The fourth semi-final of the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA) was another top-class display of young talent on the island.
However, the show last Friday night at the Alexandra School Hall also demonstrated the heart-break that can come from a performance that did not go as planned.
Many flocked to the north of the island to support those performing in the disciplines of dance, music and theatre, and they were not disappointed.
The students of the Alexandra School, who had home advantage, gave an excellent performance of their dramatic piece Let We Take A Picture.
Some 19 students from the school’s drama club performed in the non-professional category, highlighting the issue of cyber bullying and exploring the subject from a teenager’s perspective.
The piece, though comical at times, stressed the importance of eliminating any form of bullying and showed its negative effects on children.
The primary schools were also well represented and should be commended for a job well done.
From the St Giles Primary came a dance titled Hope For Tomorrow. The modern contemporary piece was dedicated to the victims of hurricanes Irma and Maria and to those affected by the devastating earthquake in Mexico City.
The touching dance captivated the audience from start to finish and the refrain in the song ‘we weren’t there but we feel and we care’ tugged at the emotions of all who witnessed the performance.
The Reynold Weekes Primary School students, in a dance choreographed by Julie Greenidge and Reanne Rock, thrilled the audience with their African styled depiction.
The dance spoke to the African heritage of most Barbadians.
The St Bernard’s Primary presented a hip-hop infused dance titledGhana Style.
Link’d, a group comprising six young ladies, came together for the second time ever and brought the audience alive with their energetic performance. Presenting a medley of Rihanna’s hit songs, the two singers, two guitarists, keyboardist and drummer, had the crowd singing along for their entire set.
Ashe Augustine gave a great rendition of her original calypso social commentary Dreams. The Ellerslie school student, who is a former NIFCA bronze medallist, delivered a strong rendition of her song. The piece spoke to her dreams of seeing an end to violence in Barbados.
Kudos must also go to the two soloists from Codrington International, Kai Glasby and Sofia Rossidi. They both gave good performances.
Shontae Alleyne-Clarke’s night might not have gone as planned but she too should be commended for a job well done.
The nine-year-old who aspires to be a singer like her idol Rihanna, attempted the song Listen by Beyoncé, but was unable to hit some of the high notes and left the stage in tears. She didn’t return to perform her second song.
Kia Downes is one to watch for the future. The first-time NIFCA entrant from the Parkinson Secondary School gave a comical performance of a dramatic piece Job Interview.
Loud cheers and laughter could be heard from the crowd throughout Kia’s performance, which featured a young lady applying for a job, but who was clueless to her bad work ethic.
Irijah Alkins performed an original, The Outlandish Minds, a dramatic piece describing the thought processes of a writer. In it, she urged the audience to be more in tune with what was going on around them.
Also performing were Shane Jordan, Jeliah Boyce, Barbados Dance Theatre, Sade Brathwaite and Jamal Dawe, Shea Best, Leanne Hall and Nicole Hall, and the Haynesville Youth Club. The St James community group too should be commended for a job well done.