A Carifesta Dance of Shame Explanation
Which country that you know of, would host CARIFESTA, and would organize a major international Dance exposition as the central event of the Festival, but would refuse to include a single one of their local or national dance groups in the said Dance exposition?
Well, if you guessed that the country is none other than Barbados you would have guessed right!
David Comissiong – A Carifesta Dance of Shame!
Citizen Advocate David Comissiong shocked Barbadians with the revelation last week the opening signal dance event at Carifesta to be hosted by Barbados from August 17 to 27, 2017 will feature no local dancers. In the interest of being fair to the other players in this matter BU sought clarification.
There is an Advisory Committee which consist of Barbadian dance professionals from the NCF, BCC, and Dancin’ Africa that recommended the decision to exclude local acts.
Why was this decision made?
There is a strong though regrettable view that Barbados does not have the calibre of professional dance groups to match those coming from the other islands. The main consideration is the size and professional setup of the dance markets of the other islands AND the breath of experience by the dancers from those other islands gained from touring and performing on a more frequent basis.
Dance groups in Barbados are non professional if we use NIFCA to assess status including the vaunted Dancin’ Africa and Aisha Comissiong. BU mentions these names because they represent the cream of the leadership and talent of local dancing. BU was informed that although local dancers like Aisha Comissiong, Suzanne Watts, Keisha Amory have been recipients of NIFCA scholarships AND studied overseas- not to mention Keisha Dowridge and Maisha Jordan who are graduates of the BCC programme- they have never entered the professional category.
The Carifesta program is littered with several events where local dancers will perform or collaborate with acts from other islands.There is therefore the opportunity to showcase local dance talent. The signal dance event at Carifesta is meant to imply professional excellence.