Friday, December 15, 2017

Seeking a positive vibe


PERFORMING: Jeaninne Clarke sings during one of the "It's A Vive" events.

Donstan Bonn

Imagine our country with no more borderlines, where anyone could walk anywhere; going into another community is safe; no worries, no stress, no more turfs, just love and family.  

In a recent interview with Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Joanne James and the Chairman of “The Last Band Standing,” Marlon Brizan we learned how a recent concert series titled, “It’s A Vibe” was able to cross significant community borders while showcasing the talents of upcoming artists. 

ACP James described her anguish over the criminal activities taking place in our country, where people are unable to cross borders to go into each other’s communities. However James was pleased to state the significance of the concert series in bringing some type of change to this issue. 

James explained, “You have a dance unit where there are some people from Sea Lots, Laventille, Carenage, Arouca and the George Street area. “So here it is. If you see these young people when they get together preparing each other, combing each other’s hair,” James said. “It just shows that despite the turf war taking place in their community, these young people, these teenagers, can come together with the art form and really show their skills and talent and at the same time sustain good relationships,” she added. 

Brizan was in high spirits saying that, although the concert series is just in its second year it has been able to make significant changes in the lives of people who have experienced the show. In its first year the series was held at four venues: MovieTowne, Carnival City, Gulf City Mall, Tobago and Trincity Mall. The irony of this year is that on much less funding the event was held at more venues. The opening show was held at National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA), Carnival City, Tobago Gulf City, Trincity, Alice Yard, Woodbrook and the Hotel Normandie. 

The initial show featured 41 artistes and thereafter over 20 artistes performing various skills. Artistes from one community had the opportunity to perform at another community. The youngest performer, nine-year-old Princess (Aylliah Smith) and the eldest, Noel James, are among the unique acts featured this year. These ranged from ball-juggling, calypso, soca and storytelling to instruments such as drumming, as well as spoken word, dance, song and many more. Brizan said there are no limits on the expression of talent at the show.

James said that, “The concert series builds sustainable relationships. If one needed a mother you can find one there; if you need a father you can find one there.” Brizan then noted that the opportunity to showcase their talent also gives the artiste a chance to be approached by producers, and persons scouting for talent. 

One important thing to also note is that the five concerts that were held around the island have aided the artistes’ growth. The artistes have developed their stage presence and have become a lot more confident in delivering their respective  presentations. Among other things there is a special bond between the artistes. They share each other’s works on Facebook, celebrate each other’s birthdays and mentor one another. It is truly a family.