The group which is also made up of drummers and dancers is in the Asian country for what is called the Latin-American Cultural in Taiwan, and they are scheduled to perform on Saturday and Sunday afternoon, at the Cultural Affairs Bureau of Taoyuan County. They are this evening carrying out their final rehearsals.
The Cultural contingent will present a cultural package entitled “Becoming” which traces the evolutions of our culture from the Indigenous “Caribs” to the clash and contact with Europeans and Africans through dance, drumming and song, said a government release.
The group has been encouraged by the Minister of Culture of St. Kitts and Nevis, Marcella Liburd to not only see themselves as ambassadors of culture, but also ambassadors of St. Kitts and Nevis. Liburd reminded them that whatever they do or say would reflect on their country’s image. “Sometimes, it is whatever we do or say that can hurt us or promote us,” Minister Liburd told the cultural artistes, at a special reception before they departed St. Kitts.
She urged them to perform to the best of their ability and present a cultural package “that will blow the minds and forever remains in the minds of the people who see your performers.”
According to Taiwan’s Resident Ambassador in Basseterre, Mr. Miguel Tsao the visit will be the first by a cultural team from the federation and it will allow some 23 million people to enjoy what St. Kitts and Nevis culture is. The invitation for the participation of the team was made possible through the ambassador’s office in St. Kitts and it comes as another effort to forge stronger cultural ties between Taiwan and St. Kitts & Nevis. The two countries have enjoyed diplomat relations since 1983 when Taiwan became the first nation to establish an embassy in Basseterre.
The performers are Leburnah Liburd, one of the principle dancers of the Vivace Dancers Company who has been dancing for the past eleven. She has been exposed to advanced training at the Edna Manley School of Dance in Jamaica and has been contributing to the development of dance in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Tomeeka Richards has been dancing for the past ten years with the Okolo Tegremantine Dance Theatre. She has been exposed to training at the Edna Manley School of Dance in Jamaica and has been using her skills to assist groups and individuals in her community.
Alphonso Henry, an avid performer for the past six years. His love for the art of dance began in 2006 when he was granted the opportunity to be a part of the Okolo Tegremantine Dance Theatre. He also attended the Edna Manley School of Dance and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre.
Desi Brown has been dancing for a number of years with a number of dance groups in St. Kitts. She is presently a member of LEAP (Learning and Empowerment through the Arts Program). She is also a graduate of the Edna Manley School of Dance summer program.
Kalia Huggins is presently the reigning National Carnival Queen, who is involved in various aspects of the arts.
Royd Phipps is the federation’s leading drummer who heads the drumming department of the Okolo Tegremantine Dance Theatre. He is employed by the Ministry of Culture as a drumming and folklore specialist responsibly for the schools drumming programme in St. Kitts,
Davral Connor, a student of the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College is a graduate of the school’s drumming programme and is now a member of the national Youth Drum Corp and the Okolo Tegremantine Dance Theatre.
The group will be joined by Ms. Sharon Rattan, presently the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Services, Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs.
She is one of the most accomplished and longstanding dancers in St. Kitts. She is one of the founding members of the Vivace Dance Company and has been exposed to a number of workshops which include training at the Edna Manley School of Dancing. She is a principle dancer in the Vivace Dance Company.