Amala's View

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Of Laureates and Boo

Oh what an evening! Gala indeed. Nobel Laureate week opened with a ceremony that was befitting under the theme ‘Unlocking The Potential Within’.

Amidst the drama, performance poetry, song and dance we were reminded of the works of the late Sir William Arthur Lewis and the Hon. Derek Walcott. Ronald ‘Boo’ Hinkson recently released an album aptly entitled Urban Drift where he put a modern spin so to speak on some of our folk tunes. With the help of Marie-Eve Augier, Elra Ermay and Nicole David who lent their vocal talent, he was able to bring several tracks from that recording alive.
The audience was in for a special treat too, it was the first time that Boo would perform Chausee to Stockholm live. It was a piece he wrote when Derek Walcott was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992. He had come from humble beginnings on the Chausee in Castries, St Lucia and had collected the award in Stockholm, Sweden. An interesting combination was the performance of a piece entitled pan and brass where Deland ‘DSax’ St Jules and Gregory ‘Shining’ Emmanuel had a nice exchange of saxophone and steelpan.
Dance St Lucia put on two excellent pieces that were choreographed by Trevor King. Dramatic poetry and monologues were done by Melissa Giddings, Richard Ambrose and MacDonald Dixon.
One of the highlights was the storytelling of Paul Keens Douglas. He had audience members doubling over with laughter as he told stories of culture, communication, carnival and cricket. He said that he was dedicating his performance to Sir Arthur Lewis because he was gone and he said two important things in his work that stuck with him. He said that a man was great by how he thinks and what he produced. He went on to lament that West Indians always think that they are unique with something. My favourite line though was with how all stories are started. Some say ‘once upon a time’, St Lucian’s say ‘Tin Tin bois chaise’, Grenadians say ‘I selling it like I buy it’, reporters say ‘reliable sources’!!!!
The celebration of our Nobel Laureates has grown from strength to strength. Imagine the week of celebrations is now eleven days!! Talk about unlocking the potential! Both Nobel Laureates were born on January 23rd.


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