Head of the Saint Lucia Delegation to CARIFESTA XI (Carifesta eleven) June Frederick says in addition to the event being a learning experience for the majority of young people making up the island’s contingent she especially appreciates their exposure to other artistes from the various countries taking part.
More than 30 countries are taking part in this eleventh edition of the art and culture festival, seen as the Olympics of the arts in this part of the world. In addition to member countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and South America, participants also present at the Paramaribo, Suriname festival include China, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan.
But Frederick says in spite of all that is available at CARIFESTA that happens every four years, there is a buzz about Saint Lucia and its offerings.
On Sunday night, two days after the official start to the festival, two of the island’s major dramatic pieces ended after a two night run to much applause and appreciation from the multi-cultured audience.
“Manstory” by George Fish Alphonse and Kendel Hippolyte and “Jazz Country” written by Travis Weekes and performed by “Youth on Fire Ministries” a young, drama group from Anse la Raye both ended to resounding response and June Frederick says it has been an encouraging and heartening experience for the young people.
“For most of them this is a first time experience, out of their country and I think it speaks well to them learning to appreciate their art even more and it pushes them to do even better.”
She said the Saint Lucian booth that is displaying arts and crafts from various local artistes has also generated a lot of excitement among the crowd. She added that many of the visitors to the booth speak of some Saint Lucian connection and want souvenirs of the island for keepsakes.
Saint Lucia’s performances continue throughout the week with storytelling by Fish Alphonse, poetry recitals by Kendel Hippolyte and the national dance production entitled “Mi Nou” directed by Christine Samuel and choreographed by Barry George.
Saint Lucia is taking part and presenting in all but two of the various segments of CARIFESTA XI, including visual arts, literary arts, symposia, fashion, storytelling, performing arts, theatre, dance, music, community festivals, youth focus, crafts and film festival. The only two segments that the island will not be represented in are: culinary arts and body and soul.
The national dance troupe representing Saint Lucia at CARIFESTA XI gave a sterling performance at the Thalia Theatre in Paramaribo Monday night.
The nine member group of youngsters ranging from age 15 to 23 moved the crowd to its feet in a standing ovation and rave reviews after a one hour long performance directed by Dance Director Christine Samuel and choreographed by Barry George.
Still floating on cloud nine hours after the group’s success at one of the most prestigious theatres in Paramaribo, Christine Samuel expressed her pride in the dancers approach to their art, their form and execution.
Samuel said that the crowd’s response to the group’s efforts motivated them even further. She added that the Caribbean Festival of the Arts, CARIFESTA was an excellent experience for the youngsters as it exposes them to others of like mind and ambition.
The dance production being put on by the Saint Lucian dance troupe is entitled “Mi Nou” and traces the island’s culture and development in dance and music from the days of slavery to the modern day of techno and technology.