“COCO in the Community” Kicks Off With Improvisation Workshop Led By Veteran Actor-Director Marc La Veau

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COCO Dance Festival kicks off its series of “COCO in the Community” events in its fifteenth year early with a FREE improvisation workshop led by Marc LaVeau for both dancers and actors.

The US-based LaVeau was born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago and is a graduate of the Theatre Arts programme of the University of the West Indies with a specialization in Theatre-in-Education. LaVeau is also well known for his acting ability in critically acclaimed Trinidad and Tobago works such as Juba Doo Bai, Ah Yah Yai, and Shango: Tales of the Orishas. He also received accolades for productions such as Dolly Mois, I Marcus Garvey, and The Offering.

He is a founding member of the Arts-in-Action project in the capacity of artist, consultant, and Theatre-in-Education practitioner for projects for the Ministry of Health, the Center for Gender and Sensitivity Studies, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Culture. He has also worked regionally in programmes such as the Area Youth Foundation in Jamaica.

Directing is one of LaVeau’s hallmarks in the US. He directed Eve Ensler’s The Good Body at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland in 2011, and in 2016 he co-directed the highly acclaimed Fades and Fellowship, a community theatre project with local barbers that featured Mr. Nelson Malden, the barber of Dr. Martin Luther King, also in Baltimore. The recipient of a 2022 Community Pillar Award by the New York-based Trinidad and Tobago United Community Association, LaVeau continues to use his skills in the arts as a medium for social empowerment and change.

This “COCO in the Community” workshop is presented in partnership with Arts-in-Action and the Secondary Schools Dance Educators Association of Trinidad and Tobago and is open to people with all levels of experience. With a strong focus on Caribbean popular and ritual theatre, the workshop will explore aspects of improvisation that actively use the body to communicate in conjunction with the voice. Several more workshops with visiting artists are planned for the next few months, leading up to COCO Dance Festival at the end of October.

The workshop will take place at the Cheesman Building of the Department of Creative and Festival Arts at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine on Tuesday, July 25 from 10:00am to 12:00pm. Space is limited so people interested in participating are asked to send an email with the subject heading “July Improvisation Workshop” to cocodancett@gmail.com to reserve their spot.

About COCO Dance Festival: Now in its fifteenth year, the Contemporary Choreographers’ Collective (COCO) Dance Festival showcases the work of prominent local choreographers, and partners with regional and international choreographers and performers who perform and give workshops as guests of the Festival. COCO also works to bring dance to children and young people who would not ordinarily have access to the arts in a sustained way, while hosting programmes and initiatives that nurture young choreographers and dancers. COCO’s mission is to inspire, encourage and serve the community through creative processes and collaborative endeavours. It is committed to enriching the dance community through multidisciplinary and culturally diverse programs, establishing a contemporary artist network and enlivening the human spirit in Trinidad and Tobago and abroad through performance and choreographic study.

For interviews; to attend a rehearsal or further information please contact: Sonja Dumas – 788-1472; Nancy Herrera – 684-6823.

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