The final leg for the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA) semi-finals was held over the weekend at the Combermere School, and with that, all roads for this artistic competition lead directly to the finals being held next month.
The evening included a mixture of the arts, music, dance, and drama being on full display, as the battle for spots in the final heated up.
HMP Dodds is not readily thought about when it comes to the engagement of creative arts in Barbados, however the inmates which form the group, HMP Social Engineers brought their all for their performances on the night.
Opening the evening’s proceedings, the members of the group brought us a play entitled We Are People Too which focused heavily on the social stigma against persons with disabilities. The family in question displayed the complexities of taking care of a person, Stevie, with cerebral palsy, while at the same time helping the family member to lead a somewhat normal life. During the long piece, the emotional Stevie showed how he was not seeking pity from anyone; he just wanted to be seen as a human being.
The feeling of purpose and redemption also played a role in two other pieces performed by the members during the night. Deon Maynard brought us a deep and introspective rap piece called Momma. Deon also teamed up with fellow Social Engineer Arlington Daniel to bring us Misunderstood. The latter rap collaboration was a call for those in power not to forget those among us who have strayed in life and made mistakes, but instead, give assistance to the forgotten, so that they may have a chance to redeem their lives and find purpose.
St Bernard’s Primary School serenaded with a smooth and interesting rendition of Hear the Saints, while Belmont Primary School gave a great and vocally solid delivery of their gospel medley. One thing is certain, these children have big voices and a lot of heart.
Arlington Daniel seemed a bit nervous on stage, however his performance of his original piece, My Soul Mate, was impressive. Lyrically it was sound, and it’s obvious the young man has talent.
Deighton Griffith Secondary School’s dramatic interpretation of the Mighty Gabby’s Emmerton was certainly a huge highlight for the night. In this play, the citizens of Barbados are replaced with two warring factions, the Catanians and the Dogganians. The premise was crazy to say the least, and the lines were corny. However, the fantastical nature of the work was simply amazing. Words cannot express how invested the audience was in what they were seeing on display. It was certainly interesting.
Other expert performances came from the members of Angel Stringz as they held the crowd’s attention with their versions of Emmerton and the theme song from the Godfather trilogy.
Other dance performances of the night came from Ace Academy of Dance, Inside Out, Louise Woodvine Dance Academy, Haynesville Youth Club and The Emerging Choreographers. The Woodvine Academy especially was well received on stage as they showed off their vast experience in their art.
Now that the semis are over, we look forward to seeing which groups and individuals made it to the finals which begin in a matter of weeks. (KK)