Cynthia "Cinti" Salandy
There's lots to talk about when you have the opportunity to sit with Cynthia Salandy! We caught up with Cynthia while on location in Trinidad and Tobago for 2012's Carnival! Certainly something Cultural Voice recommends as a must-do for all our readers!
|Something Positive on Stage. Photo by Zoe Mocker|
|Something Positive in the Studio. Photo by Zoe Mocker|
"Cinti" is the Associate Director of "Something Positive"
Cynthia, affectionately known as "Cinti" is the Associate Director of Something Positive, a dance company based in NYC, started dancing at age 17 in Diego Martin, Trinidad. Her career started through the community based programme called "Best Village" and all the different communities in and around Trinidad would compete for bragging rights and a trophy.
"The programme seeks to preserve, protect, and build on our Folk Traditions, and to facilitate the growth of our national culture through competition" (tt connect)- More Info on Best Village Competition
'Tribe' and 'Yuma' - Diluting the cultural relevance of carnival?
"Cinti" hasn't lived in Trinidad in 30 years, but is still pleased with what she observes in her frequent visits, as many of the competitions which were around in her time still exist and have grown and she believed that it takes the children off the street and gives them something to do.
She played mass with the band 'K2K' for Trinidad Carnival because she feels connected to the story and gets a sense of meaningful involvement. She suggests that many of the newer bands such as Tribe, and Yuma that many of the younger generation players gravitate towards, may be diluting the storytelling and cultural aspect of what carnival means to Trinidad.
K2K originated from the desire to fill a gap in the Carnival market. The designs are meant to be sophisticated, glamorous and chic and cater to the masquerader who is looking to be part of a bigger story; a moving canvas of artistic expression.
|Costume, Red Sea Source: carnivalinfo.com|
|Costume, Sea-of-Galilee Source: carnivalinfo.com|
(i) to be an effective storyteller
(ii) to re-invent cinematic beauty through choreography and design
(iii) to win “Band of the Year”.
Life as an Artist in NYC
"Cinti" shares that her biggest constraint working in the dance and theatre industry in NYC is a financial one.
She is not much for politics in Trinidad, but shared that in NYC when there are budget cuts politicians usually target the Arts as expendable. She notes however that as a child her ability to develop her artistic side gave her a good balance. "Cinti" strongly believes that artistic expression gives children the ability to express themselves in new ways.
Quick Facts: "Cinti"
- Does Custume Design for Universities in NY
- Works for Neighbourhood Assistance Corporation of America - restructuring mortgages for persons in jeapordy
- Favorite Food: Pelau/ Stew Chicken
"Cinti" on World Peace
"Cinti" believes that World Peace can be achieved and it should start with each and every one of us. "Peace begins with me." If each one of us can find some way to realise that yes, people are different but we can accept and learn to live with each other and our differences, then it is achievable.
A very good friend and teacher to "Cinti"
|Rapso Music Pioneer and Something Positive Founder, Cheryl Byron. Portrait by Anthony Cox|