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Traditional Folk Forms Alive and Well In Jamaica • JCDC Performing Arts Traditional Folk Forms End on High Note

The National Festival of the Performing Arts hosted by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) ended its Traditional Folk Forms category on a high note on Thursday (May 29), demonstrating that Traditional Folk Forms in Jamaica are ‘alive and well’.

Hundreds gathered at the Little Theatre from May 27 to 29 to view the one hundred and ten (110) gold medal entries from parishes island-wide which vied for the top awards. On the final day it was the Artistry in Motion Group from Trelawny which captured nine trophies including Best Overall Award for the Class 6 Category, Best Overall ‘TAMBU’ Presentation, the Hon. Rex Nettleford Award for the Most Outstanding Youth Group, the Imogene Queenie Kennedy Award for the Most Outstanding Adult Group and the D. Joyce Campbell Award for the Most Outstanding Traditional Folk Forms Teacher Island-wide copped by Derron Ledgister.

Other outstanding groups included New Forest Primary and Junior High School representing Manchester who captured eight trophies including the Kirby Doyle Award for the Most Outstanding Intermediate School/Group and Best Overall Awards in Class 3 for the Quadrille Camp Style and Class 4 for the Maypole category. Their teacher is Tricia Lyle. The New Creation Baptist Church also from Manchester secured four trophies for their Revival entry which was arranged by group leader Bishop Clarissa McCleod.

The Liberty Learning Centre from Portland coached by Sheron LueWelch and Peter Coburn copped four trophies including the Ada Barret Award for the Most Outstanding Junior School/Group. Smurfs Early Childhood Centre taught by Robertha Daley representing Kingston and St. Andrew received three trophies including the Best Overall Award in the Class 1 Ring Games Category. The Seaforth Primary and Junior High School walked away with three trophies including the Best Overall Award in the Class 2 Quadrille Camp Style Category. They were coached by Richelle Robinson. Each teacher with a winning group received a Best Overall Teacher Award

for their individual category.

Traditional Folk Forms Specialist at the JCDC, Lenneth Richards indicated that this year’s entries at the National level has seen a fifty percent increase from 2013 noting that “the programme over the past 23 years has seen tremendous growth and has been able to encourage, foster, and train teachers/leaders, students and individuals from schools, youth/community groups from all levels of the society. The result of this training led to an influx of entries in this year’s competition with performers as young as five years old representing all the parishes performing Traditional Folk Forms indigenous to their respective parishes along with others they learnt from training workshop and seminars.”

Miss Richards stated that at the start of the year, training workshops for teachers and leaders were held at the parish and regional levels adding that the workshops resulted in the high standard of the performances at the parish level especially in the categories, Maypole, Quadrille and Ring Games which continue to dominate the overall number of entries received.

The JCDC continues the exciting National Festival of the Performing Arts with the Music Festival which will run from June 3 to 6 with the Drum Festival being staged on June 5. The Dance Festival will be held from June 10-14 with the exciting Deaf Dance Festival on Saturday, June 14, Speech Festival, June 17-19 and Drama June 24-25.

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