[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.] Sascha Wilson (Trinidad and Tobago Guardian) writes about Kayode Duval (aka Balance) and his performances at the UniverSoul Circus.
A Point Fortin youth has gone from never stepping foot out of T&T to touring across more than 25 states in America within a year through the art of stilt walking. Proudly waving the national flag to all and sundry who visited the UniverSoul Circus, Kayode Duval’s performance was so impressive that he has been asked to return to the circus for a second time. He leaves on Monday for New Jersey and is expected to return at the end of the year.
Duval, known as Balance in the entertainment arena, is one of several students from Kaisokah Moko Jumbies who has represented the country at the circus with a T&T cultural contingent, including limbo dancers, over the past 15 years. The 22-year-old youth said performing at the circus was his biggest dream. “It is a dream come through for me,” Duval told the T&T Guardian yesterday.
“It is something I always wanted to do. The best part of performing across there was waving the flag before thousands of people. They (patrons) enjoyed it to the fullest. The crowd would get excited when we wave the flag.” He said some people had expressed a desire to visit T&T after some of his performances.
He recalled that from a tender age he had watched youths in his community doing stilt walking. “I used to be bothering my grandmother and asking her to join. So when I was about three or four-years-old my grandmother put me to stand up on two milk pans for me to get my balance and by age five I was walking on three-and-a-half-foot long stilts.”
He said he started off with Dexter Stewart and Associates from Point Fortin and then branched off to the Junior Bisnath’s school of art.
Duval, who now walks on five-and-a-half-foot long stilts, has been performing at different events, including Carnival and Borough Day activities, for the past seven years. His presence at the circus was initially requested in 2015 and 2016 but he did not have a passport.
“I finally left last year January and I came back in December. Atlanta was the first place I performed and then I travelled to other states within the US.” He also travelled once to the United Kingdom where he performed in Scotland. [. . .]
[Kaiso Moko Jumbie leader Junior Bisnath, right, and Kayode Duval on stilts leave for the United States to perform in the circus next week. Innis Francis.]
For full article, see https://www.guardian.co.tt/news/trini-stilt-walker-makes-us-mark-6.2.813201.f1a9ade4d5 and https://www.stabroeknews.com/2019/news/regional/trinidad/03/30/trinidad-stilt-walker-tours-25-us-states/amp