Tuesday, 28 June 2016

CRITIC’S NOTEBOOK: Mutabaruka in ‘Sankofa’ + ‘Womanhood’ as art + Pantomime seeks fresh faces

THE FEMININE MYSTIQUE: On Saturday afternoon, TALLAWAH joined a handful of tastemakers and art lovers inside the Spanish Court Hotel’s pristine Worthington space for ‘Dimensions of Womanhood,’ a limited-run art exhibition celebrating femininity in all its guises, featuring sublime pieces by Gisele Gardner (gorgeous oils on canvas characterized by bold brush strokes) and Katrina Coombs (fascinating textile and hand-woven creations) juxtaposed with rigid studies in metal by Stefan Clarke. All three fine artists are products of the Edna Manley College’s School of Visual Art, who teamed up to showcase the inspired works that compelling evoke the strength, sensuality, fragility and adaptability of the woman. “The work here really speaks to their continuing development as artists,” one attendee was overheard saying in an animated conversation. Among the noted names who came out to support the artists were Dr. Veronica Salter, Ad-Ziko Simba, Annie Paul, Dr. Kim Robinson-Walcott and Petrona Morrison.

KEEPING TRADITION ALIVE: Celebrating 75 years of artistic excellence in 2015, the LTM National Pantomime solidified their landmark status as the longest-running theatre company in Jamaica producing top-class and wholesome family entertainment. In keeping with tradition, the LTM is again on the hunt for fresh faces, stage-ready new talents who can sing, dance and act well. The Company has announced that it is now accepting applications from those interested in participating in their audition process to become members. Age-wise, you must be at least 20 years of age and reside within reach of the Corporate Area, but the Pantomime Company is not recommended for full-time students. Application forms can be accessed via their website, www.ltmpantomime.com, or by contacting 926-6129.

12 YEARS A SLAVE: Who knew Allan ‘Mutabaruka’ Hope was such a compelling actor? The cultural icon and controversial radio-show host truly impressed the large audience that descended on the Redbones Blues Café in St. Andrew last Saturday evening for a screening of Sankofa, a tragic and darkly entertaining feature film (directed by the Ethiopian Haile Gerima), in which Muta gives a memorable performance as a rebellious and strong-willed slave learning the power of community while experiencing the horrors of slavery. At its core, though, the movie (shot in Ghana and in Duncans, Trelawney) is about a vain Black American model who is spiritually transported back to a Caribbean plantation, where she is in for a rude awakening. There’s lots of spiritualism, black magic and island spice in the film that courted controversy upon its release back in the day, owing to its dark subject matter. But with its solid cast (Muta, Kofi Ghanaba, the late Reggie Carter, et al) and an unyielding meditation on the slavery experience and attitudes towards our horrific past, it’s an important film that’s as powerful as it is provocative.

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