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Date: 10.1.06             

Carifesta IX features
Antigua & Barbuda
on main stage
National contingent does twin-island nation proud
 

Antigua & Barbuda in Pictures

 

Carifesta Village, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad - The multiple nations in and around the Caribbean geographic area have displayed the culture, artistic talents, and openness of their respective peoples for the Carifesta IX event in Trinidad and Tobago.  On the main stage each country, including hosts T&T, was allocated around ninety minutes nightly to highlight some of the best culture and talent they had to offer.  Antigua and Barbuda's turn came on Saturday evening, and they played to a full house, as all seating in front of the stage was accounted for.  Incidentally one of those seats proved extremely lucrative to one young lady later on, when documentation for the first prize of a raffle - a weekend trip for two to Antigua & Barbuda - was found on the underside of one of the chairs!

This was definitely a more rewarding time for Antigua & Barbuda; two nights previously the contingent (pictured left) was scheduled to take the stage, and had in fact been at Carifesta Village since 8:15 PM, all ready to perform supposedly within half hour.  But as late as 10:45 PM, the group still had not had their opportunity.  Dominica was performing when they arrived, then the Guyanese contingent who arrived late, followed Dominica.  And they were still performing for the Carifesta IX audience while Antigua & Barbuda stood about dejectedly.  There was a mixture of emotion from the contingent of youngsters and adults: frustration, disappointment, resignation and yet hopefulness, among them.

But much of that was behind them last night as it came their turn to be in the spotlight.  And they did not disappoint.  When Steel Talks (WST) understands part of the group did eventually perform on Friday evening on the main stage, but the major presentation was on Saturday evening.  Their Master of Ceremonies, Phil George guided the audience on the cultural journey put together by Antigua & Barbuda.  Stops along the musical and artistic way included performances by St. John's Cathedral Youth Choir  (pictured right)  led by Mrs. Erna-Mae Tonge-Hurst, accompanied by Patrick 'Stone' Johnson on tenor.   Johnson would lead the Antigua & Barbuda National Youth Steel Orchestra later on in the program when they took the stage.  The Antigua Dance Academy accompanied by drummers, Sunny Dale Dancers, Barbuda Frigate Bird Group, Rawden Edwards Trio, and the country's Calypso King all were part of the presentation. 

The audience was thrilled with the performances, and showed unmistakable pleasure with the choir, dancers and national youth steel orchestra.  Memorable moments included the Sunny Dale Dancers initially clad in white (pictured left), doing a beautiful tribute to their African heritage, with younger members designated 'Daughters of Africa,' joining them later in the dance number.

A definite crowd-pleaser was Antigua & Barbuda's steel orchestra  (pictured right), who are champions of the inaugural OECS Junior Steelpan Competition held earlier this year in Dominica.  Their session started of with the late Ras Shorty I's Watch Out  My Children.  The audience was also treated to the reggae hit Earth Ah Run Red, complete with a solo by young Nayim on tenor, taking a break from the congas, where he had already caught the eye of everyone  with his captivating and all-consuming percussive performance.  Before they were done, the band additionally delivered Conga (Miami Sound Machine), All Ah We, Don't Stop This Party (popularized years ago by Antigua's own Mighty Swallow), and finishing off with Antigua & Barbuda's 2006 road march - Trouble by the Red Hot Flames.  Members of the contingent danced in front of the stage  (pictured below) as the steel orchestra closed off the country's Carifesta IX presentation.

                        

Antigua & Barbuda in Pictures


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