Today begins the two nights on offer for the 2018 Scotiabank sponsored National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA) Dance Finals at the Frank Collymore Hall where patrons will witness performances from the top 27 being adjudged at this level of the competition.
The participants in the senior category of dance will face the judges today, Friday, November 2nd and tomorrow Saturday, November 3rd twelve of the senior entrants will return for a special anniversary showcase, while the junior dance finalists will face the judges all on one stage.
The Scotiabank NIFCA Dance Finals has always been an exciting programme and this year is no different. The finals lineup is a mix of some of the usual faces as well as some newcomers, performing in the genres of African, Afro-Caribbean, Heritage/Folk, Street/Urban dance, Ballet, Praise dance, Ballroom, Latin and contemporary.
Every person has the right to be better off that is one the key drivers behind Scotiabank’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes and one of the reasons they support initiatives like NIFCA Dance, so says the company’s Senior Manager Customer Experience, Ms. Sharon Small. She noted that their CSR programmes are focussed on the youth, the leaders of tomorrow, and it is their goal, as is the objective of NIFCA, to provide opportunities, in this case a platform for people to discover their full potential.
Ms. Small remarked that the development of our youth is a crucial component to community prosperity and that these NIFCA platforms impact positively on young people’s advancement. She sees this support for NIFCA, culture and the creative arts as a win-win situation. It is an investment in the security, stability and growth of the youth, a perfect fit for the bank’s standards, policies and goals set out in their CSR guidelines and so they are very pleased to partner with the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) once again.
The NCF’s Cultural Officer for Dance and coordinator for NIFCA Dance, Mrs. Alicia Payne/Hurley expressed her tremendous gratitude for Scotiabank’s contribution to the discipline and to the festival on the whole, referring to them as a very engaged sponsor not only financially but also offering assistance in any way they can.
With the spotlight on NIFCA’s 45 years of existence Mrs. Payne/Hurley briefly reflected on the development of the art form and its participants, noting that there has been significant growth over the years – from the type of groups entering, to the level of entrant, to procedural changes specific to the competition and to a focus on the business of dance.
Remembering her own experiences as a judge at NIFCA before her tenure at the NCF, she touched on the move from mixed to dedicated nights for the performing arts disciplines and from a quota of 15 spaces at the finals to an extremely competitive 26 spots for dance.
Payne/Hurley also commented on the marked increase in the number of community groups now entering again, which she attributed to the impact of the programmes facilitated within the communities in an effort to develop the emerging talent.
She referred to dance and the dancers as becoming very entrepreneurial. Accessibility to education through the Barbados Community College (BCC) associate degree and the University of the West Indies (UWI) degree programmes, along with the NCF developmental programmes in dance have produced more graduates in the field and this has had a direct correlation to the quality of the performances on stage and the rising number of start up businesses, schools, companies and academies entering NIFCA. Payne/Hurley affirmed that the growth is definitely visible in dance.
Scotiabank has been supporting the NCF and culture for about 26 years, the last five of which have included NIFCA Dance.