It was a night for the dancers to shine.
When the curtain came down on the Northern Zone Parish Talent Show at the weekend it was with four new winners that would represent the parishes of St. Peter, St. Lucy, St. Andrew, and St. James in the Spirit of the Nation, but also with a very satisfied audience at the Coleridge & Parry School Hall.
Themed Northern Explosion, the four hour show featured some of the best talent to come out of each parish’s respective talent competitions in keeping with the Community Independence Celebrations.
Each parish had a maximum of five possible acts in the finals but even though on the night two of St. James’ talents withdrew from the competition, at the end only one from the four parishes could be declared winner.
In St. Peter it was the smooth Alexandra School Dancers, who stole the show from an impressive Shakeda Williams; for St. James, young calypsonian Raanan Hackett proved too much for the Young Patriots, while the Anointed Expressions in St. Andrew beat out experienced chanter Orville Blackman and Rasheeda Broomes dominated fellow dancer Julie Burnett for St. Lucy.
Most of the talent was good on the night, but the competition to choose the eventual winners would still have been a tough one for the judges.
Fourteen-year-old Amoura Boyce opened the night for St. Lucy with Cry, and while her voice was a strong one, the song she chose for a competition at this final stage perhaps did not show off her vocal range to its best, as the crowd was definitely left with the feeling that she had so much more to give. A dance, Expression of Future Hope by Burnett for St. Lucy, quickly followed by parish mate and fellow dancer Broomes’ Celebration, were perhaps two of the toughest solo performances of the night to judge.
Most of the performances on the night and one of the toughest parishes was St. Peter, which kicked off its action with young Jenelle Bovell with Let’s Talk HIV, had the audience in stitches as the small lass rendered a dramatic piece written by an eight-year-old on behalf of St. Peter. Kymar Hoyte gave a good account of himself as well with an original song, Mama, I Love You, even as Williams blew the crowd away with an alto-like rendition of Bridge Over Troubled Waters that one woman in the audience admitted brought tears to her eyes. If that was all the parish had, it still would have been a tough task, but The Hope Mimers’ I Am Amazed and The Alexandra School Dancers’ Resurrection would surely have left the judges with much to decide.
St. Andrew’s talent was not to be taken lightly though – Blackman’s rendition of Mini Bus Ride though eventful and hilarious for St. Andrew, lost some its meaning in translation as too many of the words fell off in delivery. Fellow competitors Anointed Expressions with Holy Walk, Janelle Osbourne’s impressive violin performance Bridging the Gap and Ingrid Aimey-Hill’s sometimes off-key but nevertheless passionate I Want A Plantation, made sure that St. Andrew was a serious contender on the night in the judging arena.
And finally, St. James, with two performances in the runnings, gave a good account, though easier to decide. Hackett’s De New Raanan, was a clear shot above the Young Patriots’ rhythm poetry The Environment.
Of note also were the performances of Damien Leacock, whose strong voice in the original composition This Girl is surely one to develop for future competition and Lianne Troubble Hinds, whose hilarious social commentary Bottom Bay Migration was thoroughly enjoyable as a guest performer. (LB)