Nifca semis get underway

Variety on show at NIFCA

Powerful vocals, deep dance pieces and thrilling music all but made up the first semifinal of the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA) last Friday night at the Lester Vaughn School auditorium.

It’s that time of year when the best of Barbadian talent takes centre-stage — all in the hope of copping top awards at the annual festival. The first semifinal night was filled with many familiar faces who did not drop from the usual expected standard.

Ki’ann Browne, known for her powerhouse vocals, impressed with two gospel hits, Better and Mercy Said No. There isn’t much to be said about Browne other than that she’s quite spectacular. When it comes to gospel music and a future for her, it’s bright- very bright.

The Mustard Seed Production brought a very deep and though provoking piece to the stage titled Poxie Rosie. It highlighted instances of bullying in a unique way and stressed why bullying was a definite no no. The young girls in the piece should be commended for a job well done.

Sandra Squires with her piece Last Minute Shopping brought much laughter from the audience. Many nodded and gave a quiet ‘true’ in agreement to what she was saying. The piece spoke to what Bridgetown was like when parents did their last minute ‘back to school’ shopping.

Jamal Dawe, backed by his very vocal support system in the audience, gave a good dance performance entitled Inner Encounters. Andrew Greene from the group, The Other Company, also received a rousing response for his dance piece.

The primary schools represented well at this first semifinal. Hillaby Turners Hall and Gordon Greenidge Primary gave excellent performances and they all appeared to have a blast. They performed  Diamonds, Full Extreme and He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands respectively.

Also performing on Friday night were Adia Miller, T’afari Steede, Sade Brathwaithe, Mohesha Holder, Pehnyo Dance Centre, Oneal Jackson, Shani Inniss and Andre Alleyne.

High standard performance 

The tradition of excellence continued last Sunday during the closing night of the first set of the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA) semi-finals at the Major Noot Hall at  Combermere School.

The night showcased an array of talent, making for an enjoyable night by the large audience which attended. The Alleyne School was first on stage and set the bar extremely high with beautiful renditions of the popular songs Total Praise and Hold On.

Next up was Gentle Steps who presented a mixed theatre and dance presentation. It depicted in a unique way popular folk tales and underscored the importance of West Indian culture being taught in schools.

Dancin’ Africa and the Israel Lovell Foundation are no strangers to the NIFCA stage. They definitely shone brightest on Sunday night. Dancin’ Africa performed three pieces, Caribbean Rhythms, Beauty from Ashes and The Promise.

One of the most outstanding performances on the night came from the Marlon Legall Project who lifted the spirits of the audience with their exceptional voices as they belted out songs of Africa to an appreciative audience.

As they made their exit dramatically through the crowd, they received a standing ovation.

If the first set of NIFCA semi-finals are anything to go by, then we are in for some exciting finals this year, especially in the area of music and mixed arts.

The semifinals continue this coming weekend at the Alexandra and Combermere School, Friday to Sunday. All shows begin at 6 p.m.

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