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A group of dancers and musicians promoting Bahamian culture abroad will be presenting their talents during a special show tonight at the National Center for the Performing Arts on Shirley Street.
Under the theme of "Three Hearts With Love", the Bahamian Dance Theater Company presents a special concert featuring troupes from the local dance community and highlighting three talented Bahamian concert dancers - Mervin Smith, Denton Gay and Mychal Bryan.
"It's very rare in our country to find concert dance - dance that focuses on modern, contemporary and jazz," points out Mervin Smith, who besides helping to form the company in 2009 also acts as its artistic director.
"Our mission and vision at BDTC is to promote arts and culture through dance. We've lost that appreciation for performance, but this is the future and this is what is going on in The Bahamas."
Indeed, these three gifted young men continue to study dance abroad, giving them a chance to perform globally as well, making them true cultural ambassadors of The Bahamas who now share their talents with the Bahamian public during the BDTC's concert season.
The highlight will be their main dance, "Primitive: Male" to the song "Oya (Primitive Fire)" by Babatunde Olatunji, where they hope to give tribute to the male dancer as an important cultural figure. As male dancers themselves, they have faced prejudice and difficulty both professionally and socially, which they hope they can help the audience replace with admiration and awe.
"It embodies the essence of the male as a dancer," says Smith. "You get to see how the male interacts on a stage with other males and own our bodies, our space, who we are, and appreciative of the fact that we are males and we can present ourselves to this form of dance."
This idea of being true to oneself and finding strength in one's identity runs throughout their three solo performances - indeed, it was the thought behind the theme of sharing what's in three hearts.
For Smith, who studies Dance and Theater at Lehman College in New York and who is an alumnus of the esteemed Alvin Ailey Dance School, his dance, "Everybody Has Got Their Something" to Nikka Costa is meant to honor individuals' special talents.
"It tells you that everyone of us in our own space and ways have something to give and offer," he says. "I want this piece to tell people to follow their heart, that they have something to say and do because they will touch lives. People need to be uplifted and inspired."
For dancer Mychal Bryan, this solo performance, "Struggles in the Dark" to the "music" of a speech by Charlie Chaplain made in the 1950s, is a time to reflect on the perseverance of the individual.
"It's about humanity and the ways we get trapped in societies and how we struggle to exist and feel and stretch beyond ourselves to open up to humanness," he explains.
His dance will also be performed at a production at his school, The Northern Caribbean University in Jamaica, where he is also a part-time student at Edna Manley School of the Visual and Performing Arts. A talented individual, Bryan also performs with L'Acado, A United Caribbean Dance Force, under the artistic direction of Dr. L'Antoinette Osunide Stines.
The third solo performance by Denton Gay, "Who You Are", after the song by Jessie J., celebrates individuality despite all odds.
"It's about being true to oneself, true to who you are and not conforming to society," he says.
Besides being the rehearsal director for BDTC, Gay studies dance and business administration at Palm Beach Atlantic University in Florida. Once he's completed his studies, he hopes to venture to New York City and eventually choreograph professionally at his own dance studio.
Indeed the night is all about helping these three young dancers to continue to achieve their goals to promote the joy of dance - all proceeds from the tickets will help them to continue on with their studies.
"Dance helps you connect with people on a spiritual level," points out Mervin Smith. "You can tell stories and express through movement what people want to say but can't."
Besides their time in the spotlight, the show will feature a variety of other dancers and routines from BDTC's repertoire: the jazzy "Suite-T Connection", the playful "Bahamian Fables: Once Upon a Time", the mini-cabaret "Stage A Blaze" and "Soul to The Caribbean" featuring mime work by the Lenelle Michelle Mime Company. Tonight's show will be a true reflection of how far dance has come and can continue to grow and challenge audiences.
Yet the evening is more than dance - indeed, BDTC is about promoting all Bahamian arts and culture and to that effect features a young and very talented musician making waves regionally and globally.
