Encore Performance Highlights Child Abuse

Shivas School of DanceAntigua St. John's - An exclusive partnership between the Innocence Project and Shivas School of Dance has resulted in an encore performance of the highly acclaimed production, “The Way You Love Me”.

The show, choreographed and directed by Tavia Hunte, previewed in June to rave reviews for its raw and creative display of art as a vehicle of advocacy on a social issue.

The encore will be divided into two shows on November 30. The first will be a 4 pm matinee for the entire family, while the 8 pm show will be for those 16 and over.

“Our show is geared towards highlighting the serious issue of child abuse and violence against women that is plaguing our society,” Hunte said. “Many persons requested a repeat performance also because they support our intent to highlight  the issues of child abuse and the need to build support of the ministry’s Innocence Project. The children and adults who are a part of Shiva have learned as much as they have given, and we join with the ministry to call on NGO’s, the clergy, business community and anyone with a platform, to get involved with this Project.”

Hunte, who holds a bachelor’s degree in dance education from the Edna Manley College of Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston, Jamaica, explained that “dance is a powerful tool that can transform the human body, soul and spirit; it removes barriers, brings people together and it allows us to express what our words fail to say.

The Shiva School of Dance aims to ensure that dance gains the love and respect needed in the community, and continues to educate and transform minds and bodies through this dynamic art form.

Hunte added that, “… our talents were given to us to serve each other, and so wherever our strengths lie, we must ensure that others benefit from our presence here on this earth. If we don’t make a change, it will never come. Our children are our future. It is our duty to love and care for them.”

Senator Malaka Parker, parliamentary secretary within the Ministry of Social Transformation, in endorsing the partnership, said the dance group continued to work with the Innocence Project even after the curtains closed last June.

Antigua recently hosted a UNICEF-sponsored workshop on the “Break the Silence Campaign”, where representatives from over 14 Caribbean territories, including Regional UNICEF Director Khin Sandi Lewin, were treated to excerpts and a performance from the production during the two-day workshop.

 Applauding the group, Senator Parker noted, “What Shiva's School of Dance achieved with their phenomenal production is to capture the full spectrum of child abuse through the creative arts. As many times as such an important social issue can meet a creative, artistic, effective outlet, people should clamour to see it. The show received such acclaim, it gives others the chance to see it for the first time, and for the rest of us, it satisfies the hunger to see it again!”

Shiva School of Dance travelled to Anguilla, where they performed segments of the production and received an overwhelming response for their performance, resulting in a delegation of Anguillans coming to Antigua for the full production on Saturday.

The production will feature various styles of dance from Caribbean, folk, to modern, contemporary, and will showcase cultural forms ranging from African Caribbean dance, modern contemporary, jazz and hip hop.

This, Hunte said, is in keeping with the school’s mantra, “Creating Unity through Diversity”.

The show will be held at the University of the West Indies Open Campus on Factory Road.


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