Cultural Complex Soon To House Performing Arts Centre

Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 01, 2016 (SKNIS): Director of Culture, Troy Mills, has revealed that not only will St. Kitts and Nevis be home to a performing arts centre, but that it will be one of the elements of a diverse cultural complex.

Workshop participant (left) gives facilitator Marlon Simms a present and a hug
Workshop participant (left) gives facilitator Marlon Simms a present and a hug

He said this following a dance recital in which dancers demonstrated the skills that they had learnt during a week and a half training session facilitated by Marlon Simms, Assistant Director of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Jamaica.

“Actually, we’re going to be building a cultural complex, which will include a performing arts centre,” Mr. Mills said. “And I’ll tell you a little more, just this morning (June 22) the PS (permanent secretary) had a meeting with myself and another member of the Department of Culture and our project officer and we were actually discussing our cultural complex. So we can safely say work has started towards that. How fast and how soon, we are unable to say at this time, but hopefully, I wouldn’t want to say when you come back later, but maybe sometime down the road when you come back, we won’t be here but we’ll be in the centre.”

The largest number of persons in one session that the workshop was able to accommodate was 40. Mr. Mills said that the performing arts centre, in the cultural complex, will provide a larger space for more comfortable training sessions such as those given by Mr. Simms.

Along a similar vein, Stanley Knight, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture, said that he had occasion to evaluate several of the dancers in the recital for the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) exams and had always encouraged them to achieve a new level of excellence.

“I would love to see the point at which dance starts to attain its rightful place alongside sport, alongside any other activity that we do,” Mr. Knight said, emphasizing that this was something that he had always lamented. “For dance to be of that stature, it means that your approach to dance, your dedication to dance and your involvement in dance, also has to attain the same levels that other persons put in.”

Mr. Knight went on to note that if someone in track and field can train for 20 hours per week, then someone in dance should not expect to practice for one and half hours per week and be at the same progress level as the athlete.

“You want to be on the same level – show them that you’re worth it, show them that you are as good as them, show them that this is as important as anything else that anyone else does in St. Kitts and Nevis, and that is my challenge to you,” Mr. Knight said.

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