Antiguan Dancers Bring Variety To Independence Festival of Arts Calendar

Hosted by the Rotary Club of Liamuiga (RCL) and the Ministry of Culture, the tutors of the thirteen year old Dance School, Messrs Lelan Drakes and Clive Duncan,  held community workshops for children and adults on both islands during the period 9 to 12 September 2013.  The Group’s talents and performances were then showcased at the Sir Cecil Jacobs Auditorium, ECCB on 13 September 2013 and at the Nevis Performing Arts Centre on 14 September 2013.

Dubbed ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, the Recitals featured a variety of structured dances which were performed with flair and style by dancers who obviously love their craft.

Dancers portraying waltz and tango, foxtrot and rumba slid across the floor and were just as enjoyable to watch as those portraying the salsa, cha cha cha and meringue. Dressed in colourful wear styled to express the mood of the dance, each pair of dancers spun, swayed and glided through their choreographed sequences.

It was a nostalgic experience for many members of the audience who rarely see this variety in dance among the younger generation and maybe for this reason, the audience consisted of more mature patrons.

The Evening of Dance ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ on St. Kitts was graced with the presence of the former Governor General, Sir Cuthbert Sebastian, and that on Nevis by the Deputy Premier, the Honourable Mark Brantley. 

The MC for the evening was Vice President of the RCL, Mr. Peter Jenkins.  Welcome and opening remarks were brought by Past President of RCL and Chair of the RCL Ballroom Dancing Sub Committee, Mr. Eustace Warner, who has been a consistent promoter of Ballroom Dancing for many, many years.  The Dance Club he founded, The St. Kitts Dance Club, also participated in the show with a Cha Cha Line Dance.  Mr. Warner also did a special presentation with Ms. Daphnie Minott, Chief Executive Officer of Classic Promotions, promoters of the series of Ballroom Dancing Events and member of TDS.

Warner underscored the sentiments the Minister of Culture, the Honourable Marcella Liburd, expressed at the Opening of the National Arts Festival Week.  She said that “culture”, (including dance), can no longer be seen as an “add-on” and remain on the periphery of our existence.

 The TDS, under the leadership of Dance Director, Mr. Lelan Drakes, has on its register some eighty (80) regular students who participate in classes at various levels.  Their commitment to excellence and the desire to share their talents have led them to form an affiliation with the International Dance Teachers’ Association – the Caribbean branch of an international organization dedicated to promoting and educating CARICOM members in ballroom dancing.

Members of the TDS have participated in regional competitions in Barbados and Trinidad and have been successful in taking home silver and gold trophies.

Special thanks is extended to local sponsors – St Kitts Department of Culture, Nevis Cultural Development Foundation, Windsor University School of Medicine, Warner’s One Stop and ZIZ Broadcasting;  and sponsors from Antigua & Barbuda – Arc, Next Phase, Carib World Travel and Kenneth A. Gomez & Sons.

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