Sat | Dec 5, 2020

ASHE presentsHeroes Day showcase

Published:Monday | October 19, 2020 | 7:26 AMShereita Grizzle/Staff Reporter
The ASHE Company.
The ASHE Company.

Like many other holidays this year, National Heroes Day, today, will be heavily impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. Prolonged lockdown conditions have put a damper on the usual festivities; nevertheless, at least one performing arts group will today be ensuring that even in quarantine Jamaicans will still celebrate Heroes Day in fine style. At 4 p.m. this evening, get ready to chill with the ASHE Performing Arts Group as they present a virtual performance showcase.

“Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, ASHE, like many other entities, has been finding ways to adapt and adjust to the new norm. Our ensemble membership has been supporting virtual weddings, funerals, church events, virtual live concerts, commercials and online activities. Today, we felt it was important to offer an opportunity to just ‘chill’ during the early lockdown and celebrate our heroes; the seven established ones as well as the everyday ones helping us to get through this difficult times, like the front-line workers, teachers, parents and creative artistes,” said the group’s executive director, Conroy Wilson.

With curfew starting at 3 p.m. today, it is expected people are going to be home relaxing with family or friends. “So why not do it with us?” Wilson asked.

He added, “We will be bringing the ASHE energy and excitement! It is going to be an evening to remember. Viewers can expect sweet, sweet Jamaican music and salutes to some of the musical icons, and just reassurance that we still have something to give thanks for and to smile about, even amid all the chaos.”

Team receptive

Wilson said that when he brought the idea of a virtual show to his team, they immediately began brainstorming on how to make the show memorable. “Our artistic director, Michael Holgate, wove this entire show together but the team was very receptive. The show provided them with an opportunity to once more do what they love, and so, with supervision and support, the ensemble members took ownership of the show and did some of the choreography and arrangements and we are proud,” he said.

According to Wilson, despite limited physical contact, it took approximately two weeks to put the show together.

Faybian Grizzle, ensemble member and choreographer for two of the pieces which will be aired tonight, says the team has been pulling out all the stops to ensure the show delivers high-quality entertainment. “Since March, I think we’ve only done one in-person performance, and so we decided that this Heroes Day we would put on a show because we wanted to help people celebrate themselves and the brave men and women who fought for our freedom,” he said.

“I choreographed the Agent Sasco medley, with musical arrangement from Tori-Ann Ivy. It’s going to be very ‘reggae-fied’ with old-school music. I felt the vibes while choreographing it in my bedroom and I know viewers will, too. It’s going to be a whole vibe and that’s why we call it ‘Chilling with ASHE’. People can’t go out and party, but dem can watch this in their living rooms and catch a vibe and celebrate our nation and our heroes ,” he told The Gleaner.