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The Department of Culture (DOC) will be hosting its first ever Virtual National & Regional Dance Solo Competitions under the theme ‘Dancing Together, Distances Apart’.

The National Competition will form part of the official 2020 Independence Celebrations on Monday, 26th October, while the regional component will be hosted on Tuesday, 15th December 2020.

The Virtual National Dance Solo Competition is opened to Antiguans and Barbudans aged 16 to 35 years.

The participants are encouraged to explore all genres music and may also integrate spoken word and other elements to complement their performance.

Dancers will be allowed to perform Caribbean Folk, African, Modern or Contemporary, Street Jazz, Hip Hop and ballet dance disciplines.

Dance Instructor Monifa Browne, one of the pioneers of the event, shared what influenced the dance department to embark on this venture.

“Most of us as instructors have our own schools, we have students that are basically under our wings that we tutor, that we instruct, that we advise and we found that with the Covid-19 pandemic we have not been able to allow them to express their talents in the way the lord blessed them.
She continued, “so we came up with an idea that since everything is virtual now we said why not have a dance competition. We missed out dance week back in June because of the same pandemic, so why not bring all of our dancer’s together by doing this one initiative to show that we are still out there?”

Browne was supported by Director of Culture Khan Cordice who also stated that the event brings purpose to many dancers who would have been discouraged due to the impact of Covid-19 in the country.

“One of the things I’ve been speaking to my staff about over the last few months [is] how can we continue to reach the people of Antigua and Barbuda and the region? How can we find creative ways to facilitate dance, music, art? This is one of the things, after out numerous discussions that the dance department and events department came up with in an effort to find creative and safe way for our dancers to still be able to showcase things they would have been working on.

‘For some of them, they would have said that they are feeling more inspired, they feel like there is some hope at the end of it all because the reality is at this time, not many people are performing, not many people have the means of entertain others but this platform gives them that opportunity,” Cordice stated.

Only the top three winners of the competition will be announced.

The top performer will go on to represent Antigua and Barbuda in the Regional Competition, in December.

Interested persons can register online on the Cultural Development Division – Antigua and Barbuda Facebook and Instagram pages, or by visiting the department on lower Nevis Street.

The deadline for registration is Friday, 16th October.

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