On May 11, the penultimate night of the Capstone presentations at the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination, two films and one dance production were on display.
It proved to be quite the mixed offering, not only when it came to the themes of the productions, but also the attention to detail.
First up was the dance production Unexpected, Unprepared…Undone, choreographed and directed by Charlene Haynes, a silver awardee in the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA). The dance was about a young woman dealing with the loss of a grandmother, and her journey through her stages of grief.
It was full of emotion from the start. The choices of music added to the air of sorrow and through the chaotic movements performed by Lisa King, the audience got a true sense of pain and anguish this young lady was going through as a result of her loss. Several scraps of paper were seen hanging from the ceiling. On these were written the random and furious thoughts of the choreographer. Unexpected, Unprepared…Undone overall was a truly emotional piece, that got its message effectively across to the audience. And what message was that? In the midst of despair, there is always
However, the dance went on way longer than it needed to.
Asked why she chose to focus on grief and loss, Haynes, who entered Errol Barrow Centre of Creative Imagination in 2013, said: “My thesis wasn’t going to be grief at all . . . . [However], before we started our third year… I lost my grandmother and my great-gran . . . It was the only thing on my mind, so I decided why not experiment with that.”
Second up was the film, Going Green, written and directed by Mia Clarke, a Barbadian photographer/filmmaker of over 14 years experience, who is pursuing her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus.
Arguably the most controversial piece of the night, the film openly promotes illicit drug use as part of its characters’ real life. However, there was no eureka moment for any of three main characters, who were obviously dealing with demons. They did exactly the same things that got the people close to them in trouble with the law.
Nonetheless, some noticeable shortfalls in terms of the editing of the film were eased by the performances of the actors who truly immersed themselves in their roles, even though members of the audience were left with the impression that the film had too many characters, and too little time.
Writer Clarke said “I chose to do a film about drugs because of the legalization that is happening now in other countries and here in the Caribbean it’s still very much illegal . . . I found myself associated with persons who liked to smoke and enjoy the highs of marijuana . . . . . It just made me want to look into more what is the big prevalence behind drugs, the drug trade and the different classes in Barbados that it affects.”
The last showing of the night, Cosplay Pride & Industry, was directed, written and edited by Kota F.Cumberbatch,
who has worked as a production assistant on the music video shoot for the song Ferrous by Vita Chambers.
” I made it for the Barbadian cosplay community, cosplayers in general, and the Animekon crowd. That’s my target audience . . . I made it for myself; I made something that I would be interested in seeing,” said Cumberbatch.
Cosplay, which focused on the popular artform, proved to be the true gem of the night.
The blunt, emotional and often hilarious answers from the featured cosplayers (The Horizon and Shasam Cosplay), brought the true sense of passion and dedication these individuals have for the art form. Even though at times they got a backlash for it because of their character choices and even because they are black, it was truly mesmerizing seeing local cosplayers talk from their prospective and educate those of us who are new to it.