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BARBADOS - music - The Holders Season

Date March 29, 2006 by ANDREA KING Compliments of the Nation News

THE HOLDER'S SEASON fills a void for a particular kind of entertainment.

And there needs to be a theatre festival in Barbados.

These were two of the major points made by public relations specialist Adisa Andwele, known to the world as performance poet AJA, last Monday at a Press conference held at Holder's House during the Holder's Season.

The Holder's Season offers classic entertainment in the forms of opera, classical musicians, theatre, poetry, comedy, and jazz, over a two-week period.

"You don't get the content of Holder's anywhere else in Barbados, or even the Caribbean. Trinidad has been coming here to see if they can have a festival of this type there," Andwele said, adding that Wendy Kidd, whose brainchild the festival was, saw it as her contribution to the cultural landscape of Barbados.

Andwele also said amongst the Crop-Over Festival and Jazz festivals, Barbados did not have, in terms of content, a festival which comprised classical music, theatre cabaret, fantastic classic theatre.

"We are glad that there is a Holder's festival, otherwise the cultural landscape of Barbados would have a one-sidedness toward calypso, reggae, and jazz," he said, adding the Holder's Season was not a profit-oriented event.

Andwele also said the Holder's Season afforded Barbados exposure in trade magazines and international media, like the prestigious New York Times and Hello magazine, in a way that the Crop-Over and Jazz Festival did not.

Mainly Bajans

He added that more than 50 per cent of the audience at Holder's Season were Barbadians of all colours, classes, and ages, and was not confined to a European tourist market. He said since the presentation of Inkle and Yarico, the Barbadian audience has been increasing.

"I would like to see private institutions help fill some of the vacuums in the festival circuit, I don't think it is complete yet. I still think we need a real theatre season. Years ago we used to have the Esso Arts Festival, now we don't have that, and we can see there is a decline in dance and theatre."

Andwele said Esso made a real and valuable contribution to Barbados.

"I don't know if they realised what they were doing to Barbados because the arts festival threw up so many dramatists and dancers and musicians. I don't know if corporate Barbados is now only focusing on Crop-Over and not realising that they need to put their money behind the arts," he said, adding the Holder's executive team could confirm that if corporate Britain was not behind Covent Garden the theatre culture there would not be kept going.

"The development of a people is always measured by the arts. I think corporate Barbados must start funding theatre. Theatre in Barbados is down - we go and see some comedy shows, but of real theatre there is hardly any. The arts always have to be funded because of the nature of it."



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