Jamaicans shine in Performing Arts Champs
Fifteen Jamaicans, earlier this month, dominated the world of the performing arts.
The group truimphed over 75,000 individuals from across the world for an invitation to compete at the one-and-only official world talent championships, at the 16th annual staging of the World Championship of Performing Arts, in Hollywood, California, on July 5-15.
Contestants from 67 countries competed in dancing, singing, acting, modelling, instrument playing and variety arts. They were spread across two categories: Juniors — ages 15 and under and Seniors — ages 16 and over.
Norre' Stephenson, 22 years old, was one of the Jamaicans who did Jamaica proud. The Jamaica College and Excelsior College alum came home with two gold medals and a silver medal.
Having entered Digicel Rising Stars in 2011, but was told that his 'type of music' was not marketable in Jamaica, he went on to compete in the Tastee Talent Trail Competition, in which he placed eighth overall with original compositions.
It was on the Tastee stage that he was spotted by World Championship of Performing Arts Jamaica Director Lisa Hayles to represent Jamaica in the competition.
Staged 'Olympics-style', competitors vie for the gold and US$130,000 in scholarships to the School for Film and Television in New York and AIA Acting Studios in Los Angeles.
Hundreds of entertainment industry agents, managers, casting directors, producers, and music field reps were invited to judge, conduct educational seminars, and go-sees.
Popular TV personality and three-time Emmy winner Bob Eubanks hosts the kick-off Opening Ceremony at Universal Studios Hollywood City Walk, which features the colourful Parade of Nations. During the week, 5,000 acts will be narrowed through rounds of eliminations to the 'best of the best' for a final night gala adjudicated by a celebrity/VIP panel of entertainment industry judges. The finals will be aired as a one-hour TV special.
The global event is dedicated to providing once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and experiences for aspiring talent around the world.
SILVER: Male Acting Classical (18-24)
SILVER: Group Dance Hip Hop/Funk (18-24)
BRONZE: Group Dance Open (18-24)
Western Dance Group
SILVER: Group Dance Ethnic/Forklore (30&Over)
SILVER: Group Dance Jazz (30&Over)
SILVER: Group Dance Open (30&Over)
SILVER: Male Vocal Open (18-24)
BRONZE: Male Dance Open (18-24)
GOLD: Male Modelling Photo (18-24)
SILVER: Male Modelling Casual (18-24)
SILVER: Male Modelling Swimwear (18-24)
BRONZE: Male Modelling Formal (18-24)
BRONZE: Male Modelling Spokesmodel (18-24)
SILVER: Male Vocal Gospel (13-15)
SILVER: Male Vocal Open (13-15)
GOLD: Male Vocal SA Contemporary (18-24)
GOLD: Male Vocal SA Original Wks (18-24)
SILVER: Male Vocal SA Open (18-24)
GOLD: Female Vocal Gospel (25-29)
SILVER: Female Vocal Open (25-29)
Jamaica was also awarded as overall winners in the Championships with Fitzroy Gordon for Male Modelling Photo (16-24); Norré Stephenson for Male Vocal SA Original Works (16-24); and Rocio Graham for Female Vocal Gospel (25&Over).
Stephenson, a Nexus Performing Arts Company members will soon take up his scholarship with Musician Institute College of Contemporary Music.
"I hope that this will serve as a catalyst and help me to recognise my aspiration to become a world-class musician to representing my country," Stephenson said.