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Making Caribbean DanceContinuity and Creativity in Island Cultures$
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Susanna Sloat

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813034676

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813034676.001.0001

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A Narrative on the Framework of the Presence, Change, and Continuity of Indian Dance in Trinidad

A Narrative on the Framework of the Presence, Change, and Continuity of Indian Dance in Trinidad

Chapter:
(p.321) 21 A Narrative on the Framework of the Presence, Change, and Continuity of Indian Dance in Trinidad
Source:
Making Caribbean Dance
Author(s):
Ravindra Nath “Raviji” Maharaj
Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813034676.003.0021

Ravindra Nath Maharaj, known as Raviji, a leader in Hindu life in Trinidad and of a Ramdilla group, charts the history of the dance of Indians in Trinidad, which began with folk dances brought by indentured laborers for bhatwan (cooking nights for weddings), folk-dramas of Bhojpuri epics, and the still flourishing ten day Ramdilla folk theater re-enactments of the Ramayana. Other influences emerged--from Hindi film to the changing roles of women (and the emergence of Champa Devi, first queen of Indian dance in Trinidad), to the beginnings of teaching classical Indian dance, to the development of the hybrid form, chutney, adding many different forms and colors to Indo-Trinidadian dance. The Islamic festival of Hosay is sparked by the same tassa drums as Ramdilla.

Keywords:   Ravindra Nath Maharaj, Raviji, Ramdilla, Indians in Trinidad, bhatwan, Bhojpuri folk-dramas, Champa Devi, Indo-Trinidadian chutney, Hosay, tassa drums

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