What I try to do with Wadadli Pen, Veronica Yearwood has been doing for much longer (21 years) and likely to much greater effect with the Antigua Dance Academy. That is giving young people an opportunity to express themselves using as a vehicle the artistic discipline they love; helping them to grow into their skills within that discipline; in some small way, through this platform, helping to nurture them into adulthood; communicating to them the power they have, and the power of the creative arts, to transfom the world. Yearwood’s genre of emphasis though not exclusion is the Afro folk Caribbean music (dance, drumming, singing, oral) tradition. With every performance she reminds us of a tradition that has been creolized through its contact first with European and Amerindian and subsequently other cultures but which has its roots in Africa. Below are scenes from the ADA festival Out of the Drum. They’re really blurry images. But hopefuly they’ll motivate you to check out these crisper ones taken by veteran Antiguan and Barbudan photographer Thaddeus Price.
And if you’re thinking to yourself, what’s a dance post doing on a literary blog…well, it’s just another form of storytelling, ent it?