On Thursday December 10th 2015, the locally-produced feature documentary, “The Folk Was In Me: A Film on the Kwadril Culture of St Lucia” was officially launched at the Alliance Francaise, Pointe Seraphine. The film, produced and directed by Nadge Frank Augustin, is a documentary on music and dance that celebrates the Creole music and elegant dances that have developed here in Saint Lucia. And with the rich colours of Saint Lucia’s tropical landscape serving as sources of visual inspiration, the film provides an educational journey into the culture, history, and spirit of a Caribbean people.
At the centre of the film is Augustin “Charley” Julian, bandleader of the Manmay La Kaye Folk Band. Through his story evolves a picture of the struggle and love that was emblematic of the Folk revival here in Saint Lucia, and the concerns today of maintaining an authentic approach to these folk artforms. Additionally, interviews with cultural luminaries such as Ma Theresa Hall and the recently-deceased Frank Norville provide first-hand accounts of many forgotten musicians and dancers who were instrumental in developing a deep appreciation of our own creativity and culture.
The film includes extensive demonstrations of some well-established Creole dances: the Lankomet, the Weedova, and the Norwegen. However, the film really centres on the four figures of the traditional Saint Lucian Quadrille. Rarely performed in full today, this is the first film that features all four figures in their entirety. All of these dances were commendably performed by the Flambouyant Dancers of Babonneau.
The general public will have the opportunity of viewing the film on national television as it will be aired on NTN starting December 13th.