DAY 11: SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 16
Today was the BIG Day.
Rehearsal with Jamie and Anna in the morning.
Then I accompanied Jamie to a performance sponsored by the Division of Culture, Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts. There was a big emphasis on Orisha Traditions (which I am very curious about, as it relates to the survival of African technologies post slavery). (Much love to Brother Chris Walker for that language/consciousness). Jamie danced an Invocation for Eleggua/Elegba. It was held at Studio 66 Art Gallery in Barataria (which was the venue for our mask-masking workshops at New Waves! last summer, so I felt fancy!) Brian, I hope the pictures bring back fond memories!
I ended the day with my Afro-Modern Dance Workshop at 6 pm at East Yard. And as usual, I had a great time. The students were from all different ages and experiences and were very generous. I finally made the acquaintance of Cheyenne, a girl of twelve years old who came all the way from San Fernando with her parents, encouraged by Yusha Marie-Sorano (Yusha, I love you!). She is a talented young dancer and her parents are very supportive. I am trying to find time to give her a private lesson next week. What an honor.
This connection I am making down here feels real and powerful. I wish I could be here for 3 months to really make bonds in the community because my research for "Yam, Potatoe an' Fish!" relies so much on this environment. The environment is teaching me and speaking to me everyday. It speaks in the shit that goes wrong here. It speaks in the way I interact with people and the way Trinidadians interact with me--a foreigner. It is coming through me as I find my voice and as I see and experience Trindad from Jamie's eyes.
Everyone is noticing the changes that I am going through. It is in the way I think, speak and hold my body. I am changing in a way that feels natural, like the "old me"--from my youth. My tongue is freeing up, and with that, my body language and personality. I was living under a veil before. Muted. I want out. I need "Yam, Potatoe an' Fish!"