Leeds Carnival Online Learning Resources

1. A Brief History of Caribbean Carnival and Leeds West Indian Carnival

Leeds West Indian Carnival explores the history of Caribbean Carnival and how its roots can be traced back to Egyptian fertility festivals to Greek Classical theatre and West African cultural traditions to create a global and distinctly Caribbean cultural expression.

Caribbean Carnival which started in Trinidad and Tobago are celebrated annually in Caribbean countries and in Caribbean diaspora in UK, Canada, USA, Germany and other countries.

Featuring the founder of Leeds West Indian Carnival, Arthur France MBE, LLD, Hon D.Arts, who hails from the Caribbean territories of St. Kitts and Nevis and now resides in Leeds, England and the Trinidadian academic, Marvin George, Dean of the School of Drama at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Jamaica.

Produced May 2021

2. Caribbean Carnival Costumes: The Talent and Artistry

Leeds West Indian Carnival introduces two Leeds-based Carnival designers who lead two well-known troupes, Lornia Gumbs of AnonyMas and the veteran, award-winning and international renowned Hughbon Condor of High Esteem.

Both discuss their passion for Carnival and the artistry and skill in designing intricate and colourful Carnival costumes.

They show us the basic techniques in creating a Carnival Headwear (Lorina Gumbs) and a lightweight flexible backpack (Hughbon Condor). Hughbon shows us his technical genius which makes him the most prolific Carnival designer living in Leeds today.

Produced May 2021

3. Dance and Movements in Caribbean Carnival

Leeds West Indian Carnival takes a brief look at the role of dance and movement in Caribbean Carnival. Dance and movements play an important role in Carnival; its roots can be found in West Africa, the Shango Rituals, Orisha Yards of Trinidad & Tobago, Soca and Calypso performances and on the streets where people gather to play mas.

Dance movements are integral in showing off the splendour of Carnival costumes. Soca and Calypso artists are known to create new dance moves each year to complement their music.

We look at Sailor Mas dance, Chip Step, Blue Devil and Kumina.

Featuring Leeds based dance choreographer, David Hamilton MBE and Akeim Buck, Leeds dancer, demonstrating the basics of Carnival dance art form.

Produced May 2021

4. Steel Pan and the Role of Calypso and Soca Music in Caribbean Carnival

Leeds West Indian Carnival introduces the Steel Pan Family and its different instruments that create the sounds of Caribbean Carnival.

This is a brief history of the steel pan and its creators told by Leeds-based Steel Pan tutor and accomplished musician, Melvin Zakers, leader of New World Steel Orchestra who also presents an introductory lesson in playing pan.

Attilah Springer, Trinidadian Cultural Artist and Carnival Expert takes on a musical journey with some of her favourite Calypso and Soca music artists.

She discusses what their songs mean to her, their impact on the political and cultural landscape of Trinidad and Tobago and their importance in fuelling the energy, vibrancy and passion of Caribbean Carnival.

Produced May 2021


You can view a longer version of Attilah Springer’s discussion of eminent Calypso and Soca artists and the significance of their music in Caribbean Carnival and Marvin George’s interview on the Roots of Caribbean Carnival by clicking on the videos below.

This project was funded by Arts Council England as part of their Covid Emergency Grant.

Supported by Arts Council England

Leeds West Indian Carnival annual events are funded by Leeds City Council.

Leeds City Council