The road to Carnival is winding and full of obstacles, but one of the most rewarding a performer can travel. The D.A.M Stilt Dancers know this well and that is why every year we strive to make our trip to Trinidad Carnival unforgettable and better than the last. This will be our 4th journey to the magical Caribbean island and we are on a mission to make it our best yet, but we need your help! We started with only 2 of us in 2015, knowing no one and almost nothing except that Trinidad is one of the few places in the world where the traditional art of stilt walking has been kept alive and is still thriving.
We learned a lot of hard lessons, met a ton of amazing people, and the next year were able to add a 3rd member, collaborate with the incredible Mas Band The Lost Tribe (check out https://losttribecarnival.com/) and begin to build lifelong relationships over the course of our two month residency. Last year we took things to the next level with 4 of us (an amazing friend from Trinidad joined us and stilted for her first parade), a performance at the front of the Lost Tribe and through a performance with Kes The Band (one of the biggest Soca music artists on the island-see the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUIQnvhru7o).
This year will be no exception. We have an awesome team of 4 stilters from the US and a dear friend from Trinidad who has been practicing on stilts we left for her last year, so we are taking our numbers up to 5! The Lost Tribe is excited to have us back, and we are working toward collaborations with other artists during our month long stay there. Finding accomodations and getting around in Trinidad are no small feat and we need your help to be able to stay in the Air BnB we booked (our host is excited to hire us to perform for his friends!) and rent a car so we can get to gigs and rehearsals on time. Anything you can give will go a long way! Thank you so much!
More About D.A.M
Daring Arts Movement (D.A.M) is a collective of diverse performers and groups committed to expanding, uplifting, and supporting each other while fostering a collaborative artistic environment in the greater Bay Area. D.A.M creates lively, multi-sensory, immersive experiences for our audiences and students; sparking wonder, awe, accessibility, and learning through the arts.
We specialize in movement arts, vocal arts, tactile arts, and instruction and we draw inspiration from around the globe. We work with our clients to create unique performance and educational experiences that ideally pull from a variety of our offerings and allow us to collaborate in new and exciting ways.
We believe art is a powerful tool for healing and uniting diverse communities, and we wish to promote and continue to support and build this tool around the world.
Stilt walking is an ancient art form believed to go back thousands of years in many cultures around the world. In Trinidad and Tobago, for instance, the tradition is still very much a part of carnival culture (the enslaved African people kept the tradition alive through the middle passage and integrated it into their celebrations). The stilt walkers there are still referred to by the traditional name of Moko Jumbies, meaning god-like creatures who watch over and protect their communities because they are believed to be able to foresee danger and evil due to their height. DAM is committed to uniting stilt walkers of all traditions to expanding and curating the global skill and knowledge base. We are working towards forming a more substantial alliance and cultural exchange with our tall friends in Trinidad and Tobago.
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