Talbert Williams will be presenting his original work, "Beautiful Soul", that interprets the poignant theme of the night.
"'Beautiful Soul' is that feeling where you see your love and you know what it is, but you can't put your finger on it," he says. "I hope the audience connects with me on that level."
Emerging on the music scene as a child prodigy in the National Children's Choir, Williams has continued on a great path of writing, composing and recording inspirational music. It has not only earned him several National Arts Competition Awards in soloist singing, but also regional Marlin Awards in Talent Gospel Search for Inspirational Recording of the Year.
Besides just finishing his studies abroad at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy where he studied musical theatre, Williams has performed even as far as China.
Indeed, these young artists are making exciting waves around the globe and promise to put on a dazzling evening of song and dance when they come together. Attending the performance tonight will not only give audiences a great insight into where Bahamian modern dance and music is heading in a globalized world but also will be a show of support for these young artists who promise to make it big in their craft worldwide.
"Three Hearts With Love" premieres during a special evening performance tonight at 7 p.m. at the National Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $10. For reservations, more information or to make a donation, call 362-0622 or 436-7710.
Initially I did not intend to write a commentary on the weekend's events over at Atlantis, but since persons have asked: I have said in past op-eds and it bears repeating, national events should always be apolitical meaning no political party should at any time be the focal point or muse for such events.
Why BeBe Winans, an American gospel artist, felt the need to state from the stage that he was PLP was beyond stunning for among other things this key reason: all musical artists, especially American artists know that when they perform in a foreign country, they are to never make statements of any kind from the stage about that country's politics or its government.
BeBe Winans is already a singer. So if he also felt the need to sing for the "PLP", I am on the one hand left to wonder what his precise affiliation with the governing party actually is; and on another hand, left to assume that the government was paying for him to both appear and perform in The Bahamas. If so, how much did we pay Winans, since it is my money and your money as taxpayers that paid him if the government paid for his appearance, either in part or the whole?
Bebe Winans is a gospel singer. God is not PLP, so his statement clearly had nothing to do with praising God and was out of order in the context of the music business, not to mention ridiculous from the standpoint of entertaining those in attendance since he cannot be silly enough to believe that an entire nation of people in a democracy only supports one of several political parties therein. And this is precisely one of the reasons behind artists being prohibited by their record labels from doing what Bebe Winans did.
As for statements made by Sir Sidney Poitier to or about Prime Minister Perry Christie, I do not have the direct quote of his comments, and therefore do not want to comment on what I am not certain of.
But, if he did make comments of a political nature, those too, would have been completely inappropriate at what is supposed to be an event celebrating being Bahamian, not being a supporter of the governing party.
And for the armchair patriots who are rearing up to say "every political party does this" - no they do not and no they did not. When the national stadium, as one example, was officially opened, the former administration (thanks to the late Charles Maynard) was so focused on having authentic Bahamian artists as headliners that it brought in Johnny Kemp.
I will never forget when I saw Johnny step on stage singing "Just Got Paid". I said to myself, "well muddo, where they found Johnny Kemp from?"
But he is Bahamian, so wherever he was, he ought to have been found, and he was.
To the government of the day: one does not have to be a supporter of yours to be Bahamian. One is no less Bahamian if he or she does not, never did or never will support your party.
If you know that, please remember it. If not, please do learn it.
