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Martinique Djouba Bèlè – International Folk Dance and Music Festival

[Press release] The Saint Lucia Archaeological and Historical Society has been invited by the Lawonnbèlè Cultural Association of Martinique to participate in and represent St. Lucia with a National Bèlè Group at its annual International Djouba Bèlè Folk Dance and Music Festival.

This Festival will take place from Thursday, 07 June to Monday, 11 June 2018.

This inaugural event will feature folk dance and cultural music groups from Trinidad and Tobago, Martinique and St. Lucia – countries that possess the specific knowledge of and practise the indigenous forms of Bèlè.

The Festival includes a conference, at which presentations on various means of preserving this rich cultural heritage will be made.

In addition, the Festival provides an avenue for the participating countries to showcase some of their cultural attributes in dance and song through indigenous chants and instruments. Although, emphasis will be placed on promoting and enhancing the dance art forms, there will also be special foci on linkages between our folklore and our cultural identity, the Kwéyòl Language, tourism, and its importance in fostering Caribbean unity.

The Saint Lucian contingent has three planned discussion sessions and two performances as follows:

Friday evening discussion and performance: “In the context of the current world marked by the development of technologies, Bèlè is, in Martinique, a factor of cultural unification and a marker in the building of our identity, but it also establishes a base for exchange and consolidation of Caribbean unity.”

Saturday morning discussion: “Relation between Bèlè and the Kwéyòl Language”

Sunday evening discussion and performance: “Bèlè and Tourism”.

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