CNCF to preview Cayman’s CARIFESTA performances

| 16/07/2019
CNS Local Life
The combined Cayman dance troupe will showcase CARIFESTA performance at local fundraiser

(CNS Local Life): The largest-ever Cayman contingent, comprising 50 delegates, will be travelling to Trinidad & Tobago next month for the 14th annual Caribbean Festival of the Arts (CARIFESTA) to show off the best of Cayman’s arts and culture, from music, dance and theatre to visual, culinary and heritage arts. Ahead of the festival, which takes place 16-25 August, the Cayman National Cultural Foundation (CNCF) is putting on four nights of music, dance and theatre at the Harquail Theatre to preview the performances in Trinidad in a CARIFESTA Showcase fundraiser.

The shows will take place over two weekends, 20 and 21 July, and 27 and 28 July. The first weekend will feature music from the Local Motion band, and dance performances from the combined Cayman dance troupe, which comprises dancers from the University College of the Cayman Islands, Dance Unlimited and Dreamchasers, stated a press release.

Local Motion is the collaborative effort of local musicians; along with lead vocalist and president of the Cayman Music Association, Jean-Eric ‘Mr Notch’ Smith, the band comprises some of the Caribbean’s finest and most experienced musicians. Included in this line-up is Jeff Japal, the keyboard player for the world famous Tradewinds and George Jones, keyboard player and founding member of top Barbadian soca band, Square One, the release said.

Lead female vocalist Vashti Bodden has been a top performer on the local scene for several years and is the 2019 Cayman Islands’ reigning Soca Monarch. The other members of the band are Robert Ebanks on drums, Mitchell Ebanks on guitar and vocals, and Roger ‘Bugs” Wilson on bass.

In addition, dance performances will feature modern contemporary work, other popular genres showcasing a fusion of British, Indian, African and Caribbean expressions, and a colourful display of Cayman’s folk forms, choreographed by Dr MoniKa Lawrence, dancer, choreographer and assistant professor and artistic director of the performing arts at the University College of the Cayman Islands. 

CNS Local Life
Giselle Webb and Jevaughnie Ebanks rehearse Downside Up

On the second weekend, the drama Downside Up, written by Frank McField and directed and designed by CNCF artistic director Henry Muttoo, will feature Jevaughnie Ebanks, Jerrin Carter, Troy Rodgers, Leslie-ann Bernard and Giselle Webb. The play examines the fate of a family caught in a cycle of secrecy, domestic abuse and infidelity, family dynamics that are not uncommon but are so often covered up. The production may not be suitable for very young children, CNCF advised, but added the hope “that the play will spark discussion that will lead to a better understanding of the issues it highlights”. 

Marcia Muttoo, CNCF managing director, said of the upcoming shows: “I hope that the public will come out to the Harquail and support our artists who are working hard to put on professional, dynamic and meaningful performances. We feel it is important that our community both gives encouragement to and is able to feel proud of Cayman’s arts and culture ambassadors to the regional stage.

“CARIFESTA is a significant event and forum for Cayman because it gives us an opportunity to demonstrate to our neighbours, and visitors from more distant shores, the wealth and uniqueness of Cayman’s arts and culture and establish a greater international profile in the arts realm.”

Also making the trip to Trinidad are chefs Brittanni Seymour, Timisha Edwards, and Jessica Moore from Women in White; Caymanian filmmaker Badir Awe; UCCI student trumpeter, Cameron Gilson, who will take part in the Caribbean Youth Orchestra; Debra Barnes-Tabora from the Cayman Islands National Museum; heritage crafters Carmen Connolly and Isaac Jeralow Rankine; and storyteller Virginia “Auntie V” Foster. Members of the contingent will be sharing their expertise through demonstrations and workshops. 

Tickets for the Cayman Islands’ CARIFESTA Showcase, which are $25 per person per show, are available at Foster’s (Airport and Strand), Funky Tangs, Healthcare Pharmacy Grand Harbour, the CNCF office or online at EventPro.

For more information call 949-5477 or email

Tags: , ,

Category: Arts, Local News, Performing Arts

Comments are closed.