Tanya Batson-Savage, Freelance Writer
THE QUADRILLE, in its various forms, remained the dance of choice for many of the schools entering the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission's (JCDC) Traditional Folk Forms competition. Its dominance was evident on the second day of the national finals, which took place at the Little Theatre, Tom Redcam Avenue, St. Andrew.
The finals took place over three days, beginning on Monday and ending on Wednesday. Tuesday's performances featured approximately 60 entrants, which included almost 30 quadrille pieces. The quadrille-camp style, which features faster, more African-derived steps, had the most entries. There were also several ballroom-style entries and two contra-style pieces.
Joyce D. Campbell, traditional folk forms consultant with the JCDC, explained that the quadrille and the maypole are traditionally the most popular works in the competition. She noted that because each genre has its own set of moves and its own music, it is difficult for schools to learn and then create pieces for each.
Day Two also featured performances in jonkunnu, gerreh, dinki mini, bruckins party, ring games, tambu and integrated song and dance (featuring more than one style in a single piece).
The quadrille pieces ranged from the delightfully-engaging performance by the tots of Liberty Learning Centre, who won the Kindergarten trophy for 'Best Quadrille', to the intermediate performances by groups, such as Frome Technical High and Clonmel Culture Club.
This year, the quadrille pieces were limited to the performance of a single figure. Traditionally, the groups performed at least two figures. However, to make concessions because of time, the JCDC decided to allow only a single figure. Campbell explained, however, that up to the regional finals the groups had to deliver the two figures.
Fourteen trophies were awarded on Tuesday.
Adjudication in the performing arts comes to an end this week with competition in drama. Since the start of the national finals in June, scores of schools and community groups have competed in speech, dance and music.