Energy and lots of talent
THE LAST will be first and the first will be last.
But it mattered not that the Darryl Jordan School Steel Orchestra performed first and the Haynesville Youth Club last at the NIFCA Performing Arts Semi-finals in Alexandra School Hall on Saturday evening.
What does matter, though, is that they both should easily have a place in the NIFCA Performing Arts Finals next month.
The evening got off to a lively start with the sweet sounds of the steel pan. The students played a medley of Crop Over 2014 hits and were jumping and dancing as they performed. Porgie & Murdah’s Ah Feeling Ah Feeling, RPB’s Roller Coaster and Sanctuary’s Mega Monday were part of an infectious musical treat served up by the young pannists.
The energetic youngsters reminded those who had journeyed to the north of the island that performing on home turf had its advantages.
The Haynesville Youth Club did an original piece called Phase 2. The rhythmic sounds of the percussion group echoed throughout the hall. It was a delight to see the group, comprising players of varying ages, perform their original piece together.
But Haynesville Youth and Darryl Jordan were not the only ones that could meet the mark.
There were many other performers who could also secure a place in the Finals depending on the level of competition in the other semi-finals, which continue next weekend. Being a judge could not have been an easy task on Saturday.
There was plenty of talent on display, so much so that some people entered with more than one performance, whether it was speech, song, drama or dance. Another positive sign was the number of entrants with original pieces.
So, as the NIFCA jingle bellowed between performances, one could not help but feel an overwhelming sense of national pride based on what was displayed throughout the night: “NIFCA is for you, NIFCA is for me . . . NIFCA is for all Bajans to show wha they can do, NIFCA belong to we.”
An outstanding performance, reminiscent of Bajan culture, came from Kyrell Worrell with a drama piece called Lick Mout Patsy. She and her “daughter” Shanez, both characters played by Worrell, were travelling on a bus. While on the bus Worrell was commenting about any and everything – from gossip, to her interpretation of a few biblical stories, to social issues. Worrell was so caught up in the “talk” that she missed her stop. It was as hilarious as it was wittily written and just as brilliantly performed.
Two soloists who stood out were Torian Smith singing Wipe These Tears and Shem James, who did two songs. However, it was James’ first rendition, an original piece called Rasta Loving, that was the best of the offerings.
The little ones weren’t to be left out of the do.
Roland Edwards Primary sang two original numbers in Read And Succeed and Sustainability.
The latter was very well delivered, the sweet vocals supported by actions in the number dealing with “use, recycling and reuse”.
Ignatius Byer, too, did two songs but Roland Edwards would have beaten them on originality and rendition.
In the dance category, L’Muuv’s choreography to Blackbird might have tied or come close to Praise Academy Of Barbados’ dance piece to Celebration of Praise in terms of flawless delivery. The little ones in Praise Academy were on point with their moves, timing and execution. Their outfits and smiling faces made for a pretty spectacle as well.
Thorn Wood and Adrenalin Dancers also performed well, as he “battled” with a hat on stage. Dancing to a piece called Art Of The Hat, the hat was very persistent in getting Wood to dance to the music it preferred. Jamal Dawe gave a good showing dancing to Every Beat Tells A Story.
Lamarr Coward did a spoken word piece called Stay, but it was when he returned to the stage part of the LSD duo that his talent really came to the fore. You Cut Me is a cleverly written piece touching on social issues and politics and was very well-received by the audience.
Others who gave creditable performances were: Jiana Fagan, Darryl Jordan Secondary School Choir, Patricia Gill & Friends, David Howard, Daniel Hinds & Cathy Allman, Jomario Goddard and Allison Medford.
NIFCA continues next weekend at Combermere School hall.