Dancers Urged To Embrace Originality In Their Works

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A dance group??performing in the preliminaries of a previous Dance Fest??competition.??

Young dancers, choreographers and dance tutors are being encouraged to strive for originality when composing their pieces.

This is the plea of Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Community Development and Culture, Shirley Farnum, who said emphasis on originality was critical to the development of the cultural industries in Barbados.

Citing the late Bob Marley, she said his music had placed Jamaican culture on the world map and she hoped that Dance Fest would provide a start for young Barbadians to hone their skills and talent for a worldwide stage.

Ms. Farnum was speaking yesterday during the launch of the 2009 Community Dance Fest, formerly known as the IndepenDANCE Festival, at the Warrens Office Complex, Warrens, St. Michael.

"Greater emphasis must also be placed on true creativity…it can be infinitely more rewarding when the kudos belong to the group because it is the fruit of its own original, creative presentation. There is great value in placing one’s own unique brand on the market," she observed.

The Permanent Secretary also called on more males to get involved in dance.

"[Dance Fest] has provided a welcome opportunity for males in our society to be involved in dance. Male participation in this art form has trailed females… [It] is, above all, natural to both sexes and needs to be developed for all."

This year’s Community Dance FEST has been revamped and rebranded and will now run from November to January.

The competition will be judged in three stages – the Preliminaries/Auditions which will run from November 23 to 26; the Zone Finals from December 14 to 17, and the National Finals, which will be held on Thursday, January 21, 2010.

Among the dance categories for the competition are contemporary/modern, African, ballet, ballroom, jazz/street dance, square dance and tap.

Community Dance Fest, which is in its fourth year, is coordinated by the Community Development Department in collaboration with the Community Independence Celebrations Secretariat, the National Cultural Foundation and the Commission for Pan-African Affairs.

It seeks to, among other things, foster community spirit, re-establish the community as a creative space, and provide an avenue through which communities can showcase their dance talents.

Further information on Dance Fest may be obtained at the Community Development Department, 4th Floor, Warrens Office Complex, Warrens, St. Michael; the website comdev.gov.bb or by emailing comdev@sunbeach.net.

askeete@barbados.gov.bb

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