By Christopher Tobutt
This year, the Talent Xposition of the Arts, run by the Cayman Islands Self Help Foundation turned 18. It’s always one of Cayman’s most popular events – there’s singing, dancing, drama skits, poetry, and the Harquail theatre was packed.
Always an amazing and spectacular and this year’s show was no different. The Cayman Islands Self Help Foundation’s CEO is JC Connor, whose aim is to help Cayman’s rising stars by putting on an amazing show, and also by using some of the money raised to support various local artists and young people.
This Year two people who performed in the show in past years, Lloyd Barker and Anika Conolly, were the MCs.
Three of Cayman’s beauty queens, Cayman Islands Miss Universe, Caitlyn Tyson, Miss Teen, Latecia Bush, and Miss Cayman Islands World, Kelsie Woodman-Bodden each came onstage to introduce the show. Each one had something to say about the importance of developing your talent, and being the very best you can be.
The opening act was a really amazing dance, with lots of dancers from the Dream Chasers dance group. The dance, called ‘African Homeland,’ was actually choreographed by Caitlyn Tyson, and was one of the scenes from The Color Purple musical. It told the story of going back to find roots in the richness of African culture and history.
Next, Tiffany Conolly sang the song, “the Joke.” It was a great song, all about how the joke turns out to be on all the people who laugh at us, when success finally comes.
“Whipped into Shape,” was the name of the next dance number, by Centre Point Dance, and was all about working out hard down the gym.
Butterfield’s Young Musician of the year, Dequan Smith came next to play the Cello. Everyone was delighted at his soulful rendition of Brahms' Hungarian Dance.
Amber McLaughlin came next, singing an old-fashioned Broadway-style song, Beyond the Sea. It was enchanting.
The most exciting thing about Talent Xposition is really how the mood changes, so completely from one performance to the next, so you are always being surprised by something different and amazing. Next came Aniyah Smith, 2019 Poetry Slam winner with a poetry performance: “Life is unfair. A tree cannot stop an axe or the rolling of the waves,” she began.
There was a medley of popular Jamaican dances, performed by a group of young Caymanian dancers. It was fast paced, high energy and funny too.
Butterfields Young Musician of the Year 2018 played a wonderful example of Boogie Woogie style on the piano, and everyone was stomping their feet and clapping along by the end.
Dance fans were in for a real treat, as this year’s Cayman entry to Carifesta 2019 in August, a group of young dancers all dressing in long red dresses, took to the stage to perform the dance, “Gloria.” It was magnificent, majestic and magical.
Mixing the contemporary and the traditional, the next dance was a traditional quadrille, performed by students from the Edna Moyle Primary School. There were many other performances all evening, and the audience loved it.