Thursday, March 22, 2012

Minshall goes to Yale

Peter Minshall.
Veteran masman Peter Minshall will tomorrow take on the role of lecturer at the Yale School of Drama, New Haven, Connecticut in the US. Yale School of Drama and International Performance Studies at Yale, in collaboration with Scarlett Project, will host Minshall’s lecture—Blue Devils, Bats, and Fancy Sailors. Minshall will explain what it is “to play mas” and how T&T’s traditional art form has long transcended mere costume and has developed into a performance art—a form of street theatre—the enactment of adornment and a dance of the cloth. In sharing his personal creative journey, Minshall will describe the carnival foundations upon which he has drawn, and the contemporary works of art and theatre that he has created over the course of three decades.

The Bandele people of Peter Minshall’s Lost Tribe 
 He will explain how a mas creation can satisfy all the criteria that constitute a work of art. “Peter Minshall is the most important artist in theatrical/ para-theatrical design in his era—the Picasso of Caribbean carnival,” cited Joseph Roach, professor of Theater and English and director of the International Performance Studies at Yale. Fellow Yale School of Drama professor of directing, David Chambers, said: “Peter Minshall is one of the world’s greatest artists, a true genius and a world leader.This is global public art of the highest order, practised throughout the Caribbean, in Brooklyn, Toronto, London and elsewhere. “We hope this to be just a first step to get Peter Minshall more involved at Yale: in our dreams a full-bore mas down Chapel Street.” Scarlett Project officials are thrilled to have spearheaded this event, which has been one and a half years in the making. A release from Scarlett Project stated, “Minshall trained in Carnival design in the streets of Port-of-Spain and in theatre design in London. Since the 1970s he has pioneered the ‘living art’ of the masman, transforming the notion of puppetry into gigantic sculptural characters that move freely with the energy of live dancers. “Minshall creates mas individuals and mas bands as works of contemporary art that are public, participatory, and performative.

His work has engaged thousands as makers, performers, participants, and viewers, both in the Carnival of Trinidad and in spectacle events worldwide, including ceremonies he designed for the Barcelona and Atlanta Summer Olympics and the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.” More Info Scarlett Project is a non-profit art organisation launched in February 2011. The organisation advocates the region’s interest in creating self-sustaining avenues for those in the creative industry, through producing works from emerging and established Caribbean artists and by providing training and educational workshops on West Indian art. The organisation’s artistic directors are doctorate candidate of Art and Museum Education at Columbia University, Daniela Fifi, and Master of Arts candidate at Yale School of Drama, Paul Pryce.

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