Wed | Aug 16, 2017

Engaging Expressions - Blend of performing arts enthuses audience

Published:Wednesday | August 24, 2016 | 8:00 AMShereita Grizzle
Yashika Graham
Kai Falconer
M'Bala
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A change of venue from Merl Grove High to Jampro in New Kingston did not stop patrons from coming out for an evening of great entertainment at the second annual staging of 'Expressions' on Sunday.

Subtitled 'The Jamaican Chapter', the concert aimed at showcasing local talent, including up-and-coming performers in music, poetry, dance and other artistic endeavours. There was hardly an empty seat left close to showtime at 7 p.m.

Veteran M'Bala captivated the audience and had persons dancing away to the beat of his drums. With tambourines strapped to his feet, the seasoned performer took patrons on an instrumental journey and hypnotised with the stories he told through the sounds emanating from his drums. By the time M'Bala was through beating the ketehs, guests were fully engaged and ready for more.

They got just that when the Portmore Dance Theatre Company made their appearance. The group did an African-inspired routine and had the crowd rocking along to their high-energy performance, some audience members attempting to copy a few of the moves.

After those high-energy opening performances, the first poet of the night, Britan Wright, had his work cut out in keeping the bar up and he did just that. Wright had the guests, especially the women, in a frenzy with Black Woman. In the ode to all strong African women, Wright complimented everything unique about the female gender, his rhymes resonating and mesmerising.

He had the crowd's attention at the end of that piece and went on to deliver another strong poem, Nuff Man. This highlighted some of the experiences many men miss out on, simply because they are not Jamaican. He talked about things that make Jamaicans unique, from playing Mama Lashy to drinking coconut water from the coconut itself.

He made way for Kai Falconer, the lone female poet in that segment of the programme, who held her own by delivering a powerful set. Her rhymes demonstrated reasoning well beyond her youthful years, as Falconer talked about many issues facing young people. She used her piece to encourage young people to not only challenge the status quo, but embrace their uniqueness.

In a break from the poetry, Kimberly Wilson thrilled with music from her violin.

On a night that saw many outstanding young performers, poet Yashika Graham, dancer Keenan Fletcher, saxophonist Deshaun Fender and the event's conceptualiser, Najuequa Barnes, also put in excellent performances.

shereita.grizzle@gleanerjm.com