In a production marked by intrigue and quiet beauty, the third installment of the Cultural Icon Series was staged at the National Cultural Centre on Monday, 2 October. The inspirational project, whose aim is to pay tribute to the visual artists, actors, dancers, writers, musicians and folk artists who wrote about, painted, composed and created a large part of the Saint Lucian identity, and share their histories, stories, experiences and work, commenced in 2015, honouring the work of Saint Lucia’s foremost composer, Honourable Charles Cadet, followed in 2016 with the celebration of the tremendous work of dance icon, Virginia Alexander.
The near two-hour production brought the creative talent of a number of artists with a background in dance, music, theatre and poetry to the fore when they interpreted the literary work of Garth St. Omer and performed to a small but appreciative audience. Four-member band Protégé, Piper and Friends (including former Director of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Band, Gregory Piper on clarinet), Ronald ‘Boo’ Hinkson, Barbara Cadet, Luther Francois, Dianna Philip and Arthur Allain presented the work of Garth St. Omer on stage in superb splendour as their musical expositions reverberated throughout the auditorium.
‘Exile, Love and Return to Country’ – interpretive dance inspired by St. Omer’s ‘Nor Any Country’ – was performed by Roxanne Didier-Nicholas, Sadia Chandler, Ian Celestine, Natanni St. Omer and Leroyson Alexander, mirroring Garth’s work in an exploration of themes that speak directly to the Saint Lucian society while at the same time reaching out to a global audience.
In a mesmerizing performance, visiting duo Sade Bully (New York) and Momo Sanno (Romania) seemed to effortlessly weave conflict, independence, anguish, imprisonment and freedom into a phenomenal web of masterful choreography, inspired by the iconic writer’s prose. The evening would have been incomplete without the soothing “floetry” of performance poet Felicia Montoute with her inspired ‘Room on a Hill’ presentation.
The 2017 tribute to the legendary Garth St. Omer is being described by CDF officials as a success despite the low turnout this year. The Cultural Development Foundation remains grateful to Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy, patron of the event; the Saint Lucia Events Company Inc.; producer and Technical Director, Adrian Augier; the stage management, production management, lighting, sound, audio visual and digital imaging crews as well as All Biz, Wavemaker Photography and platinum sponsor Flow for their support in ensuring that the third annual Cultural Icon Series was staged with a favourable outcome.