Rigidigidim De Bamba De: Ruptured Calypso

Painted Bride Art Center


The Painted Bride Art Center ushered in its 40th season with the commission of Rigidigidim De Bamba De: Ruptured Calypso, an evening-length work for six women by choreographer Cynthia Oliver that explores calypso music and Caribbean identity. Born in the Bronx and raised in the Virgin Islands, Oliver incorporates the textures of Caribbean performance with African and American aesthetic sensibilities. A series of workshops and outreach activities exploring the creative process were part of the work, which focused thematically on Caribbean cultural sources and the immigrant experience. The project included a weeklong residency in Philadelphia that culminated with the performances. Outreach activities included master classes in "CaribFunk," a blend of classical ballet and modern technique that treads on the boundaries of traditional African and Caribbean movement forms; a film screening of Bacchanal Time: The People's Carnival, directed by Ryan Saunders; and a story circle that incorporated theatrical performance techniques within individual and group storytelling exercises.