Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 25th 2015 Contents JANINE CHARLES-FARRAY
This year s Coco Dance Festival
is the space where dancers will gath-
er to show their work and break the
limits of modern Caribbean con-
From October 30 - November 1,
at Queen s Hall, St Ann s, the Con-
temporary Choreographers Collective
(Coco) will celebrate its seventh dance
festival and its fourth annual dance
awards. Choreographers selected to
show in Coco this year include Brid-
gette Wilson, Afiya Huggins, Kinesha
Charleau, Jacob Cino, Sade Chance,
La Toya Jasper and Jillene Forde. The
work of two of Coco founders, Sonja
Dumas and Nicole Wesley will also
"Being a choreographer from T&T
definitely makes one s work different,"
said choreographer Afiya Huggins.
"Pre-Coco there was and still remains
no other platform for contemporary
artistes or budding choreographers
to present work and therefore develop
Huggins expressed her delight at
being selected for Coco 2015 but felt
as though local dance was still
"stuck" with choreographers con-
firming to "socially acceptable" forms
of contemporary dance.
Her 2015 piece for Coco, Greater
Than Sum, will put a spotlight on
the topic of mental health awareness
by acknowledging the struggle of
patients and everyday people.
Through this piece, Huggins will
marry her exploration of psychological
research and theory with past expe-
riences and choreographic experi-
Bridgette Wilson began dancing at
the Creative Learning Centre in
Tacarigua under Joanne Decle before
transferring to the Caribbean School
of Dancing. She attended York Uni-
versity in pursuit of a BFA in dance
and since returning to T&T has been
the rehearsal director and resident
choreographer with the Metamor-
phosis Dance Co.
"After the loss of my mother at
age 12, dancing was the only way I
felt comfortable expressing myself.
As I have grown older and continue
to deal with adult situations, chore-
ography is my outlet for expression
and the way in which I communicate
with the rest of the world."
Wilson will present f(x) ( f of x )
at Coco 2015, 12 minutes of vigorous
dancing from Metamorphosis.
Jacob Cino always wanted to dance,
but to be a dancer or a choreographer
wasn t something he understood until
he was an adult. He has produced a
piece every year for the Coco Dance
Festival over the past four years and
also presented choreography in Mon-
treal and Vancouver, Canada, he said.
Cino has performed at Best Village
with Malick Folk Performing group
and also with Makeda Thomas Dance
and Performance Institute s New
Waves! Commission Project.
"I think dancers choose to be a
part of a creation here in Trinidad
because they support art, not always
because they are being paid. My Coco
2015 piece, Identty/Where you From?
is about how creating work is effected
by the environment it is made in."
Jillene Forde described her transi-
tion from dancer to choreographer
as "quite sudden."
"It was 2007, and I was trying to
raise funds to begin a bachelor s
degree in dance performance in the
US (there was no local dance degree
at the time) so I decided to chore-
ograph four pieces and have a small
"The four-piece showcase turned
into a two-hour dance production,
a sold-out Naparima Bowl venue,
and an encore showing. I am now
the founder and artistic director of
the Shift Contemporary Dance Co---
where I choreograph not out of
necessity but out of an absolute love
for the choreographic process."
Forde will present two new works
at Coco. The first piece, Borrowed
Time, revolves around the idea that
time belongs to no man. The piece,
inspired by biblical passages, will fol-
low seven people as they react to the
realisation of their own imperma-
The second piece is entitled Fractal.
"Fractal explores one s individual
struggle for freedom/ completion
within the larger construct of a soci-
etal struggle for freedom/ comple-
tion...a maze within a maze," she
Kinesha Charleau only started
choreographing professionally in 2014
when she launched her own YouTube
dance channel and Facebook page,
which went viral and sent her leaping
into the spotlight.
One of her most popular dance
videos is a group piece produced and
choreographed by Charleau and set
to soca star Lyrikal s Cloud 9; it has
11,000 views and counting.
"For Coco Dance Festival 2015 my
piece is titled Omnia Vincit Amor,
which means Love Conquers All, and
will be performed by the talented
duo Ariel Thomas and Tevin Nyse.
The song choice is Major Lazer and
DJ Snake s Lean On."
Omnia Vincit Amor promises to
be "interesting," said Charleau with
a smile. "I definitely encourage T&T
and anyone regionally or interna-
tionally who can come to the Coco
Festival to do so. Come and support
dance in T&T and be entertained."
La Toya Jasper is a dancer who
walks in two worlds, West African
dance and contemporary.
"The ability to fuse the both is my
goal. I was very nervous about cho-
reography but eventually I built the
courage to put my creative self out
there for the public to see."
In Jasper s Coco 2015 piece, The
Gala, they meet in a celebratory clash,
portraying the strength of women
overcoming their obstacles and
acknowledging their strengths, plights
Sade Chance has been dancing
professionally for five years and
choreographing for over ten years,
primarily in modern and contempo-
"My desire to become a choreog-
rapher happened during observation
of someone else s dance choreogra-
phy. I was filled with awe and mar-
velled at the power to describe an
idea through the command of move-
ment and the passion grew more and
Chance will also present two pieces
at Coco. The first piece, I Know What
it Feels Like to Lose... relates to death
and the emotions and changes that
happen with grief. The second piece,
I m Here, demonstrates the process
and transitions of coping.
Chance said, "My experiences have
contributed to most of my choreog-
raphy. It s easier to build work based
on something that actually hap-
Bridgette Wilson's f(x) ('f' of 'x'), 12
minutes of vigorous dancing from
Metamorphosis Dance Co. The piece
will be featured in the Coco Dance
Festival 2015. C
Coco Dance Festival
October 30: D A
October 31: D
November 1: D
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt October 25, 2015
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