Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 25th 2016 Contents B4 sunday arts
guardian.co.tt Sunday, December 25, 2016
Sipping from the
Two thousand years ago a great gift
was given: a Golden Calabash. This is at
the heart of the wholly creole interpre-
tation of the familiar Christmas story as
presented by the Lydians in their 2016
production, A Christmas Calabash.
Using elements of syncretic religion,
folklore and Carnival, the concert offered
audiences performances by the Lydian
Singers as well as a host of guest artistes
including the senior choirs of both Bishop
Anstey High School and Bishop Anstey Jun-
ior School, ably supported by Lydian Steel
and keyboardists, African drummers, the
Malick Tassa Drummers and the Lydian
From the rousing Adeste Fideles, solo-
ist David Williams at The Annunciation,
danced by Anisa Lewis as Mary, through
The Nativity, Rock de Baby, to Astra Noel’s
jazzy Ave Maria, the Lydians Quodlibet and
Joanne Pyle’s moving Cantique de Noel, the
Golden Calabash was a cause for rejoicing
in the first half.
When the Lydian ensemble stepped in
front of the curtain to open the second half
there was an audible gasp from the audience.
The red outfits and gold Masai-inspired
collars of the first half were replaced by
River-inspired white dresses in a range of
styles for Wade in the Water, a soulful negro
Soloist Dirk Govia and the Lydian Paran-
deros reminded the audience of what parang
at its most authentic sounds like-songs in
Spanish celebrating the Messiah’s birth,
performed with a hint of competitive bra-
Enter the white-clad Midnight Robber,
Jamel Williams, who threatened to ruin the
joyful mood with all the dire predictions
of doom at the disposal of this relocated
Carnival character. The dismayed chorus
entreated in vain.
Only a drink from the Golden Calabash
could defuse his threats and reform him.
The Gillian Bishop sets unobtrusively
allowed the performance to speak for itself.
Large silver stars hung from above and a
stunning suspended stained-glass-effect
window in the first half was replaced in the
second half by an eerily striking tree in the
background and columns of white silk cas-
cading the full height of the stage.
The influence of Peter Minshall, self-de-
scribed as one of the shepherds guiding this
flock, was evident in the theme and in its
Wendell Manwarren, another long-stand-
ing friend of the Lydians, took on the stage
direction for this production.
The night rounded off with the Lydians
signature Hallelujah Chorus backed by Af-
rican drums and tassa to a well-deserved
A Christmas Calabash was truly a Lydians
Christmas concert with renewed style but
with the same conviction of speaking deep
truth to society.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Bruce Collymore-
Jones is a member of the Lydians.
The Lydians perform The Hallelujah Chorus with tassa, African drums.
The Christmas Robber, Jamel Williams.
From Page B3
Patti Rogers was a jazz vocalist who for a time
sang with the band Chandileer.
“Patti was hardly ever daunted. If her enthu-
siasm ebbed a little, you’d never figure that out
when she picked up a microphone. She was pure
grace, class, and the perfect mentor for me,” fel-
low jazz singer Vaughnette Bigford wrote in a
letter to the editor. Rogers died on November 21.
Larry Loobie was a goalkeeper turned rapper
then music producer. He founded the compa-
ny Trak Slasha Productions. Rapso artist Ozy
Merrique remembered Loobie as part of what he
called the “Kisskidee era” of alternative forms
of local music.
“I feel this one because, as a contemporary and
collaborator, it hit home. But more because we
live in a society where there is one book-main-
ly the Carnival/soca book. And so many great
contributors never get their names written in.”
Loobie died on November 6 at the age of 41.
Todd Hill was the stage manager at Queen’s
Hall for almost three decades.
“Such a gentle soul. I loved working with him
at Queen’s Hall. My daughter grew up on stage
with him as her stage manager,” producer/direc-
tor Lisa Wickham posted on Facebook following
Hill’s death on December 16.
Earl Crosby was a record store owner and music
producer and promoter who wrote the Scrunter
soca-parang hit Piece a Pork and other songs.
He ran his business, Crosby’s Music Centre, and
other musical events in St James.
“The St James community and Trinidad and
Tobago lost a true member. He was passionate
about culture, he made the Crosby name a house-
hold one,” said his niece, comedian Nikki Crosby.
Crosby died on August 3.
Holly Betaudier, AKA Holly B, was an en-
thusiast of local culture and media personality
who hosted the hugely popular and influential
long-running TV show Scouting for Talent.
“Holly defined an era. But he did much more
than that. He single handedly instilled pride in
our culture,” artist Adele Todd wrote in a note
on Facebook. Betaudier died on May 29 at the
age of 91.
Valerie Belgrave was an artist and novelist who
wrote the popular historical romance Ti Marie.
She was involved in other creative fields.
“How does a mind like
hers traverse between being
a novelist, a batik artist, a
visual artist, story book il-
lustrator and then a play-
wright? Valerie Belgrave
was in a league of her own
and I since have not met
any other like her,” actress
Rhoma Spencer wrote in a
blog post. Belgrave died on
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