Schools taste victory at national dance festival
The Lowmans Leeward Anglican School, the Girls’ High School, the St Joseph’s Convent Kingstown and Rooted Methodist Dance Ministry are the first groups to earn gold medals in this year’s national dance festival competition.
The 13th KCCU National Dance Festival held its first night of competition last Saturday at the Peace Memorial Hall, where schools and community groups performed dances in the traditional and creative folk categories.
The Lowmans Leeward Anglican School received gold medals in both the traditional and creative folk categories; first with “The Quadrille” and then with a precisely executed piece titled “Feel the Spirit of Chatoyer”.
First timers to the competition, Rooted Methodist Dance Ministry also received gold medals in both categories. In the traditional folk category, they performed “The Quadrille: Secret Hideaway of the ancestors” and in the creative folk category, they performed a dance titled “Spreadin’ di gospel”.
The Girls’ High School earned the judges nod for a gold medal in the traditional folk category with “The Quadrille”. But the all-girl institution had to settle for a silver medal in the creative folk category, with their dance titled “In the Rhythm”.
St Joseph Convent Kingstown’s creative folk dance, which was titled “Strife to Victory” earned them their gold medal for the night. But they received a silver medal in the traditional folk category for their execution of “The Punta”.
Minister of Tourism and Culture, Cecil McKie, at the beginning of Saturday’s event, said it was an honour to collaborate with the Kingstown Co-operative Credit Union (KCCU) to stage the biannual dance festival.
“Over the next four or so weeks, together we will bring to you, persons in dance who were there over the years but more importantly, the new set of dancers of St Vincent and the Grenadines. We will create for them, the platform, the stage and the ambience for them to perform to audiences in St Vincent and the Grenadines,” the culture minister said.
McKie said his ministry has been working hard to ensure that there are new opportunities in culture and the arts for young people, not only locally, but regionally and internationally as well.
And he urged parents and guardians present at the event to work aggressively with the young dancers to ensure that they make use of the available opportunities.
“These young dancers would’ve been hard at work for the last year because this programme is held every other year. Therefore, persons who work along with them in the schools, in the churches, in the communities and as individuals, they use this platform to give 100 per cent, to give their best so that they can open other doors and windows for them,” McKie said.
The Kingstown Preparatory School earned two silver medals for their choreography of the traditional dance, “The Maypole” and creative folk dance titled “African Rhythms”.
Similarly, The Thomas Saunders Secondary School also earned two silver medals; first for their traditional dance, “The Maypole” and for their creative folk dance, “Bele”.
The CW Prescod Primary School only participated in the creative folk category and earned a silver medal for their dance which was titled “Life before Exile”.
After a short hiatus from the competition, the Diadem returned on opening night and took part in the traditional folk category.
Their execution of “The Quadrille” earned them a silver medal.
The juniors of the Avenue Dancers competed in the traditional folk category with a Grenadines tradition, “The Cake Dance”. They received a silver medal while the seniors, who competed in the creative folk with a choreography titled “Chatoyer” earned a bronze medal.
Another new group to the competition, Blue Print Dance Company, earned bronze medals in both categories, first with their execution of the traditional folk dance, “The Quadrille” and then in the creative folk category with “The future is African”.
The next night of competition is September 15, when primary schools, secondary schools and community groups will perform dances in the Modern Dance category.