Julien Neaves, Caribbean Head Writer
Wine (verb). Origin: West Indian.
Definition: Dance with rhythmic gyratory movements of the pelvic region.
Example: ‘The crowd jumped and wined and churned the field into mud’Source: lexico.com
Caribbean people are quite familiar with the term “wine”, a gyrating dance done by women and men, alone or with another person (or persons). It is especially popular during Carnival celebrations and feting (partying). No, it is not spelt “whine” (and you can make a West Indian whine by spelling it like that) and no it is not “twerking”, which is a single movement whereas wining is more complex. And that complexity is explored in the 2020 Trinidad and Tobago documentary short Art of Wining (The Dance).
Now on the surface a wining documentary may sound like just an excuse to string together a bunch of clips of sexy women shaking what their mamas gave them (and we do have a few of those here) but Art of Wining takes a more academic approach. Through a series of interviews and info blocks we learn about the history of the dance, its relevance to Carnival celebrations, its perception, and the mechanics of it. So there is a lot more going on there than just “pelting waist” as we say in Trinidad.
The interviews here are also quite informative. They include dance teacher and part-time lecturer Mindy Giles who gives a historical breakdown, ten-time Road March winner (top Carnival parade of the bands song) and seven-time Soca Monarch winner Austin “Superblue” Lyons on wining and its importance to Carnival, and Artistic Director of the dance company Elle InfiniTT La Shaun Prescott. I can’t say I’ve ever thought that much about wining but the contributions from these experts were quite thought-provoking.
One missing aspect, however, would be a conservative or religious perspective just to balance things out. Yeah, not everyone is a fan of the dance and it is viewed in some quarters as vulgar debauchery.
But other than this omission Art of Wining is a solid, well put together documentary.
Editor Jules’s Score: 7 out of 10
You can check out The Art of Wining for yourself on GT Caribbean Network by clicking here. And you can check out more Caribbean documentary films below:
Julien “Editor Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. Read more.