This year’s National Cultural Gala was a charming summation of all what was achieved this creole season. To anyone who missed out on a majority of the creole events, the National Cultural Gala awarded a sample of all the best highlights of this year’s national activities.
The Gala was held at on Dominica’s 33rd anniversary of Independence – November 3rd 2011, at its customary location of the Botanical Gardens. Despite the bouts of temperamental weather, Dominicans and visitors alike who attended were rewarded with clear, calm skies well into the evening.
The best aspects of the creole season, such as the quality and preservation of tradition, were presented at the Gala. A splendid variety of all the cultural dances and performing acts were represented at the Gala, with a bittersweet feeling of the closing of the Independence season. Although the Gala served as the last platform for performances, the groups who performed gave their final appearances as vivaciously as they did at the start of the season.
The Petite Savanne Cultural group was one of the most active musical groups of the season, presenting performances by their Jing Ping adults, Jing Ping Youth and string band ensemble. Musical acts included a very vibrant performance by ‘Mighty Acre’ George Jervier of his Kweyol song ‘Pas Di Sa Bondie Pas Jamais Di’, an environmentally-aware Kokoy song by the Wesley Primary school and a truly rhythmic drumming ensemble by the Paix Bouche Cultural Group.
A full spectrum of the traditional dances was displayed, from the Heel and Toe done by the children of the Delices cultural group, the Mazouk by the Capuchin Cultural Group, to the Quadrille done by the Flamboyant Dancers. Anyone who admires a well-made, fashionable Wob Dwiyet was treated to appearances by the Ti Matador winner Donielle George, Madam Wob Dwiyet, Madam Wob Dwiyet New Jersey Kelly George and Miss Wob Dwiyet Zanya Elizee of 2011. Prizes were awarded to award service and talent – the E.O.Leblanc trophy was given to the Trend Setters, the Lifetime Achievement Award to Joseph Paul and The Young Artist Award to Shirvon Baron.
The Gala also served as a representation of room for improvements that can be made to the celebration of the Independence festivities. Ironically, the vendors opted for foreign, fast foods which replaced the traditional foods, at the one annual event that promotes Dominican culture and heritage. The innovative visual art and craft displays that were featured at the Gala in previous years were missed. Nevertheless, the show glorified all the hard work and achievements that were made for the entire creole season, ending the creole season with a positive vibe.