A mixture of electrifying and attention-grabbing dance moves were on display at the Frank Collymore Hall recently as members of the Barbados Dance Project (BDP) put their skills to the test.
After mere days of intensive training, a combination of award-winning and upcoming artistes delivered messages through a blend of artistic dance forms, much to the delight of the more than 490 appreciative patrons who packed the hall.
The fifth annual free showcase, hosted by the Central Bank as part of the Frank Collymore Hall’s sunset concert series, had two parts with a total of 17 entertaining performances.
Occasional screams and sustained applause filled the Spry Street, Bridgetown location throughout the performances, an indication of the strong support for the dancers and gratitude for their display of talent.
The event which began just after 6 p.m. and lasted about two hours, kicked off with a delightful modern dance piece by the group Multifarious Dance Crew. Other groups included Riddim Tribe, Pehñyo Junior Team, Pearl Dance Academy, and the Orchard Movement.
While the dancers were too many to mention, some of the pieces included some well-known faces such as Shakayla Estwick, Liam Woodvine, Shea Best, Tahirah Mann, Caleigh Reece, Justin Poleon, Saleem Small, and Kemal Marshall.
BDP tutors, Major Nesby and Mia Li, made special guest appearances, while Barbadian Julia Headley from the National Theatre Mannheim made a surprise appearance to perform an excerpt from the German company’s repertoire.
Founder of the BDP Jamal Callender was delighted at the turn out and response from the audience. He said the hard work and dedication of the performers showed that the art form is not dead.
“I want to thank you for the support. I want to thank all who participated in making this a success. Dance in Barbados is alive and well,” said Callender.
He indicated that the dancers were not only involved in the art of dancing, but other aspects of career development including resume writing, all in an effort to make them professionals.
With the showcase becoming increasingly popular, officials have indicated that it could attract a small fee in coming years.
General Manager and Producer at the BDP John Hunte told Barbados TODAY he was satisfied that the performances continued to improve while the showcases continued to attract a full house.
He explained that the young dancers were constantly training, adding that they have already started planning for 2019.
“We seek to bring experts in other styles of performance – African, Ballroom and Latin and musical theatre – in keeping with the needs of the community and the opportunity to encourage them to the professional level,” said Hunte.
“We are moving toward the realization of a regional Caribbean dance company that is based in Barbados and that performs in a dedicated training and performing arts space,” he added. (MM)