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National Dance Festival Continues This Weekend

Dance_Fest_2016revTHIS SATURDAY, September 17, the 12th annual Kingstown Cooperative Credit Union (KCCU), Ministry of Tourism, Sports and Culture National Dance Festival continues with displays of modern and popular

Last Saturday, at the Peace Memorial Hall in Richmond Hill, the annual dance showcase was launched to a sold-out audience and according to Maxine Mavorn Browne, coordinator of the festival and head of the Dance Unit in the Ministry of Culture, this year’s festival has seen a rise in participation. Browne, who is also the Dance Development officer in the Ministry of Culture, said that for the first time ever, the St Vincent Grammar School entered a group.

The all-boys group performed in the traditional folk dance category (primary and secondary schools) and did their version of the maypole dance to the tune of Gamal ‘Skinny Fabulous’ Doyle’s “Solid as a Rock”. The dance was choreographed by Nadine Delpesche and was well received by the audience, which included Minister of Culture Cecil ‘Ces’ McKie and former minister of culture René ‘Mama Culture’ Baptiste.

“I will like to commend the St Vincent Grammar School. We try to encourage boys to take part and when you are confident that’s good, so I will like to commend them doing the maypole,” said Browne. According to Browne, this year, the organizers decided that dancers who will be taking part as a member of a community group could not perform with the school groups. She noted that this was done to get more persons involved in the festival, as groups that would have found themselves short of dancers because of the new rule would have to recruit and train new dancers, thus introducing new persons to dance.

“I think the opening was very successful, because there was great crowd support and the choreographers have great technical skills. Everybody pulled their weight,” said Browne. The grand finale and awards ceremony will be held on Saturday, October 1st and according to Browne, when the festival is finished, about 10 schools, nine community groups and over 100 dancers would have taken part.

Next week Saturday, September 24, will see performances in social dance like the Cha Cha Cha, Waltz and Meringue. During the grand finale, the best dances and dancers will be showcased and gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded.

Last year, the Arabesque Dance Company seniors took the top awards, while the Lowmans Leeward Primary School were judged the best junior performers.

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