15th Annual Xposition of Arts showcases local and overseas talent

Michael Rhoden

For the first time in its history, this year’s annual Talent Xposition of the Arts, being presented on Sunday, will showcase overseas performers and artists alongside a host of local talent.

The variety show, organized by the New Self-Help Community Foundation, will begin promptly at 6 p.m. at its traditional venue of the Harquail Theatre. The gate opens at 5:30 p.m. and beverages and snacks will be sold during the event’s brief intermission.

Top billing this year goes to the acclaimed Stella Maris Dance Ensemble of Jamaica, which will be making its fourth trip to Grand Cayman, the first being in the late ‘80s.

Zariah Anglin
Zariah Anglin

Local talent

Included in the roster of local artists and rising talent will be performances by the Kri Performing Arts School, Zariah Anglin, Andy Blake, LaToya Francis, the University College of the Cayman Islands Dancers, Aleah Copland, Lebron McLean, Ohana, Shakur Ebanks, the Skippy Dexterous Brothers, Kayla Prendergast and George Town Primary School Performing Arts.

Alongside a number of solo singing artists, the lineup includes monologues, poetry, an a cappella group, dancers and instrumentalists. Emcees for the evening are T.V. show host and author Catherine Tyson, Andrel Harris and Lloyd Barker.

In previous years the Xposition has proved to be a useful performance vehicle for emerging local artistes and has been a rich breeding ground for honing talent while fundraising for a number of worthy causes in the community.

The foundation’s chief executive officer, J.C. Connor, said, “The role the arts play in unlocking individuals’ creativity and a creative frame of mind inspires young people to think for themselves, adapt and innovate. Being creative helps to discover the field of pure conscientiousness within as the source of knowledge.

“The ability to make something exist, to innovate, to imagine and to make something come alive. Creativity is not a matter of thought, creativity must go somewhere, do something, be something, or make something happen, otherwise is it not really creativity,” the organizer added.

Kayla Prendergast
Kayla Prendergast

Stella Maris Dance Ensemble of Jamaica

Founded in 1986 at the Stella Maris Preparatory School in Kingston, the Stella Maris Dance Ensemble of Jamaica, over the years, has earned a reputation as one of the island’s most exciting and innovative dance troupes.

The ensemble, which started out as a creative outlet for the school’s students, quickly flourished into a top dance company under the inspiring stewardship of Artistic Director Monika Lawrence, who currently holds a professorship in performing arts at the University College of the Cayman Islands.

Known both regionally and internationally as exponents of dance and choreography that celebrate and interpret Jamaica’s rich cultural heritage, the troupe has won numerous awards over the decades, including some 90 gold medals, 10 silver and four bronze at the Jamaican Cultural Development Commission’s Festival Dance competitions.

With more than 20 top dancers, as well as numerous individual dance compositions, the ensemble has successfully staged full-length dance dramas, such as “Children of Sisyphus,” based on the book by Orlando Patterson, and full-length balletic pieces such as “Brown Sugar.”

Zariah Anglin
Zariah Anglin

Known to dance audiences in Cuba, Mexico, Spain, the U.S., Japan and the U.K., the ensemble made its first trip to Cayman in 1986, when it performed the Christmas pantomime, “Stella’s Tale.”

Proceeds from this year’s Xposition of the Arts will benefit the National Council of Voluntary Organisation’s Children’s Home. Last year, $3,000 raised by the event was donated to the development of the George Town Primary School Performing Arts Centre.

Tickets are available from Funky Tangs and Winners Circle and cost $10 pre-paid; $15 at the gate. The event is scheduled to end at approximately 9:30 p.m.