Can you picture a nation’s youth without the guidance of a formidable arts programme to guide them? Dare to imagine the delinquency that will be prevalent due to the absence of figures such as Barry George and his Silver Shadow Performing Arts Academy outfit? That illusion may soon become a reality if our arts and culture isn’t given its due diligence and the respect that it deserves.
There are a few schools that have had after school arts programmes cut, due to lack of funding and I have known of Choreographers who have staged some of the best productions with little or no sponsorship.
From the looks of the flyer for Poetry in Motion, there was no major corporate backing for a production that celebrated the work of one of our two Noble laureates, Derek Walcott but that didn’t deter the dance company from staging yet another “historic artistic showcase”.
Poetry in Motion, Silver Shadow’s artistic showcase of dance was inspired by and featured eight poems (City’s Death by Fire, A Far Cry from Africa, Dark August, Blues, The Glory Trumpeter, Love after Lover, After the Storm and Pentecost) written by the Hon. Derek Walcott.
Such a mammoth production would require the very best from the dance academy and prior to staging the two-day production, the promise of ten of the most outstanding dancers had failed to live up to expectations. Several nods of approval and applauses from the writer himself, who had a front row seat, indicated that the thousands of hours the cast had dedicated prior to the night had not gone in vain.
Poetry in Motion featured not only seasoned dance professionals who had been members of Silver Shadow for more than a decade but introduced young talented dancers who can and will flourish in the dance industry. The cast looked at ease, alive, full of energy (even at the most challenging routines) and most of all happy on stage, all of them fitted seamlessly into their role in the production. Our reigning Carnival Queen assumed the role of an uncanny narrator taking us on the poetic journey page by page.
The dancers continued to prove their mentor’s words to the wise almost six years ago – “If you’ve never danced then you’ve never experienced life,” fusing modern hip hop movements with the glimpses of the traditional bèllè kont while throwing in a good bit of calypso and soca which has been proven to be a perfect remedy for persons stranded on a cold deserted island.
The production closed with the dancers having a brief meet and greet with Hon. Derek Walcott who expressed his admiration and excitement that he had opted to attend the production instead of resting after a very taxing Nobel Laureate’s week.