to eat flesh. I start eating flesh in my high school. It’s crazy." 

Man-eater in action

ALONG THE WAY: Needy, Jennifer’s dorky best friend discovers Jennifer is a succubus and basically takes matters into her own hand. This results in one absolutely sublime kissing scene where the camera zooms into Jennifer kissing Needy on her bed, as well as the following memorable dialogue: 

            NEEDY (as Jennifer tries to kill her): I thought you only murdered boys.
            JENNIFER: I go both ways. 

DIABLO CODY, who wrote it, said: "At lot of girls, you feed on your friends and you feed on boys sexually and its a time when emotions are heightened and really insane. Specifically with women, you haven't really seen that literalised in a horror movie."

Of course we would also add that Jennifer could just as easily have been a male, testosterone-drunk high-school jock in an all-boys Catholic school...hmm.

Anyhow, this is creepy, fresh stuff that is artfully done and, at moments, sublime. I was wondering if the whole thing was maybe also a metaphor for STDs? Or symbolic of the fallout that happens in personal relationships when you are a bi, man-eating monster? Or maybe this is a warning to avoid bad indie rock bands? Or is a weird poem to friendship? Whatever it is, it's hot: **** 

(PS: never before has an Akon track been put to such amazingly creepy use than in this film)