It was a production that was so superbly executed that it made you feel like it truly was Christmas time. Yes, the kind of Christmas with carols, Christ, Mary, the Manger, and peace on earth. Yes, that type of Christmas. Not the one that we in St. Kitts have grown accustomed to, with jam band music, calypso, jump up, wukking up, and all those features of what West Indians call, carnival. However, the producers were skilful enough to incorporate elements of carnival, but with such class that it blended nicely with the main theme of Christmas.
It became difficult to settle on which dance, which appearance or which group, was the favourite or had the best presentation…they were all professionally delivered with such dexterity and poise that it caused one to wonder why more is not done in St. Kitts for the development and promotion of the arts. But that is another story.
Featuring some 75 dancers from the three classes of the CDT-Rockets, Starlight and Sparks-the theatre kept the audience entertained with pieces titled, In the Mood for Christmas, Christmas Pains, 12 Days of Christmas, Christmas Coming, Silent Night, Joy to the World and Why Didn’t Santa Come…and so many more.
Not only was the choreography at its highest, but the costuming and musical themes were incomparable.
From the youngest, to the oldest graduating class of dancers, they were able to make their parents, tutors and the public generally, very proud of their sterling performances. In almost flawless panache they each gave their best and for their efforts the audience was equally rewarding in its appreciation.
From the traditional Christmas carols, to the modern calypso versions of Christmas songs, into the young generation of hip hop music, the CDT was masterful in taking its audience on a Christmas journey, by bus, under the guide of two wonderful conductors, (Aveney Morris, Akilah Browne), who in the thoughts of many, stole the show, with their humour, charm, wit, and entertaining style. They helped to make the evening the wonderful experience that it was. They managed the dance transitions with such ease and engaging style that set the tone or scene for what was to come.
They were the ones who transformed the mood from the sorrowful Christmas Pains, to the make believe world of a Kittitian “White Christmas”, with falling snow and children enjoying themselves with a game of ‘snow ball-fighting’. It was also refreshing to witness the story of the birth of Jesus Christ.
Memories of the 1950s and 1960s were evoked with the dance themes portraying some of the more popular old “Christmas Sports” or folklore, including De Modern Bull. The feastings we enjoy during the Holidays were given their due in the recital, as humour and dramatization were used to capture the feelings of a turkey, knowing that it was only a matter of time, before it made its way to the Christmas dinner table.
Among the guests artistes appearing were, former National Carnival Queen and CDT alum, Mariece Roberts, who brought the “house down” with a superb rendition of Joy to the World.
The Range, an all male group, did not disappoint. Their two appearances were well received. The CFBC Dance Ensemble, incorporate a dance piece to highlight the problems being faced in the country, when they presented, “No Violence for Christmas”. The Fireflies Dance School of Heidi Slack, featured in “Wonderful Christmas Time”. Other guest performers were Tama Martin and Jovansia Matthew, formerly of the CDT and Creative Sole, who were fantastic with their calming exposition of Kumbaya.
High praises must be showered on the production team, headed by the Director and Tutor of the CDT, Miss. Julie Martin; along with tutors Heidi Slack, Shara Lee Mourillon, Shanda Labega, Krystal Glasford, Xia Claxton, Nekirah Nicolls and Tama Martin.
The only recommendation to be offered is that organizers take a fresh look at the restrictions placed on photography and videography. Such limitation retards the promotion of the CDT and the recital and does not facilitate the wide exposure that is possible.
An encore performance of the CDT’s Christmas By De Bus Stop is scheduled for Sunday, 18th December, 2011, at 5:00pm.