With a dazzling display of color, the pulsating sounds of soca, String band and calypso, the citizens of Taiwan were treated to a cultural dance extravaganza by the students of Saint Kitts and Nevis in Taiwan. The performance formed part of a Caribbean and Latin American festival that was sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan and the Embassies of Latin America and the Caribbean in Taiwan and was attended by high officials from the Taiwanese government including H.E. Lee Da Wei, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan.
Following an aerial video presentation of Saint Kitts and Nevis accompanied by an audio imitating a pilot inviting members of the audience to enjoy their visit to the Federation, Mr. Stephen Richards playing steel pans ushered in the modern dancers arrayed in outfits in the colors of the flag. As they completed their beautifully choreographed dance, 10 students dressed in clown and masquerade costumes gave an energetic performance complete with the intricate steps and formation of the masquerade dance to the delight of the crowd.
The conclusion of their performance heralded the appearance of another 5 students dressed in carnival costumes, (some of which were made in the Federation and which were part of the 2016/2017 Saint Kitts/Nevis National Carnival) who pranced joyfully to the soca tune “Take de Oath”. They were also joined on stage by a flag waving “moco jumbie” to the amazement of the audience. The finale included all the students joining the costumed dancers on the stage, coming forward to take a bow by sections and then circling the moco jumbie in a riot of color, and jumping off the stage waving flags while singing take the oath. Thunderous and sustained applause followed the students as they left the stage.
The “Carnival Extravaganza” as the performance was titled, was conceived by the students and the Embassy and was led by a student at Chung Hua University, Ms. Davina Cranston, who provided much of the choreography. According to H.E. Ambassador Jasmine E. Huggins “We were intimately involved in this project because it provided a great opportunity to showcase the rich cultural heritage of our twin-island Federation to the citizens of Taiwan. I was also very impressed with the dedication of the students and enjoyed watching them bond and form a unit that I hope will last long after they depart Taiwan. I beamed with pride as I watched their amazing performance on stage.
The thunderous applause and screams of appreciation from the audience was well deserved and the Embassy is happy to have played a part”. When asked what motivated her to participate Ms. Cranston simply stated “Love of country! And I enjoyed our coming together every weekend for rehearsals. We had a great time preparing and I am very happy that it was so well received.” Mr. Donya Francis, who is completing his masters at Taipei Medical University volunteered his services as tailor and made the brightly colored outfits for the modern dance performance.
“I had a great time on stage performing with my fellow countrymen and women, all for Saint Kitts and Nevis. Whenever an opportunity to represent our Federation arises, I don’t think twice, it’s always a “yes”! It was a wonderful experience” said Mr. Francis. A variety of fruit jams made in the Federation were available at a Saint Kitts and Nevis booth and during the event visitors were able to sample some of the culinary delights of Saint Kitts and Nevis
In addition, to coincide with this event, customers traveling on Taiwan’s Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) to Taipei 101 (Taiwan’s tallest building) will be able to view a photograph of Brimstone Hill Fortress prominently featured as one of the lighted displays.