- Sharon Turner
Sunday 5th August 2012 11:00 AM
Hatchet Bay Festival Committee Bayfest Celebrating our culture; resorting our community 2012 In 2010 they gave you BIG. In 2011 they gave you BIGGER and now the Hatchet Bay Festival Committee promises to give you the BIGGEST festival EVER: Bay Fest 2012- The Best Is Yet To Come! August 1-6th, The Hatchet Bay Festival Committee will give you FIVE unforgettable days of summer unlike any other at Bay Fest 2012 in Hatchet Bay, Eleuthera. Bay Fest time remains the highlight of the August Monday holiday and represents a time where all Bayman come together to reunite with family and friends and celebrate a community so rich in culture that is showcased in a grandeur way. Mario Smith, Chairman of Bayfest Committee said, “This year’s theme, Celebrating Our Culture; Restoring Our Community was chosen not only to bring focus to the cultural and physical aspects of our community but also to bring attention to those values which made us great as a people.” Sunday Community Church Service Community Marching Band The Spanish Wells Band Sunday Serenades Featuring Gospel and Jazz in The Park – The Hatchet Bay Voices The Royal Bahamas Police Force Pop Band Music Interlude/Hatchet Bay Dinner Band Gospel Dance Competition – Bayfest Raffle Headliner: Geno D Junkanoo Rush-out DJ Earthquake 11:00am Community Church Service, Harvest Time Tabernacle 1:00pm March from the Church 2:00pm PARK OPENS 4:00pm Police Beat Retreat 5:00pm Serenade Sunday Jazz In The Park 6:00pm Gospel Dance Competition 7:00pm Gospel Concert: Hatchet Bay Voices 9:00pm Musical Interlude 9:30pm Hatchet Bay Dinner Band Bayfest Raffle 10:00pm Headliner: Geno D Midnight Junkanoo Rushout DJ: Earthquake
Just off the heels of their CD Pre-Release Concert the
Interdenominational Mass Choir (IMC) of Freeport Bahamas took their
music ministry on tour. This year was indeed special for the group as
they ministered some of their original music.
The Annual Easter
Event began in Sunrise, Florida where the group got a chance to
fellowship with Bishop Henry Fernandez, Min.
Jonathon Nelson and the Faith Center International Church Family during
their Good Friday Service. Then it was off to West Palm Beach for a
Grand Gospel Concert hosted by Min. Peppi Hendrix CEO...
Nassau, Bahamas - Kingsway Academy Elementary Student choir, Heavenly Voices, will be
on tour, traveling to the most renown music capitals of the region--Atlanta,
Memphis and the "music city," Nashville, Tennessee.
The six-day tour begins March 27. It will expose the student choir
to various musical genres, including rhythm and blues, classical and
country, touring various landmarks, including Graceland and the Stax
Museum for American Soul Music in Memphis.
With hundreds expected to be in attendance at Alexander Memorial AME
Church in Atlanta, Georgia and Fisk University in Nashville, the 50-member
choir will perform gospel and Bahamian folk songs, as well as play classical
and Broadway pieces
By JEFFARAH GIBSON
Tribune Features Writer
TALENTED gospel artists with a love of non-traditional music styles such as reggae, rap and hip-hop, had nowhere to showcase their talents in these areas until Talent Jam emerged in 1993.
The annual talent show and musical extravaganza taking place tomorrow night, claims to be the first to have provided such a platform for modern Christian artists.
Churches unwilling to adjust their musical traditions at the time believed gospel music should maintain it's easy to grasp tunes, rudimentary harmonies, testimonies, and religious counsel.
But Talent Jam gave musically savvy individuals an outlet for creative expression.
And as the event has pr ...
Friday 30th November 2012 8:00 PM
Nov 30th- Dec 5th Joe Billy Blind Blake Festival (Market Street) The Joe Billy-Blind Blake festival includes: gospel concerts, Junkanoo rush-out, street festival and entertainment, native foods, games hoopla, quadrille, plaiting of the maypole, native crafts on display, rake 'n scrape music and a marching band and talent show. Native dishes will be on sale. T: 322-8261/ 455-1622/ 544-8018.
Eleuthera, Bahamas - A
Family Island pastor known for his work with youth and men's ministries
is not sitting quiet when it comes to giving his view on the national
gambling referendum. Gospel music promoter and pastor, Jamie 'DJ
Crunktified' Isaacs is condemning clergymen and churches who are in
support of making gambling legal to Bahamian citizens.
