Three tribute nights are on the cards for the 2019 National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA). This was confirmed last Saturday at a press briefing held during the launch of this year’s festival in Queen’s Park, tagged Art in the Park.
The tribute nights will be in recognition of Barbadian cultural icons in the performing arts disciplines of Dance, Music and Theatre – Richild Springer, Janice Millington and Andrea Gollop-Greenidge. The nights in honour of Springer and Millington are scheduled for December 4th and 6th at the Frank Collymore Hall, while Gollop-Greenidge’s appreciation is expected to take place on December 8th at the home of Theatre in Barbados, the Daphne Joseph Hackett Theatre (DJHT). Start time for all three events is 7:00 p.m.
The celebration of the life and work of Richild Springer will tell the story of her journey as the dancer, the choreographer and the teacher, with emphasis on key moments of her career in Barbados as well as overseas. Moments like her work with the Barbados Dance Theatre Company, her performance in recognition of the legend Josephine Baker, in addition to her work with the Peter Goss Company and Sammy Davis Jnr. Various seasoned dance groups and dancers in the community have been invited to showcase a piece in tribute to Springer.
Among the dance highlights for NIFCA 2019 is the inclusion of an award of excellence, as well as a proposal for the possible renaming of the Dance Studio at the National Cultural Foundation (NCF), all in her honour.
When the NCF acknowledges the contribution of scholar, music educator, composer, concert pianist and violinist, Janice Millington, it will be excellence personified. Her impact is so entrenched in the development of music education on the local and even the regional landscape that she has influenced and molded the careers of many musicians in Barbados whether directly or indirectly.
Millington created the Harrison College Orchestra and its Music Department. She pioneered the introduction of Music Education at the University of the West Indies and ensured the addition of Music to the list of subjects for the Caribbean Examination Council.
Many of the island’s top musicians have eagerly consented to be a part of this evening’s proceedings to represent the essence of her musical genius.
The final tribute night will pay homage to actress, story teller, cultural administrator, event planner, manager and producer – Andrea Gollop-Greenidge. She earned her seat at the table of those integral members of the community who laid the groundwork for post-colonial theatre in this country. In 2009, her contribution to the cultural landscape and heritage of Barbados and the Caribbean was recognised with the award of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) presented by the Queen for services to the Performing Arts. Indeed, NIFCA itself also owes her a debt of gratitude as one of its early coordinators from 1974 to 2007.
The evening will feature a variety of theatrical performances and video tributes, linked by a narrative of the journey of this cultural icon, showcasing her legacy through the myriad forms that theatre has taken over the last 50 years in Barbados.
Among the legacy components proposed for Gollop-Greenidge is a commissioned portrait to be mounted in the foyer of the DJHT, as a fitting accolade to a woman with a lifelong passion for Theatre.