Calypso Association Hosts Open Forum
A number of Calypso lovers and Calypsonians alike all converged at the University of the West Indies Open Campus (UWI), Thursday February 21st an open forum discussion held by the Dominica Calypso Association (DCA).
Public Relations Officer of the DCA, Mr. Daryl Bobb stated that, this discussion was necessary to share with the public as it relates to the guidelines of the Association.
Mr. Bobb says he expects the public give their views on the Calypso 2013 season, for improvements to be made to better Calypso in Dominica.
President of the DCA, Mr. Kelly Williams, was pleased with the mixture of the crowd.
Judges, Writers, Calypsonians, Media Personnel and Calypso Fans were in attendance.
Mr. Kelly said to engage the public’s opinion on Calypso where their input can be used by the Association was necessary.
Mr. Williams mentioned politics has always been a topic used by Calypsonians, however now that Dominica is so divided, any song on the topic seems to be a problem, mainly because of the public’s political affiliations which is threatening the art form.
He pointed out that, the Association needs young people who are willing and able to assist in the managing of Calypso, as the older persons have exhausted themselves since they have been doing it for such a long time.
Acting Director of the UWI Open Campus Country Sites (OCCS), Doctor Francis Severin stated while Mr. Williams says Calypso is at a crossroads, he is of the view it is at the happy crossroads, as controversy, back-biting and antipathy are all endemic in Calypso.
Doctor Severin stated many of the Calypsos are relevant as they shed light on what is going on in this country, however the Calypsonians are attacked for their songs.
He said the public need to do, attack the issues the Calypsonians are singing about.
Doctor Francis says, if a Judge or two, marks a Calypsonian higher than what he or she deserves, this can cause an unfair advantage.
He added the Judges need to be reasonable when they are judging, to ensure their tasks are carried out in accordance with the guidelines and judging criteria of the DCA.
One of the ideas he came up with is that, Calypsonians when preparing for shows, should look at the criteria they will be judged upon, to make sure they try as much as possible to perfect their performances which will give them a fair advantage.
With that he added Calypsonians also need to pay special attention to the songs they write to gain as much points possible.
Participants at the forum made a number of recommendations some of which are; voice quality should be eliminated as this is a God given quality which varies in different people, less Calypsonians at the Eliminations and questioning judges’ scores when it is too high or too low to ensure fairness.
Another recommendation by the public was for past Calypsonians to teach the skills they have to the youth which should be supported by the DCA.