Chutney Music and Dance, Chutney Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago

As with calypso and soca, a hit in the Chutney genre in Trinidad can lead to invitations to perform in Suriname, Guyana and in East Indian communities in North America. While there is not an established dance-hall or party music tradition in the Chutney genre, there are occasions around the festivities of East Indians in Trinidad, at which Chutney music is the main music played, eg. at weddings etc.

Chutney is T&T's latest contribution to the world of music and entertainment. Chutney is a revolutionary concept in music and entertainment. It is a testament to creativity, originality and intellect. It is multidimensional as it gives ventilation to the social, cultural and political landscape. Chutney is not only a new genre for building a sense of national identity, but it is a contributing factor for the creation and adoption of an artistic landscape specifically identifiable to the people of Trinbago.

Chutney Dance

As a result of the African influence on an Indian folk genre, chutney music embodies the transformation of a music for listening into a music for dancing. Dance accompaniment by traditionally dressed (mainly female) choreographed dancers has become the integral part of the spectacle, preserving the indian heritage and adding balance to musicians’ and singer’s performances

Chutney music represents a quick-tempo genre similar to Calypso music and is popular in the party circuit in Trinidad and Tobago. It uses traditional Indian and African instruments fused with electronic instruments in modern times. Chutney music competitions are typically choreographed with female dancers in traditional outfits. The strong influence of soca, a West Indian style of music in Trinidad, leads some to refer to this style of music as chutney-soca.

In Trinidad the dance developed its own flavor and the other folk styles influence Chaatni music and dance and received its “hot and spicy” name Chutney in Trinidad where it is a leading dance style and includes new evolving styles like Soca-Chutney (Soul-Calypso-Chutney). Today, Chutney is danced for its sheer pleasure and excitement by people of all ages, gender and ethnicity.

Current popular dance and music of Trinidadians and Guyanese with ancestors from the Indian subcontinent. The dance is mostly wining, but may incorporate Indian hand gestures or other Indian or Middle Eastern influences; it can be danced to soca or the hybrid chutney-soca or to Indian-influenced music played on North Indian instruments.

While the music is the most vital part of Chutney music genre, the dance aspect of Chutney is just as important. Chutney-style dancing was mainly performed by lower-class women during certain parts of formal weddings. In countries like Guyana and Suriname (residing on the northern border of South America), similar rituals were performed by male dancers. Men from Guyana created these chutney-style dance moves during the 1950s; through folk songs and other up-tempo songs. During weddings, men would dance in this chutney style with either each other or with launda (male cross-dressers).

National Chutney Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago (NCFTT)

The aims and objectives of the National Chutney Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago are to promote, enhance, and research all aspects of the Chutney art forms to advance its presentation to the World, through all available Media and Entertainment forms. Chutney music as a musical form that has come a long way and whose roots run deep in the Hindu wedding ceremony when it was performed by women in the privacy of the dark during the Maticoor Saturday night. "It has moved from sacred ground to licentious halls; from rural community to urban society. Chutney Soca, Chutney Calypso and Chutney Glow were examples of how Chutney music has influenced the construction of the Carnival festival.

This organization began operations in 1994 and was officially incorporated through an Act of Parliament (Act No. 6 of 2000) with the aim of promoting, enhancing and researching all aspects of the Chutney art form and its presentation to the world through all available media and entertainment forms.

The organization also has responsibility for the activities of the now defunct Chutney Soca Organization of Trinidad & Tobago (CSOTT) and Chutney Soca Artistes of Trinidad & Tobago, which were both incorporated into the Foundation. Some of the initiatives include the National Chutney Monarch Competition of Trinidad and Tobago, the Junior Chutney Monarch of Trinidad and Tobago for schools and the National Chutney Calypso Touring Tent of Trinidad and Tobago. The organization receives financial assistance from the Government towards the prizes for various competitions hosted.

Annual National Chutney Monarch competition also hosted by National Chutney Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago (NCFTT). Last year's Chutney Soca Monarch competition held at Skinner Park, San Fernando with huge success. This was the first national competition which benefitted from the PM's promised $2 million prize for the winner. The other three competitions to benefit from this incentive will be the National Calypso Monarch, Soca Monarch and National Panorama final.

New Chutney Competitions in Trinidad and Tobago
The National Chutney Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago (NCFTT) is the Legal and Official body of All aspects of the Artform. NCFTT is incorporated via an Act of Parliament - ACT 6 of 2000. which has recently launched the First Ever Schools Carnival ChutneySoca Monarch Competition of Trinidad and Tobago on the 14TH February 2012 at the Carnival Village, Port of Spain and was won by an Afro Trinbago Student from Couva West Secondary: Mr Anthony Batson. The competition was launched by the Minister of Education Dr Tim Goopeesingh. The other major event the NCFTT developed and launched was the National Carnival ChutneySoca Monarch which was held on the 18th February 2012 at Skinner Park and was won by Mr.Rick Ramotar.

Contact: The National Chutney Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago (NCFTT)
Address: Wrightson Road, Port of Spain, Trinidad
Phone:(868) 624-1024 / 628-2174

Trinidad and Tobago Chutney Artiste Association (TTCAA)

The newly formed Trinidad and Tobago Chutney Artiste Association (TTCAA) was established in an effort to address challenges faced by our local chutney artistes. One of TTCAA’s main objectives, is to provide an accurate definition of the Chutney Soca genre. The Association's main issue of contention revolves around artistes qualifying for the finals with songs containing elements of popular Bollywood and other International melodies.

The organisation is formed to help the chutney artist in getting fair and unbiased airplay and not subject to political corruption...fair and even judging in competitions and to restore integrity to the chutney art form. They also help with lawyer problems, management of careers.. associated with chutney artist.

Contact - Trinidad and Tobago Chutney Artiste Association (TTCAA)
Address: 4 Circular rd.,mt.lambert, trinidad
Contact Persons, Tel: Joseph Pooran 709-1501, Fabien Alfonso (Group Consultant) 707-0400, A.R Gagedeen 707-9722.
Get updated from TTCAA Facebook Page

Some Chutney Music Related Links:
Chutney and other Musics of Trinidad and Tobago
Chutney Genre in Trinidad and Trend
History Of East Indian Chutney Music In The Caribbean
Chutney music Wiki
What is Chutney music and Characteristics