Lines at the bank can be like one of those post-carnival comedy shows. There’s always a character pulling for a laugh amid an atmosphere of tension and frustration.
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A new kind of 3Canal experience
Today is the last show of rapso collaborative 3Canal’s latest work in its new performance space the Big Black Box. It opened August 27. The title of the show—More Love. Life. Living.—is inspired by a new collaborative song release, More Love, performed by 3Canal and produced by MX Prime. “August is a kind of potent month because it begins with Emancipation and ends with Independence and the conjunction of those two celebrations or moments in time is really too much to ignore,” said 3Canal’s Wendell Manwarren. “The idea of freedom and independence as these ideals, where are we in the context of all of that, has always been intriguing to me.”
This show is a bit different from other shows the group has staged. Manwarren said performance artist and contemporary dance choreographer Dave Williams “told us that it is important to remember that this is a yard and not Queen’s Hall. Therefore the work and the show itself will take on a different character.” Manwarren also drew reference to the importance of the backyard gathering and the lime out of which the creative spark can grow. “It’s a backyard. We’re very mindful of that and we’re not trying to depart from that at all because our research indicates to us that our major cultural forms emerged in backyards.
“The steelband came out of the backyard, the mas and the calypso came out of the barrack yard and backyards of East Port-of-Spain, Belmont and environs. That’s our history. That’s our legacy.”
This theatrical production is also informed by the Big Black Box space. “There is a mode of theatre called site-specific theatre and in any kind of performance, the space, settings and surroundings inform the performance. So one of the things we knew going into Queen’s Hall, for example, is that we had to present a certain kind of show. “In the Big Black Box there are no wings and flys, there’s no fourth wall; the audience is right there, so it becomes a whole different transaction. So we had to find what works in this context. It’s been an adventure, experimental and very exciting.”
The show’s theme is based on a lyric in the group’s new song: “16 to 25, what a time to lose your life.” The group intends to make a statement and send a message through its repertoire of songs, dance and dramatic interludes on the state of the country. The show will be segmented into three parts: What’s Going On?, Know Your Rights and No More, with an emphasis on people being proactive and dealing with how they can make a change in their lives. (JCF)