Carnival traditions Celebrated in online workshop series ‘Kambule Campus’
With Carnival 2021 officially cancelled due to ongoing restrictions due to COVID-19 Idakeda Group, producers of the annual Canboulay re-enactment are keeping the spirit of the season alive with a series of online workshops focusing on the theory and practice of Carnival’s traditional artforms.
‘Kambule has become a staple of the annual Carnival celebrations, but it’s so much more than a play,’ explains Idakeda founder and Kambule choreographer Dara Healy.
‘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 says they have 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 began on November 14 2020 with drumming led by Kayode and Iremide Charles and continues this year starting on January 16 2021 at 5pm. There will also be workshops in dance, protection of artistic copyright, and Kalinda!
Preparations are also underway to re-imagine the pre-dawn production for an online broadcast.
Written by poet and playwright Eintou Springer, Kambule imagines the conversations between the stick fighters and jammettes as they prepare to do battle with Police Commissioner Captain Arthur Baker. Springer uses the spelling ‘Kambule’ – a Kikongo word that means procession. This meaning became conflated with the more widely known spelling Canboulay, which is a French patois word meaning burnt canes.
Alongside these workshops we are asking participants to support a 2021 online Carnival production of Kambule by contributing to our fund-raising campaign at https://fundmetnt.com/