Strong messages, touching topics and superbly executed dance pieces took centre-stage last Friday night at the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA) Dance finals at the Frank Collymore Hall.
Dance, the first of the NIFCA finals which feature other forms of creative expression, was the first to be sold out and arguably the most popular. The audience came expecting great dances addressing various themes and important issues and thrilling performances.
And that they received although, in this 50th year of Independence, more dances celebrating this historic milestone were expected.
Nonetheless, the night was filled with excitement as some of Barbados’ best dancers simply showed up, showed out and showed off their skills. Job well done to all.
Justin Poleon was just superb on the night. Appearing in six dances, one a duet and a solo, his energy, talent, poise, grace and enviable skill can only be admired. He received thunderous applause each time he graced the stage from his many supporters and the audience on a whole, quite deservingly so.
He appeared in Freed Nation, Bob’s Song The Migrants Journey To Freedom, Homme and Behind Closed Doors. For his duet with Megan Navarro, they were simply fantastic. These two make a great team and were amazing as usual.
Homme, an excellent performance by Trident Productions, an all-male contemporary group, brought some diversity to the stage.
Ngoma, performed by the award-winning group Dancin Africa, was another highlight of the night. The dance, a fusion of the Afro Caribbean genre, was another excellent presentation and brought much life to the stage to close out the first half.
Over the years, this prestigious dance group has delivered expert presentations and they did not disappoint on this occasion. Dancin Africa is also known for their deep thought provoking pieces and this was brought out in their second piece The Flock. Choreographed by Shea Best, the piece spoke to being leaders or followers in this society. It gave the audience much to think about long after the dancers left the stage.
Any lover of love in the audience would have enjoyed and appreciated the piece Love Story by the Livy & Betty Alleyne Dance Centre. With How Can I Not Love You as the theme song, the dancers delivered a splendid performance that brought many a tear to some eyes in the audience.
Labels, performed by the Louise Woodvine Dance Academy and choreographed by Megan Navarro, was another highlight of the night. This dance with a strong theme left the audience with much to think about.
Going For Gold by The Adrenaline Dancers never gets old, no matter how many times they perform it. The dance is a tribute to the island’s many athletes and is energetic, fun and entertaining. One can only feel a sense of pride when watching. The all male group should be congratulated for a job well done.
Other finals performances came from the Barbados Dance Project, The Collective New Dimensions Dance Ministries Jamal Dawe C-Class Ace Dance Centre Soul Language: The Other Company, and Carl Broomes Shauna Yearwood.