To be Beautiful: Transmutation through Bois!

It is said that when a boisman enters a gayelle, he does so with a prayer to become his best self. The four-road junction (traditionally used to create a gayelle/ fighter’s ring) becomes the altar where dance, song and blood are offered up for his transformation/ his transmutation into the golden status of king-hood. The lavways call out challenges; warns against danger; but most importantly, with the help of the drums, it quickens his spirit thereby allowing him to display beauty and create magic.

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"Blood trickled down my head, down my sideburns, near the edge of my eyes, over my lips, down my shoulders, down my right leg eventually creating a sizable puddle on the stage. I looked to my friend and he looked back knowingly, he knew that his gaze was the only thing keeping me conscious. My first thoughts were “I blocked that shot, how did I still get hit?” then “I cyah dead, my wife would kill me”, then “my character was supposed to injure his foot not get a busshead…how could we make this work…” then “I can’t move”. The lights went down and I felt someone hold me from the back so I let go of my bois which was keeping me standing and I let myself fall into the arms of my fellow actors."

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Enter De Gayelle!

"The lessons learnt from the workshop can be summed up in the identification of five principles: ‘Doh (don’t) break the circle’, ‘Doh (don’t) Soca the Lavway’, ‘Doh (don’t) back’, ‘Any Boisman (Stickfighter) could Cut any Boisman’ and ‘Doh (don’t) squeeze your own bamsie (buttocks)’. I believe these concepts could be applied to an individual’s lifestyle as well as in the conceptualization of Caribbean theatre."

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