Indigenous dance group selected to perform at World Cup games in Qatar

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A local indigenous dance group has been selected by the Government of Qatar to perform at the ongoing FIFA World Cup games.

The group of young women called “Riverside Angels” on Wednesday received their airline tickets to travel from Guyana to Qatar from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports. The group will be fully sponsored by the Qatar Government for the trip.

Speaking at the handing over ceremony, the Subject Minister, Charles Ramson Jr, said this is a momentous occasion which will promote Guyana’s talents on the international stage.

“It gives us an opportunity to show the world what Guyana has to offer and we are very proud of these young women,” the minister said.

The minister explained that the Government of Qatar extended the offer to have Guyanese perform at the games and following extensive checks and examinations of the talent wanted by Qatar, the group was selected.

The group of young women will leave Guyana on Friday.

According to one of the dancers, Elizabeth Immanuel, the group has been performing since they were young children. Now in their early 20s, the women have performed at several national events including Mashramani and Independence Day celebrations.

She said the group is very excited to move from performing locally to representing the country.
“Hearing the news was like a dream because this is amazing and news that each of us was looking out for,” she said.
“At first, we didn’t know the indigenous dance. We were taking part in the Mashramani competition in primary school. Teachers kept teaching when the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs called us to do an Amerindian dance, we had to look into the movement and try to follow our culture,” she explained.

This was the start of the young ladies’ interest in cultural dancing.

Immanuel said she and her sisters, the other members, were raised in Pouderyen, West Bank Demerara and were not always aware of traditional dancing. She said that through the support of teachers at school, they started learning the dances and eventually, the ministry of Amerindian Affairs and now the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports have helped them to knowledge of the dances and also improve their technique.

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