Revival: CSO's Cultural Show

Taniya Sheikh

The sweet sounds of Carribean music played through the halls of the UCC, welcoming guests to the 2019 Cultural Show put on by the Carribean Student Organisation.

Unlike most shows put on in the mustang lounge, the structure of the hall was much like a banquet hall with round tables and small groups, this was to signify unity and culture with each table representing an island that made up the Carribean coast.

A huge sign that said “Revival” with decorative flowers was the first thing anyone would notice when they would walk in; it was also the theme of the cultural show. The show’s theme was to represent life again, a rebirth of the culture and traditions of the Caribbean people. Flags of different islands were hung on the surrounding walls, giving the Mustang lounge a new feel. A local band called Golden Harps Steel Orchestra played during the registration and intermission.

A diverse collection of people had soon taken up every seat at the event, each with enthusiasm as they supported their friends or family before they went on stage.

The show began with a welcome video which highlighted all the events that took place over the course of the year and special messages by Carribean celebrities on the significance of the cultural show. Following that was UWO’s choir’s performance of the song “Stir it up” to symbolize sweet beginnings.

The rest of the show was set up in a satire musical form that revolved around two friends who were travelling across the Caribbean coast, experiencing new music, food, people and culture. Their first stop was to Jamaica where they spoke about the smell of curry and their main goal in the island: to find a Jamaican man. This followed a visit to the club where members of the CSO performed a dance number to dancehall party music.

As the performance came to an end, the host encouraged audience members to show off their dancehall skills to win a $50 gift at the end. Although no one made an effort at first, 2 audience members went on stage to battle for the price.

This made way for a musical piece performed by 3 members of the club, Solyd Roy, Jag. Huligan and Fvis, a blend of trap, rap and hip hop. This performance brought the audience members to scream and cheer their friends on stage. The host then invited audience members to play a game of finish the lyrics and 2 audience members won prices as they tied in the competition.

After the contest, the two friends were back but this time on the beach where they wanted to go skinny dipping and they spoke about the Reggae music and how the sweet music made them feel nice. They were interrupted by a Jamaican local who offered them some weed which they called medication. This act was followed by a dance performance on the song “medication”; a reggaeton track.

As the dance performance came to an end, the audience made their way to grab food and refreshments during the intermission which was approximately 40 mins. The Golden Harps Steel Orchestra played their sweet tunes During the intermission, there was Kahoot game which quizzed the audience’s knowledge on the Carribean Island and their nation.

The second half of the show started with a video on the Trini and Tobago Carnival, its history and its relevance. The story about the Jab Molassie (Jab Jab): devil character in the carnival and how it spoke to the time of emancipation, and the cultural dance/carnival represented the struggle of the nation. As the video played on the massive projector, members of the club walked around with masks like the Jab Molassie and scared the audience members.

This was in conjunction with the Carnival dance performance and fashion show of the Cabana culture where the ladies showed off their very decadent, colourful outfits.

Ana from Cuba sang a beautiful song called “Contigo en la distancia” which stunned the room and left everyone with shivers running down their spines.

For the last segment of the show, the friends were in Trinidad and wanted to explore Soca Dancing where the members put up a dance performance to Jouvert.

For the conclusion of the show, the President, Courtney Dyke- Elliott and the execs gave short speeches and thanked everyone involved as well as the audience members for being present.

Overall, the Cultural show was a breath of fresh air that included elements of dance, music, food and knowledge. It engaged and involved with the audience into the show as a whole and everyone left with a friendly, satisfied smile.

If you missed this show, you can make up for it by being at the many events that are put on by the CSO all year round and come for the next Cultural show to make sure you’ve had the full Carribean experience.