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The Festival of Rapso and the Oral Traditions

April 15, 2006

About Rapso

Rapso is an art form indigenous to Trinidad and Tobago. Over two decades of dedication and concerted effort by our nation's cultural activists have brought the RAPSO artform to international focus. RAPSO has taken its place along with Dub-Poetry and the Afro-American Rap as valid expression of a people's hopes and fears, dreams and aspirations. It also provides the foundation for a new world musical order in these times and is projected as an art form for the education of a nation with special emphasis on the youth.

Rapso, as Brother Resistance defines it is "The power of the word, in the riddum of the word." In essence, it is the poetry of Calypso blended with the African rhythms of Trinidad and Tobago. It is also referred to as the Rap of Soca. It is interesting to note that paralleling the development of Rapso in Trinidad and Tobago were the Dub Poetry of Jamaica (the Poetry of Reggae) and African American Rap music in the United States.

The Festival

This year's festival kicks off with the annual workshops series which started on Tuesday 28 March, 2006 at the National Library, Port of Spain. The workshops are free of charge and will have a cumulative of 35 contact hours but participants are required to complete at least 28 contact hours in order to graduate. Participants are advised to wear comfortable clothing including flat footwear for these sessions since some warm up exercises are involved. At the conclusion of the workshops participants will perform (those who meet the required contact hours) in the 'Breaking New Ground' show scheduled for Saturday May 7th, 2006.

Workshop sessions are held at the National Library, Port of Spain, every Tuesday and Thursday between the hours of 5pm - 7pm and on Saturdays between the hours of 3pm - 6pm.

The main events of the RAPSOFEST 2006 are:

Children Story time - Wednesday 3rd May, Port of Spain City Hall

Women of the Oral Traditions - Thursday 4th May - National Library Amphitheatre

Breaking New Ground - Sunday 7th May - National Library Amphitheatre

If you require further information you can call the following numbers 622-4161, 620-2966 or 685-6680.
"Don't believe what foreigners do is better than you because it eh true.
Is ah mental block dat hard like ah rock it hard to unlock wid it you doh wuk.
Yuh go live wid de illusion, trying to be anodda man.
Don't believe what foreigners do is better than you because it eh true."

"Blow Way" by Lancelot Kebu Layne, 1970

Rapsofest 2006 in Pictures