Here at Bajan Vibes we don’t profess to be judges. We don’t brag or boast to know-it-all in the area of arts or entertainment. We simply see ourselves as spectators with a pen – a pen that has a powerful reach. That said, I would not wish to be on the judging panel of the 2018 Scotiabank NIFCA Dance Finals.
To say theirs is a hard task would be an understatement. So, I will stick to my task at hand which is to call it as I see it. Here goes.
The final was staged last Friday and Saturday before packed audiences at the Frank Collymore Hall. The 20 acts on Saturday were simply captivating. But if I were asked to choose a stand out performance or the group that impacted the most, it would be the Multifarious Dance Crew.
The reigning Community Development Department’s (CDD) Community Dancefest champions appear to still be basking in the glow of that victory which they secured earlier this year.
Their performance was not only highly entertaining and hilarious but they fittingly made use of Bajan culture throughout the routine. Do Um Fuh De Kulture did just that. With a mixture of folk songs, soca, kaiso, spouge, hits from Gabby, Richard Stoute, Lil Rick, Stiffy, a DJ mix by renowned DJ Puffy and of course, R&B from Rihanna, the guys were full of energy and executed well. Still not a judge, but they get full points in the categories of choreography and creativity and were well ahead of the pack in the area of showmanship and visual appeal.
Added to that, there will always be something very special and nostalgic about hearing and seeing 100 per cent Bajan culture on display at NIFCA just weeks before Independence. If you doubt me, ask the close to 500 capacity crowd at the Frank Collymore Hall who screamed, shouted and chanted for more as the group came to the end of their set.
Praising and worshipping God was also a huge part of the final. Hillaby Nazarene Dance Ministry did a routine called Thy Word; Gentle Steps Arts Academy did Higher Power; GospelFest Dancers performed Celebration; Praise Academy of Dance danced to Glory in the Heavens.
Numerous topics were covered through dance. Bajan ace dancers’ Nandi Yard’s Heavy Heart was about the struggle of someone with breast cancer. Praise Academy of Dance’s Por Siempre dealt with the 1976 Cubana crash off Barbados. Ashe Augustine portrayed Snippets of De Caribbean Woman while Mudiwa Dance Ensemble did Black Woman Rising.
Another outstanding performance on the night was The Dance Collection with Let It Be. They glided across the stage in their silver grey outfits making for a spectacle. Then they did another piece in the second half choreographed by Nikki Ward called Breathe. Ironically, they performed that just before Dance Strides Barbados who did Exhale.
Jamal Dawe, who was part of the group Multifarious, took to the stage earlier in the night during the first half doing a street dance to TimeScape. Raheem Cox also did a street dance called Experiment Supertalented, but his was in the second half.
And of course, after being a part of the NIFCA finals for the past 25 years, both Dancin Africa seniors (In the Mood) and juniors (Sinte) performed and they both thrilled the audience.
So too did Haynesville Youth Club fully loaded with their rhythm section as they executed Rhythms, Vibes and Dance. As NIFCA celebrates 45 years, the club celebrated ten years of participating.
Others who performed were: Ace Dance Centre (Facettes De L’Amour) and Louise Woodvine Dance Academy (Fuego).
More NIFCA action is on this weekend with the Theatre Arts Finals at the Daphne Joseph Hackett Theatre both Friday and Saturday night. The NIFCA Performing arts Gala will be held on Sunday, November 18, 6 p.m. at the Wildey Gymnasium. (IMC)