There are few things that I like better than sitting by the pool (or ocean, lake… you get the idea) with a good book!!! This kind of drives Davin mental as he likes to be going all. the. time… But he indulges me, and makes sure that our action-packed vacations have time for some good R&R 🙂
At some point we went for lunch, and then wandered down to the beach in Les Trois-Îlets that is about a 3-5 minute was from where we were staying. We pretty much just wandered around town for the rest of the day as we hadn’t really had a chance to explore the place we were staying except just for dinner. There are some really great lunch places/huts on the beach. We intended to come back (as we had already ate lunch), but never made it! Just not enough time. Next time 🙂
In our hotel there was a performance they called “ballet” scheduled for that night, and happy hour around the same time. So we got cleaned up and headed down to “watch” it…
BUT little did we know we were headed into crowd participation! Definitely NOT ballet.
We could heard this awesome drum based music from our room and when we got downstairs the performance had already began. It started with the ladies doing a great traditional Martiniquan dance about harvesting. There were also men dancers, and they performed a few traditional numbers as well. It was very entertaining, and also neat to experience some of the culture..
Throughout the MC told us different stories about the history of Martinique, and about the transition away from slavery and how he felt it impacted different aspects of their lives. He was both very informative and super funny! He had everyone laughing all night 🙂
There were a few other dances. Davin and I were settled in for an evening of being entertained. That is until WE became the entertainment! 😀
There was about half an hour at the end dedicated to crowd participation. They grabbed Davin and I almost immediately. Probably because we were laughing, having fun, and looked like the type of people who wanted to be in the action 🙂 It’s always fun when a show turns into a crowd participation event to watch the look on the faces of people sitting around you and see them get all of a sudden really interested in something away from the stage. Or have to immediately go to the bathroom! My sister and I used to do Polynesian dance growing up. We would often perform on weekends and at the end of the show there was always crowd participation where we invited people up onstage with us, so I know the look well! Lol! But I unstrapped from my sky-high platform sandals (gotta have my heels!) and Davin kicked off his shoes and we were all in!
The dance that we were taught is called the Bélé. Each of the male dancers brought up a female guest, and the female dancers did the same for male guests. And this became our partner for the dance. The dance itself is umm, kind of hard to explain. But it involves lots of booty shaking, and hip thrusting… with your partner of the opposite sex at very predictable intervals!!! Hah!
It is a dance that is associated with the harvest and fertility (and you will know why if you watch the link below!). The MC told us that during the period of slavery, the slaves would sneak away from their homes, and practice this dance in private as it was outlawed. The resilience of the human spirit is remarkable!
Here is a description from wikipedia:
“The Martinique bèlè is a legacy of the slave music tradition. The bélé itself is a huge tambour drum that players ride as though it was a horse. It is characterized, in its rhythm, by the “tibwa” (two wooden sticks) played on a length of bamboo mounted on a stand to the tambour bèlè, and is often accompanied by a chakchak (a maracas). The tibwa rhythm plays a basic pattern and the drum comes to mark the highlights and introduce percussion improvisations.
It is organized in a certain way, the first entry of the singer ( lavwa ) and choir ( lavwa Deye or “answer”). Then the “Bwatè” (player ti bwa) sets the pace, followed by bèlè drum. Finally, the dancers take the stage. A dialogue is created between the dancers and the “tanbouyè” (drummer). The “answer” play opposite the singer, the audience can also participate. As a family, together singers, dancers, musicians and audiences are lured by its mesmerizing rhythms.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bélé)
Here is also a link to a youtube video that not only shows you some of the dance, but also has a bit of an explanation about its origin and meaning (if you are up on your French):
It was a blast and we laughed so hard doing our “courting” dance for the partners that picked us. And the whole crown was laughing and got pretty into it. Then at the end the MC chose a “King” and a “Queen” who he thought danced the best (If I had known it was a competition I would have shook my booty harder!!). But as it happened it wouldn’t have mattered because he chose me and Davin!!! *Huge smile, always winning :D* Then we got to finally dance the Bélé together. My makeup was everywhere by the end of it from sweating (its pretty energetic and hot/muggy!), and laughing so hard I was crying!
GUESS WHERE WE GOT TO GO FOR DINNER!!!!!????
Yep! Back to my FAVOURITE restaurant with my favourite Accras de Morue!!!
As mentioned, Davin likes trying new places. And I like tried tested and true… But tonight I talked him into taking me back here for dinner because I loved it so much the first time 🙂 He laughs at me and says, “you would come here every night of our stay wouldn’t you? Six nights straight. And you probably would order the same thing every time!?” Yep, that’s me in a nutshell. And proud of it 😀
We sat at the same table (awesome!) and I had the exact same grilled white fish with accras de morue as an appetizer (whoohoo!). In this picture you can see what I mentioned in my previous post a bit better. About the boats in the harbour. Very beautiful spot. Love this restaurant!
After dinner we were feeling like going dancing. We didn’t know if there were any nightclub type places in town. But we started to walk in the direction where we thought they may be located.
We asked a few people who told us the best thing to do was take a cab out of town. We didn’t really want it that bad, so we wandered into a way-too-cool lounge with loud music in town. Cocktails started at €15… No thank you!!! So Davin spun me around on the dance floor a few times just to say we did it, and then we left like we were up-to-no-good.
We ended up getting soft serve ice-cream from the same place we did the other night, and wandered together back to the hotel. The next day we were going hiking again, so decided it is probably best that our “party-time out” was cut a little short 🙂