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COBA - School
COBA's company in 'Orisha Suite'
COBA:Reviews
BETTY OLIPHANT THEATRE APRIL 30 - MAY 2 1998 LISE WATSON: ARTS WRITER TWAS (TORONTO WORLD ARTS SCENE) COBA DANSE BELE

Okay, so with one Collective of Black Artists show under my belt (in the Spirit May'97), I figure I know something of this amazing dance company's capability. NOT SO, not so at all. Rather, there would appear to be an endless range for COBA, and I feel as If I'm only beginning to understand.

Photo of BaKari E. Lindsay, co-founder of COBA, the Collective of Black Artists

This season's production of Eddison Lindsay's Danse Bele captivated me from start to finish and filled me with a rush I will not soon forget. This "fuIl-length dance theatre event traces the history of dance in Trinidad. As before, COBA co-founder Charmaine Headley was a vision, this time playing the role of storyteller as well as dancer. Without even a small intermission she guided us as the Yoruba slave traditions were transformed into the indigenous dance of the Caribbean.

COBA is not afraid to demonstrate all of the various influences present throughout the history of Trinidad. This includes, much to my surprise, costuming and movement from the European masters' and mistresses' minuet. Picture the grace and subtlety of this stately dance form combined with the colour and power of African rhythms, and you'll have the tremendous finale of Danse Bele.

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