Contemporary carnival inspired by processional traditions of Latin America, Caribbean, and beyond

During Carnival, the world is turned upside down: men dress like women, boys dance like sailors, girls fight like warriors, kings careen like clowns, and common folk reign as Kings and Queens — or breathe fire like dragons. In the Americas, carnival draws from the traditions of Europe, Africa, and the indigenous people brought together by the violence of colonization, genocide, and the slave trade. Carnival remembers violence in ritual battles of life and death. Carnival celebrates life in brazen spectacle.

Siren Song: A Battle between $$ and Culture

What’s more powerful: money or culture? Carnival Arts pondered this question in a processional performance in November 2016.

Dog on the Neck

Around the docks in Havana, about a hundred years ago, rumberos improvised songs about the news of the day, always keeping up with the rhythm of the drum. Carnival Arts came up with their own song about a neighbor and soon got the whole neighborhood dancing.