Culture

Our Culture

Music

Musical performances in T&T are not limited to soca monarch competitions and parang festivals. There are nationally recognised choirs that put on performances at various venues throughout the year. These choirs specialise in different genres, such as gospel, opera, contemporary, and folk music.

The Lydians, the Marionettes Chorale, and the Love Movement Choir, are major organisations that aim to not only entertain but to spread messages of love and amity through music. Many other singing groups have similar missions and also perform regularly for national audiences, especially during the Christmas season.

Dance

Most Trinis would say that the national dance is “wining” (pronounced like whining), a colloquial term for persistent rhythmic hip gyrations. While this may be accurate, it is not entirely representative of everyone’s interests. T&T is a thriving scene for dance aficionados in elite fields such as ballet, ballroom dancing, Chinese, African, and Indian dance. There are even dance academies dedicated to teaching the children and adults about different types of regional and international dancing styles, from classical to contemporary.

Artists

T&T has had its share of internationally recognised and acclaimed artists over the past centuries.

The first prolific name in art from Trinidad was Michel-Jean Cazabon. He was a 19th century son of free-coloured plantation owners who had migrated to Trinidad from Martinique under the 1783 Cedula of Population. Educated in England, Cazabon returned to Trinidad and began painting, becoming popular for his landscape settings that showed what life was like in the plantations at that time.

In the twentieth century, Boscoe Holder was regarded as the Caribbean’s premier artistic representative to international audiences. After entertaining most of Europe with Caribbean-styled performances, he returned to Trinidad and sustained an art career for decades. One of his paintings was even gifted to Prince Charles and Lady Diana upon their marriage by Sir Ellis Clarke.

By no means is the citizenry now bereft of talent since these two have been gone. Visit one of the many art galleries across the nation whenever they host exhibits and you will see just how gifted the artistic community is in T&T.

Theatre

Theatre in Trinidad & Tobago is an intricate scene. Staging productions has long been a tradition, going all the way back to our ancestors. From the Africans to the Indians to the Europeans, epic performances have taken on different genres and themes throughout history.

The performing arts thrive in T&T. Theatre companies abound and locals are accustomed to plays, shows, and performances being put on monthly at various venues dedicated to the arts across the country.