by Donna Sealy
It is easy to see why Janine White, Chrystal Cummins-Beckles, Tabion Marshall, the Louise Woodvine Dance Academy’s Haunted and the Aisha Comissiong choreographed Her-Story performed by Dancin’ Africa, won NIFCA gold awards this year.
They stood out from among hundreds of entries this year and earned their places at the NIFCA Gala, where they performed before a large audience that included Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave and Lady Belgrave, Chief Justice Marston Gibson, Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley, his wife Deborah, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the National Cultural Foundation, John Clarke, and members of the board.
White had the Wildey Gymnasium in stitches with her dramatic piece This Body is Not Mine. Starting from her head to her feet she told of the foibles of her body which several people in the audience seemed to identify with. It was hilarious!
Comissiong dedicated Her-Story to her mother Sally. It was riveting from start to finish and although the applause was not thunderous, people seemed to be left thinking about the tragedy being perpetuated through dance. It was hard to watch and not be stirred.
Adrian Green won a silver award for all his Hard Work, he captivated the audience with his ability and performances as a wordsmith and several agreed with his equation: Success = Deep Thought + Hard Word X Time.
Daniel Lashley’s voice is sweet and to hear the youngster sing about domestic violence in Black & Blue was poignant. He followed Lamarr Coward who evoked laughter with his Age of Consent, but the seriousness of his message about young girls and their behaviour and mindset was not lost either.
ElavaXion Dancers’ Les Batailles d’un Teenager was an interesting way to tell the story of bullying and Pinelands Creative Workshop’s performance titled Bele — The Legacy for which they copped bronze was good.
Nine-year-old Marshall, who won gold in the Literary Arts, was at pains to tell his mother and teacher why I’s a Bajan and the audience agreed with him, while St. George Primary School’s Tribute to Jeannete Layne-Clark was a riot. The young actors and actresses played their role at the “funeral” so well.
Cummins-Beckles made a strong case for Barbadians to Get On Ya Knees and Pray.
Accompanied by some members of the Alleyne School Choir, she was good and the song she sang in the 2010 Pic-O-De-Crop competition sounded just as fresh as back then.
The choirs showed that a lot of talent abounds in schools.
Alleyne, (Kumbaya), Ignatius Byer (The Environment), CP Unit (Tomorrow), and The St. Michael School (Angels We Have Heard) were good and the students enjoyed performing.
Silver awardee, Lisa Griffith’s rendition of Gabby’s Emmerton was outstanding, as was Amanda Fields’ O Mio Babino Caro. Both women showed their vocal range and the audience showed its appreciation with loud applause.
Music Will Play, a group comprising Adrian Boo Husbands, Willie Kerr, Dwayne Hood, Richard Smith and Gregory Hunte should record La Coquette. So too should the Rafeal Hinds’ led quintet of musicians playing 24/7. The latter’s was an energetic performances while the former’s was playful and more mature.
Performing Support earlier during the gala, the Louise Woodvine Dance Academy returned to the stage with Haunted. The costume and special effects were awesome and the dancers really looked like zombies as they moved to Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
They brought the curtain down on the more than three hour show that was a night of great entertainment, that showed Barbados’ heritage, and pride and creative industry would not die any time soon.