For the first- and second-year dance students in the Barbados Community College’s Associate Degree dance programme, performing at Frank Collymore Hall must be thrilling – there is a deep stage and plenty of wing space. And throughout the evening there were fantastic performances and some very clever choreography.
Tuesday night’s showcase, at which the students were being scored by invigilators, began with first years performing VD: The Music From Within.
A piece with a vivid vocal element, it was devised by the six dancers and also choreographed by John Hunte.
Shameka Walters’ Scarred was a narrative piece – dark, depressing and very emotional.
After the dabble with Walters, there came the second years with Rohan Blanche’s Internalized, danced to three different types of music – chants, drums and a song.
The costumes were very effective in tying in with the theme of the dance. There was lots of character and individual detail in the mixed styles of dancing – leaps, tumbles, stretches. Blanche, also part of the piece, is a balanced and graceful mover.
He was joined by Carol Brathwaite, Cheryl Brathwaite, Orlando Chase, Kayla Hinds and Chante McDonald.
The Keisha Squires piece Reflections had a strong message of reflections. Moving from unhappiness to a joyous end, it had a bold and emphatic sequence that was helped by the use of the mirror prop.
Missy Do-Wright: Dance Of The Bells was a bit long but very enjoyable. Rene Blackman’s story about an apprentice dancer who couldn’t do anything right incorporated hip hop, ballet and modern dance.
Ménage, choreographed by the five dancers in the piece, impressed with its powerful dance and music. The selective modifications and variations made the shifts in moods apparent. Teasing, tantalizing, the art of seduction could not be missed.
The last exam piece, Fusion, was an experimental piece, using the Landship as a stimulus – and it worked. The cast’s interpretation was an excellent group effort. All of the dancers understood the mood and tone of the piece, the degree of emotion required and how, as individuals and pairs, they fitted into it. They linked and broke away very well.
The three drummers should take a bow. It was a fitting touch rather than a full use of a track.
Providing entertainment, Class 7 showed how girls can lift and be physically supportive by relying on technique rather than brute effort. Danielle Alleng, Amaris Clarke, Jai Clarke, Hinds, Maisha Jordan and McDonald all figured strongly, especially with their intertwining work, their balance and their detail.
The showcase was a level of professionalism and creativity. It was with loud applause that the audience at Frank Collymore Hall welcomed the emergence of the newest talents in Barbados.
Internalized is crying out to be repeated. Fusion is exciting choreography, for both dancers and audience.