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Exciting end to Guyana Folk Fest

September 10, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

By Tangerine Clarke

BROOKLYN -The Guyana folk festival ended its ninth season with an international flair. The energetic Guyana-based Classique Dance Company, joined the KenDrum Youth Steel orchestra from Canada, and juicy storyteller and veteran performer, Doris Harper from England, to thrill thousands of patrons at Meyer Levin School grounds in Brooklyn.

The inviting weather played a huge part in the success of the more that five hours of loud entertainment that included crowd pleaser, and Calypso Monarch, the Mighty Rebel, and Adrian Dutchin, direct from Guyana, who revved up the crowd with his eye-popping shirtless act.

A-list performers, such as Wrickford Dalgetty, Terry Gagraj, African drummer Jaggae, Chuck Girard and Yonnette Hopper provided exciting entertainment to engage both the nationals and their Caribbean counterparts.

They all enjoyed festive fare, and partook in the many free give aways from sponsors, Western Union, La Parkan Shipping, Metro Plus, Caribbean Cargo, Hibiscus Day Spa, Caribbean Vision Center, Lorna Welshman Neblett, Clarins Fragrance Group, and Tony Singh of Four Seasons Fashions who donated the flags.

Festooned with the colorful flags being waved of the six races of the Republic, the expats jammed to Bosie Bishop’s Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, and danced to the Masquerade sequence of the Impressions Dance Theatre, and colorful choreography by former members of the National School of Dance, Verna Walcott-White, Rose October-Edun, Sandra Primus and Wayne Daniels.

In addition, the Natyatilakan Dance Troupe, and the Avirodh Ramsamooj Trio, wowed the patrons with Indian dance movement, and the sweet melody of the Tablah drums.

And not to be left out, were the kiddies who basked in the glory of a Children’s Village provided by Councilmember Mathieu Eugene and headed by Dr. Juliet Emanuel. Plaiting of the Maypole, cultural story telling and loads of fun activities engaged the kids for more that six hours.

The afternoon that was declared open by president of GCA Malcolm Hall was punctuated by nostalgia, as actors Cicely Forbes and Yvonne Pickering joined director Maurice Braithwaite to entertain the crowd, with a pageant of the people play. The piece written by Cultural Director Claire A. Goring demonstrates the life of villagers in Guyana.

The excitement that also included a Kwe-Kwe demonstration, dramatic poetry by Ivor Thom, and the music of Hilton Hermerding was felt throughout the grounds.

Thelma Jenkins, who travelled from Maryland, expressed how nostalgic she felt after running into a friend she hadn’t see in over forty years.

Doris-Harper Wills, a former teacher who is now 85-years old said she was overjoyed to see students she taught in school so many years ago. While Grenadian Derek Noel, a staunch supporter of the festival said he felt the excitement of a mini Carifesta.

The Guyana Cultural Association that opened the festivities with an Awards Ceremony at Brooklyn Borough Hall, also hosted a Kwe Kwe night, and Literary Hang/Symposium.

The celebration of Diversity In Our Villages, Harmony in Our Culture, and the backdrop of villagers in motion, a painting by Colin Warde, that decorated the stage, cemented the togetherness and the effervescent culture that is alive and well in the Diaspora.

The organizers extended their gratitude to Sybil Chester, LVMH Moët Hennessy, Senator John Sampson, Councilmembers Mathieu Eugene, and Jumaane Williams, Deputy Borough President Yvonne Graham, along with sponsors and supporters, for another successful festival.

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