NEW HAVEN, CONN.:  The Caribbean‘s leading Carnival artist will lecture on how “to play mas.”

Caribbean Carnival Artist Peter Minshall
Caribbean Carnival Artist Peter Minshall

On Friday, March 25, 2:30 to 5pm, the Caribbean artist Peter Minshall will give a talk, entitled “Blue Devils, Bats and Fancy Sailors,” in which he will detail the “mas,” a form of creative expression in the Trinidad Carnival. The talk, organized by the Yale School of Drama, will take place at Yale Repertory Theatre‘s lounge, at the corner of Chapel and York Streets in New Haven.

Mas is based on the practice of masquerade, but it has long transcended mere costume.  It is a performance art, a form of street theatre, the enactment of adornment, a dance of the cloth, Minshall states. 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, in this arena of chaos and catharsis.

Minshall trained in Carnival design in the streets of Port of Spain and in theatre design in London. Since the 1970’s 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.  He creates mas individuals and masbands 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.

2 thoughts on “Designing carnivals: Trinidad’s foremost Caribbean carnival artist lectures at Yale Rep, March 23

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