Caribbean Drama: From the Aspects of Traditional or Indigenous Culture

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An essay – Caribbean Drama, from the aspects of traditional or indigenous culture Stacy Herbert

“If theatre is to truly represent the people and nation from which it comes, it should draw from its culture, festivals, traditions and folk art; and Trinidad & Tobago’s carnival offers a unique opportunity to create a theatre which truly represents this”. These are the thoughts and words of Errol Hill, with which I concur. In keeping with this idea, I will bring to the fore a number of Trinbagonian festivals, the Tobago Heritage Festival in its current format being first in line.

This festival showcases the cultural identity of the Afro -Trinbagonian, in its portrayal of traditional dance, sacraments, supportive work principles of traditional Africa, and dramatic movements, which is an excellent example of theatre that represents the Afro – Trinbagonian.

The Indo-Trinidadian community offers to Caribbean drama, or rather Trinidad & Tobago, their experience as indentured laborers arriving here in the Fatel Rossak, in their dramatic theatre of the event usually showcased on Arrival Day in Trinidad yearly; and Ravi Ji, in a previous lecture on East Indian heritage, touched on Indo-Trinidadian drama by his relation of the story of Ramleela and the dramatic presentation of it by devotees of Hinduism.

The Chinese immigrants, who are here not because of slavery or forced labor also occupy this space, and have started infusing their theatre and dramatic culture into the mix of Trinidad & Tobago since the one time inclusion of a Chinese holiday on October 15th 2006. The advent of Dragon boat racing and dragon dancing was once not at all seen, but has now become a part of the Trinidad & Tobago land and seascape and a noted part of our theatre.

The first people's influence has also been a part of the ingredient that makes our space spectacular by the inclusion of Parang music and dance, and adds a distinctive flavor to the dish.

These little pockets...
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