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La Gracia Dancers present ‘potpourri’ of entertainment

La Gracia Dancers present ‘potpourri’ of entertainment

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Jamila Soso-Vincent 06.FEB.09

The La Gracia Dance Company breathed life into the Peace Memorial Hall last Saturday, January 31st, as it presented a collection of dance routines, appropriately titled “Potpourri”.{{more}}

The well-choreographed dances were performed to a fitting medley of Gospel, R&B, Dancehall, Calypso and Soca music. From the first moment that La Gracia’s dancers took to the stage, it was apparent that a lot of time and effort had gone into rehearsals. They made full use of the stage with fully executed movements, and hardly ever missed a beat.

The colourful and creative stage backdrop, which was designed by Julian ‘Peling’ Pollard, set the mood for the evening. The costumes gave the production that extra flourish, as they accentuated the dancers’ movements, despite there being a few minor fumbles and flexed feet when they should have been pointed.

Most of the dancers were quite expressive – their faces reflecting the mood of the music, whether it was joyful, somber, playful or pained. This was surely a key factor in the rapturous applause the dancers received from the crowd after each performance.

With seven dance routines in the first half and nine in the second, and interspersed entertainment from a host of performers, which included Shernelle ‘Skarpyon’ Williams and the La Gracia Modeling Team, the show went on a tad too long, despite the prompt 8 p.m. start.

To its credit, it must be said that the modeling team, which comprised approximately 17 five to eight-year-olds, was able to whip the crowd into a frenzy, as they showed off their attire. There was enough strutting and posturing to guarantee at least two future Miss SVG contestants. One reluctant model missed her cue to walk the stage. However, the wait was well worth it when she sashayed about – clearly stealing the limelight for that segment.

Repeated on the following night, this “Potpourri” production was the brainchild of group founder Maxine Browne, who is employed as a Dance Development Officer within the Ministry of Culture.

With 60 members hailing from both the Leeward and Windward sides of the island, La Gracia Dance Company was founded in 2002. Since then they have gone from strength to strength, performing at numerous events and functions. The group emerged as champions in the 2004 National Dance Festival, and placed third when they represented SVG at the Caribbean Dance Festival.

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