FT. LAUDERDALE – Culturama 2010 Mello-Go-Roun’ returned to South Florida as the audience was treated to a kaleidescope of cultural performances from Jamaica at the Coral Springs Center for the Performing Arts in Coral Springs, South Florida, last Sunday (Aug. 1).
Part of the celebrations for Jamaica’s 48th anniversary of Independence, here in South Florida, Culturama 2010 returned after a three-year hiatus and was well received by a packed house at the 1200 seat theatre.
Patrons to the four-hour event were entertained by outstanding Jamaican talent, from Jamaica and here in South Florida, as they performed from a potpourri of traditional folk and contemporary dance, drama, oratory and musical recitals.
The large audience swayed and hand-clapped as they participated in what reminiscent of an old time festival fair singing to the rhythms of the mento bands and dancing to the music of quadrille, dinki minni, gerreh, kumina and brukins as entertainers graced the stage in a panorama of exotic and brightly coloured costumes.
This year, a new feature was added to the full and entertaining programme highlighting performances of Jamaicans of Indian and Chinese descent, living in the Diaspora. ‘JamIndians Lyme Lite Dancers’ performed song and dance showcasing the strong influence of the Indian culture as part of the Jamaican heritage.
Likewise, well-known Jamaican author and folklorist, Easton Lee, shared aspects of the strong Chinese influence in the Jamaican culture, as he read a series of poetry and dialect reflecting periods of Emancipation to present, similarly during which time also chronicled the history of Chinese migration to Jamaica more than 150 years ago.
The Tivoli Dance Troupe formed part of the kaleidoscope of performances at the Culturama 2010 Mello-Go-roun’
Known as the oldest mento band in Jamaica, the Blue Glades Mento Band, performing for some 40 years, was most resilient in their performance combining the rhythmic blend of song and dance and stringing sounds from the banjo, the rhumba box, accordion player, flute and violin, as the audience sang a range of old Jamaican favorites like ‘Solas Market’ ‘Long Time Gal’ and ‘Sweet Jamaica.’
Other performances included the versatility of Jamaica Festival winning groups – the Clonmel Cultural Club from St. Mary as they electrified the audience with several pieces from their repertoire of traditional folk recitals, the Tivoli Dance Troupe demonstrating the agility of their bodies with creative dances, and several local artistes such as the Jamaica Folk Revue, Tallawah Mento Band, dub poet Malachi Smith, Kimiela Candy Issacs, and the reigning Miss Jamaica Florida, Shanice Cox.
Members of the Clonmel Cultural Group performing from their repertoire of traditional folk dances at the Culturama 2010 Mello-Go-roun’
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange, who participated in the festivities, said that the occasion had “taken us back in time, taking us from the deep roots to the contemporary of our Jamaican culture.”
Likening the festivities to that of Jamaica’s Independence festivities currently taking place, Minister Grange praised the versatility of the several performers, and the participation of the patrons as they celebrated a significant period in the nation’s history.
She also commended the organizers of Jamaica Awareness, Incorporated directed by Sydney Roberts and the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission “for keeping Jamaica’s rich cultural heritage alive and strong in the Diaspora.”
Among the many guests in attendance were Jamaica’s Consul General, Sandra Grant Griffiths Trinidad’s Consul General, Ms. Laura West, and civic leaders from the Florida State and City Commissions.