Monday, April 22, 2024

‘NIFCA is only the start’


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Christian-Paul Gibson is aiming for NIFCA gold.

And after his riveting Semi-finals performances last Friday night at The Lester Vaughan School he could be on his way to achieving this goal.

The 20-year-old Jamaican film and dance major at the Errol Barrow Centre For Creative Imagination performed solo in his urban dance story His Substance and appeared with friend Guy Smith in Two Ghosts, both of which received robust applause and calls for encores.

“I wanted people to be captured by something different that they don’t see all the time. It is a very humbling thing and I really appreciate it,” he said of the compliments he received on his performances.

In an interview with WEEKEND BUZZ, the  NIFCA (National Independence Festival of Creative Arts) Performing Arts first-timer said he was so into the character and the messages he was portraying that he was in another zone.

“I’m another person. I don’t know anybody in the crowd; I’m just giving my story. That was me by myself feeding on problems. That was just the character. You have to settle yourself for it sometimes.

“It is just like a glass room and you just project whatever image, any environment, any feelings you want and you just create your world inside of that room. Whether it be like an ocean if you want to interpret an ocean or just creating another human being going through something similar to others. You just have that glass room filled with the energy. Everything just sticks in that room, whether it be a dance or a song. You have to go in there and create your masterpiece . . . ,” he explained.

Sometimes after dancing, Gibson said, “you have to run away and just be by yourself a bit to chill” and depending on “the potency of the piece” it could take a while to get back to normal.

Why dance?

“I like movement, definitely. Just seeing people on TV, that helps and seeing how easily you can translate your feelings towards something also comes into place. It is just visually appealing, you know. I like that kind of stuff.

“I wouldn’t even say it (his performance) is urban. Maybe that’s like a part that comes out more in that piece particularly because it is just dancing generally. It is not be categorised into anything. It’s just a mix, a beat manipulation is how I really refer to it, not really a dance form . . . . It is just to manipulate the music,” he said.

His Substance told the story of a man who went to his secret space to smoke and went through the highs and lows.

“I see a lot of this revolving around that topic and I see people use drugs to the negative light so I decided to just step into that box,” he said of the piece, which took about two hours to choreograph.

He also chose the lighting and wrote out all the cues for both pieces and expressed his thanks to those who executed it.

Of the two pieces, he prefers Two Ghosts for which Smith helped him create “a world for people to live in”.

“We have so much work to do. It took us about two weeks of  just running it. We created it in about one day, the whole concept, the mix but to get everything out and the skeleton, it took about two weeks of prep. It was off and on because our schedules were clashing so it was kind of weird,” Gibson said.

The movements, which contained different elements, had to be as realistic as possible, he explained.

Gibson is one of 12 members of the group Fizit Artistic Industry, which is based in Barbados and Jamaica.

“We do everything from book writing to music to drama. We create. We do visual art, poetry, we have albums. We just keep moving. We’re just creating art because that’s what we’re made to do and we’ll just keep doing that. We’ll just keep telling each other to go on . . . it’s good to find a family.

“The ultimate aim is to become the artistic hub of the universe . . . to be creative and to get to that standpoint. We’re really aiming for that.

“I go back home a lot, of course, so when I do we link up. They come over from Jamaica sometimes and we all hang out. It is a big family and we always connect on Skype. We have groups on Skype and WhatsApp. We’re always together no matter where we are.”

At school he dances twice a day – in the morning and the afternoon – and als attends his other classes. He also chills out with his Fizit family and chances are you can find him in the studio with his mentor Neri Torres.

“[NIFCA] is only the beginning. I have so much evolution to go through . . . a lot. We have so much growth fuh real, like a samurai learning.

“Dance is one of the main ways I express myself. The other art forms are writing. I write poems, books and music. I have a book I’m writing  . . . I’m trying to do other stuff. [I’m] not leaving any stone unturned,” Gibson said positively. (Green Bananas Media)


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