Calypso Dreams Premieres in Miami, April 2009

MIAMI, FL – Florida International University’s Latin American and Caribbean Center (LACC); University of Miami’s Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS); Abeng Arts; and the Consulate General of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago are pleased to premiere the documentary film Calypso Dreams at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, April 2, 2009 at the University of Miami Cosford Cinema, 1111 Memorial Drive, Coral Gables, FL 33124.

The screening will be followed by a discussion with the filmmaker, Dr. Geoffrey Dunn, legendary Calypsonian Lord Superior, and producer Alvin Daniell.

The film premiere is preceded by a panel discussion entitled Music, Resistance, and the Caribbean’s Calypso Legacy, on Wednesday, April 1, 2009, at 2:00 p. m. at Florida International University, Graham Center 140, University Park Campus, 11200 S.W. 8th Street, Miami, Florida 33199.

The panel will feature outtakes of Calypso Dreams with the filmmaker Dr. Geoffrey Dunn. He will be joined by Lord Superior (Andrew Marcano) and Alvin Daniell in what promises to be a lively discussion on the vibrant social and political forum Calypso has provided historically and in contemporary Trinidad & Tobago.

Footage from the discussion here:

The filmmaker, Dunn, began work on the film nearly a decade ago, but now clearly represents a “critical document of Trinidad and Tobago’s cultural history…many of the stalwarts we chronicled in the film have since passed,” Dunn has noted. “Kitch, Preddie, Blakie, Terror, Zandolie, Mystic Prowler, Ras Shorty I, and now Duke. And many of the locations are gone now, too-like the People’s Mall and the Pelican Hotel and several buildings on Frederick Street.”

Alvin Daniell, Filmmaker Geoffrey Dunn, and Lord Superior at Florida International University

The feature-length documentary film Calypso Dreams chronicles the spirit and traditions of Calypso music in the island country of Trinidad and Tobago, dating back to its complex Afro-Caribbean roots in the 18th and 19th centuries. With narrative commentary by the popular Caribbean musician David Rudder, the film captures riveting, contemporary performances by a host of legendary Calypso performers with colorful “sobriquets,” including the Mighty Sparrow, Calypso Rose, Lord Superior, Black Stalin, Mighty Bomber, Lord Blakie, Singing Sandra and Mighty Terror, and pays homage to recently deceased Calypsonians, including Lord Kitchener and Lord Pretender. The film also includes a rare and exclusive interview with Harry Belafonte on the issue of his early involvement with Calypso and his complex relationship with Lord Melody in the 1950s and early ’60s. Using a rich array of archival footage and photographs, Calypso Dreams illustrates how the music was corrupted and homogenized by the American music industry in the 1940s and 1950s, only to survive and, ultimately, thrive in international anonymity. (1:21)

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