Bahamas is one of the few nations left on planet earth that's still
holding on to it Christian beliefs and Godly principles," said Isaacs
during a recent address. "The reason the Bahamas is still considered a
Christian nation is because of its Constitution that is built on
Christian and Godly principles."
Celebrating God's way can be just as fun as any other way and will prove it on a Gospel Sail Away on the August Monday holiday.
Hosted by Fam Entertainment, the holiday weekend sail away to Colonial Island will have some of the hottest Christian music artists, DJ Godson, Najie Dunn, Christian Massive and Lyrically Blessed will be performing. And DJ Godson, says he is ready to get the party started and hopes all Christians and people who like gospel music are ready to be moved.
"We want people who aren't particularly interested in the secular forms of fun to not feel left out and have something to do as well. It will be great and I will be mixing it up good for the event. We wanted to create a great social network event for Christians because there is always the complaint that there is nothing for us to do."
Najie Dunn, the artist who brought you songs like "Wan' Take Life," "Give Myself Away," "Hype Music," and "Pray for You" says this is the event you want to be at if you are looking for clean fun with a good message for your family.
"This event isn't just about having fun or what I will be bringing. It's about bringing people to God in yet another great way and just having a good time without violence and profanity," says Dunn. "Holiday weekends usually mean events surrounding alcohol or secular means of fun. We want people to see that they can have a good time without all of that. A sail away does not have to be about going to carry on badly. It can be about having fun and just being able to be a family. I'm excited because I have a mission to tell people about God through my music and I am glad to do so again this weekend."
While you rock away to gospel music or choose to take a dip in the ocean all day, other family activities will be going on throughout the day to keep everyone on their toes, like the lime and spoon race, sack races and obstacle courses. A bouncing castle and face painting will also be available for the children. To ensure safety in the water a lifeguard will be on duty for the entire event.
The Gospel Sailaway is all about the family and finding something that will bring everyone together for a good day away in a safe environment says organizer, Andrea Knowles.
"The reason we are doing this is because as families there is not enough places we can go to as a group where we can be excited about praising God and having fun together," says Knowles. "What we find is you often can't take your children out during the holidays because there is so much negativity going on be it [cursing], people drinking or whatever. There is only a promotion of things like that and that is not good for the family, so it was important to put on an event that can cater to everyone. This is a great opportunity as it is a holiday weekend to get families together as well as uplift God and show that this is what music and fun is really about."
Because it is a family event, transportation arrangements were made specifically so persons who are early risers can board the Captain Harding, the sailaway boat at 10 a.m. or 11 a.m. boats. If you want to sleep in a bit later, a 12 noon boat will also take persons over to the island where the fun awaits. There are also three convenient times of departure from the island to Prince George Wharf.
Tickets can be purchased in advance for $15 from Forsythe's Communications on Rosetta Street, Wong's Rubber Stamp and Printing on Chesapeake Road and Sexy Thang on Robinson Road.
HAVING FUN GOD'S WAY
When: Monday, August 1
Where: Colonial Island, boarding from Prince George Wharf
Time: Boat departs 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon, and returns 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Cost: $15 in advance, $20 at the boat
Nassau, Bahamas -
ready for MuMo! The inaugural Music Momentum Summit happening this
Friday and Saturday promises to be an exciting showcase of speakers,
panels, workshops, special guests and a
concert at the National Art
Gallery of the Bahamas featuring MuMo brainchild, TaDa along with AdELA,
RAPP Quelle, Melanique, and dance team Juice Unit.
The inspirational music community have Fam Fest and
The Caribbean Gospel Music Marlin Awards. Now the new mainstream
music community (including artists like Alex Christie, Sammi Starr,
Bodine "Be" Johnson, Sosaman, Jah Hem and others), have a forum in the
first annual Music Momentum Summit (MuMo) on October 1st and 2nd at the British Colonial Hilton...