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BARBADOS - music


The National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA) is an annual event held in Barbados. Compliments of the Nation News

STOP THE VIOLENCE. Between pauses to catch his breath and moans of a bad back, 'senior citizen' Dan-Jamal Weekes urged rude boys and girls to stop the violence and warned them that they would "reap what yuh sow". Weekes' plea came in his presentation of Fellow Countrymen Unite, one of the thrilling acts performed at the Princess Margaret Secondary School, St Philip, on Friday evening at the second of eight semi-finals in the Performing Arts category of the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA). NIFCA is the annual exposition celebrating the culture and heritage of Barbados. It started last Thursday with tremendous performances by many young performers.

Dan-Jamal Weekes  at NIFCA  2005
THE Prime Minister's NIFCA Award for Originality was among Gene Carson's achievements in 2005

Date October 16, 2005 by Andrea King Compliments of the Nation News

AND SO - already - another year of NIFCA has come around.

The first of eight semi-finals in the Performing Arts category of the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA) was held last Thursday at the Princess Margaret Secondary School, Six Roads, St Philip.

Theatre arts officer Annette Nias said there was increased participation in the Performing Arts, which in turn has led to an increased number of semi-finals.

In this the first one, there were more entrants in the category of Music than in Drama/Speech, and Dance, for which there was only one piece. This choreography, called Expressions, was performed by four young women named Harmony Angels, who also formed part of a choir which rendered the old gospel Nothing But The Blood.

The dance, if lacking in the high energy and intensity that characterises street/hip hop dance, certainly had the vocabulary of that idiom, and the girls could not be faulted for being synchronised.

In the 13 entrants for music performed on that night, there was one school band, from the Christ Church Foundation School, who fittingly opened the evening's performances with the Mark Lorde national tribute, My Country To Me.

The purity and innocence of childhood voices were portrayed by eight-year-old Aaron and six-year-old Shanice King, who are now in their second year of NIFCA, representing the St Christopher Primary School. Obviously being brought up in a religious tradition, the siblings rendered a christianised version of the Alicia Keys pop song, If I Ain't Got You, and You Raise Me Up.

Also trying for a place in the finals were Youth Achieving Results graduate, Kevin Morris; the Mount Tabor Primary School; soloist of Parkinson School, LaToya Elcock; trombonist Winston Holford, and solo pannist of the Deighton Griffith School, Kristle Cole, who can rest assured she earned her place.

Again going for the gold was dramatist and multi-award veteran Dario Walrond, who is virtually growing up on the NIFCA stage; as well as silver medallist Shamara Moore, the St Martin's-Mangrove drama club and solo entrants Jalicia Bascombe and Kristin Alkins.

It will be a series of long nights for the judges in each category. For Drama/Speech, chief judge is Clairmont Taitt, along with Dr Viola Davis, Dr Marcia Burrowes, Dyrstra Browne, Varia Williams, and Sharon Carew-White. For Dance, there is Granville Garner, Wendy Green, Philip King, and Sophia Mounter, and Virginia Sealy. And the Music judges are Grace Thompson, Captain Roy Corbin, Richard Layne, and Margaret Williams.

The pleasant voice of MC Jewel Forde kept the audience informed of the performance history of the entrants, and of up-coming events in NIFCA for the nex few weeks.

The NIFCA Performing Arts Finals will be held from November 2 to 5, and the much anticipated gala on November 20. The semi-finals continue today at Combermere School at 5 p.m.

Last year with a twist to the ongoing theme of ‘Excellence’, this Festival will be centered on the buzz words, ‘‘Excellence starts here’ as hundreds of NIFCA participants reach for NIFCA Gold and hope to be rewarded with outstanding awards.
Dazzling talent is protrayed after the feature address which on this occation was delivered by Sen. John Williams, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office. Gracing the stage for what was only the second major public launch to the National Cultural Foundation’s (NCF) hallmark Festival, was some of last year’s top NIFCA awardees in recorder soloist Dwain Gill who won the James Millington Award for Music and the Israel Lovell Steel Orchestra that won the only other Gold in Music to be awarded last year.
With choreography that was stunning, the Pinelands Creative Workshop mesmerized onlookers with their dance moves as they shared the special occasion of their 25th anniversary with the public.
The launch also featured fresh talent from the a cappella group Ambience which emerged out of the NCF and Division of Youth Affairs’ Youth Achieving Results programme. They performed one of their original pieces. From 4:30 p.m. the public had the opportunity to visit the cultural informational booths on the terrace of the Frank Collymore Hall and interact with the NCF’s Cultural Officers.
Special demonstrations in the same area exposed visitors to the art of portraiture, drum making, improvisational dance and other art forms.
The Foundation was excited at once again having an intimate community feel to the launch of NIFCA – a Festival that truly reflects the passion and diversity of local culture.




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