Participating in the competition this year is the Belmont Freetown Cultural Arts & Folk Performing Company, who are no strangers to promoting the culture of Trinidad and Tobago both here and at the Brouhaha International Street Festival in the United Kingdom. We caught up with the Assistant Secretary Ife Griffith to talk about this year’s competition and what being able to take part means to the organisation.
Since our last chat what has Belmont Freetown been up to?
Well, we were preparing pieces for the Prime Ministers Best Village Competition. We also held a Mother’s Day appreciation show, as well as the recent Emancipation Celebration, which are annual events the organisation hosts.
Is this the group’s first time at the Best Village Trophy Competition?
No. The group has been participating in the Prime Minister's Best Village Trophy Competition for the past five years.
What categories has the group entered in this year?
We are competing in two (2) categories, Dance and Song.
What song or songs are you doing?
Two (2) folk songs; a spiritual "Oh happy Day", and a folk medley. The preliminaries for these are on the 21st of this month.
How about the dance pieces?
We did two dance pieces, an Orisa spiritual and a Temne.
For those out there that might be asking themselves what is a "Temne" can you elaborate?
Temne is a nation dance from one of the tribes of the African slaves who settled. It was done in the Saraka, where they had a gathering of all the nations after slavery to give thanks and pay reverence to the ancestors for their freedom. The dance is a lively one with ladies dressed in traditional wear of the time, usually those of what the house maids would have worn.
Who choreographs the dances?
The dancer, singer, choreographer and super talented man Mr. Terry David.
Is winning the competition a big thing for the group and who are the groups to beat?
Well the regular Best Village winners are Malick Folk Performers, Picton Folk Performers, and North West Folk Performers, but there are a lot of other viable contenders. Ultimately we would like to win the categories we entered, but our main reason for entering the competition is for the comradery of the event. We don't enter as aggressive competitors. If we don't turn out the victors this year we will be satisfied to have entered and done our best, and shown some of what we have to offer.
Ife, thanks for taking the time to talk to us and we wish the organisation much success in the competition. How can people wanting to get involved become a part of the group?
People interested in the group can call, come, or email us. We can be contacted at +1868 744 4115, +1868 358 6795, or +1868 627 9586. We can be emailed at email@example.com and look out soon for our website! Interested persons can also visit us during a rehearsal, at Belmont Junior Secondary School, Belmont Circular Road, Belmont.
Mondays and Thursdays: 7:00 - 9:00 pm,
Saturdays: 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Belmont Freetown Cultural Arts & Folk Performing Company
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