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Green’s words cut deep

Toni Yarde

Green’s words cut deep

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It is said that actions speak louder than words.

Well, Adrian Green proved that adage to be dead wrong on Saturday night at the National Independence Festival Of Creative Arts (NIFCA) Semi-finals at the Major Noott Hall, Combermere School.

In front of a capacity audience and amidst high-energy dance performances, soulful singing and hilarious dramatisations, it was the spoken word piece Too Small, written and performed by Green, that stood out above the rest.

The NIFCA multi-award winner spoke to the audience about “small-minded” Bajans in a “2×4 country that was way too small” for so many things to be happening.

His piece touched on issues ranging from the 375th anniversary of Parliament, politics, social ills, illegal dumping, severance pay, violence, classism and education.

His words were sharp, yet witty, and echoed through the hall, earning him the loudest round of applause for the night. At times he had to pause as the crowd reacted in agreement to what he was saying.

A place at the NIFCA Finals certainly awaits this talented writer.

The night was dominated by dance, with 11 entries vying for a spot in the finals. Pinelands Creative Workshop and Dancin’ Africa led that segment, offering two exceptional and high-energy performances each from their junior and senior groups.

The two long-standing dance groups used their experience and moves to show why they continue to reign on the local dance circuit.

Three other dance groups also gave a great showing: Elements performing Perception, Zhane Bridgemen Maxwell Group doing Her Sisters’ Keeper and Praise Academy Of Dance with Imag-In-Me.

Young soloists Cherece Richards and Raanan Hackett received resounding approval from the audience for their renditions.

Raanan, reigning Junior Monarch in the 8-12 category, did two selections – his winning calypso No Daddy and Gloria Estefan’s Reach. It was his rendition of the latter that should secure him a place in the finals.

Richards, a student of Frederick Smith Secondary, was in great voice in both of her songs. She sang Yesterday in the first half and United In The Caribbean in the second. Her soulful rendition of the first song was the better of the two.

Notable performances came from Hilltop Primary school choir singing His Mercy Endureth Forever and Save The Children Of The World, and Deacons Primary singing Love Song To Bim.

The one-year-old Deacons choir gave a patriotic start to the night with a medley of songs including Bim I Love You, Island In The Sun, I Love Barbados and Beautiful And Unspoilt, which they sang a capella.

Hilltop further showed versatility with entrants in song and speech categories.

Students Haile Skinner and Rachelle Pollard’s delivery of their piece De Good Ole Days was well-received.

Then it was time for the seniors, who dominated the drama section.

HMP Resilient and renowned Yolanda Holder took command of the stage with two hilariously-delivered yet serious dramatisations.

HMP Resilient’s piece centred on a broken family and dealt with domestic and substance abuse, infidelity and lies.

The group, made up of actors from across the Caribbean, performed the piece called A Lonely Family In Search Of Love. Mum Janet, dad Alex and daughter Kimmie did well in portraying their characters in a humorous way, much to the delight of the audience.

However, if there is a time limit in place for drama, the group could lose out on points since the skit was lengthy.

Holder, dressed in white on Judgement Day, told the story of how she lived a “righteous” life and always followed the Word of God. During Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman Scorned, “God” spoke to her, reminding her about her nephew she had raised from birth.

While reflecting, she remembered how her blood “boiled” when he told her he was a Rasta after studying in Jamaica. As she lamented, she wept openly and shook her head in disbelief.

The skit ended with the God-fearing woman taking up a cross and killing her nephew.

Richelle Adams of HMP Resilient also gave a worthy dramatisation in Images. It dealt with her agonising over the fact that her mum did not set a good example for her.

She constantly pleaded with her mother, who was representative of her “image”. She accused her mother of choosing a man over her and allowing her uncle to abuse her as he did the mother.

Others who gave memorable performances were Motivation Dancers, Shauna Richards, Tanisha Nedd, Jeliah Boyce and Jelani Matthews-Ifill.

The last NIFCA Semi-final was held last night. The finals will start on Friday.