Dazzling performances at Mother & Daughter Pageant
By Lazeena Yearwood
Mothers and daughters dazzled the crowd at the National Cultural Centre on Saturday night with their charismatic performances for the 30th edition of the highly regarded Mother and Daughter Pageant.
The event was themed, “The year of the Pearl, our love turns 30,” and the contestants dressed for tea parties that represent high-value wearing luxurious gowns.
Natasha Brandt-Johnson and her daughter, Jadiamond Johnson won the senior category after impressing the audience and judges. Dressed in matching bejeweled blue gowns accented with ruffles and arm pieces, the duo strutted the stage, coordinating each fluid movement.
Natasha said they were able to synchronise because of their close relationship which was strengthened by participating in the pageant.
“I am super excited, we worked hard for this pageant, every rehearsal we made sure that we dressed alike.
“It was a challenge because she is writing Upper Six, CAPE and we had limited time to practice but we did it because we have that bond already,” Natasha said.
Jadiamond agreed with her mother that they have always been close which made performing together very easy and normal.
Meanwhile, in the middle category, Shanice Simon and her daughter, LeShaunte Simon, were the winners. Their simple unique ensemble were black and white dresses with red and black hats.
The bodice of Shanice’s dress was also jeweled with rhinestones. Shanice said she was shocked when she saw the crowns were heading her way after returning on stage for the results.
“When I came out, I was content but when I saw the crown, I said “wait I won?” I am still surprised.
“Since 2019, I wanted to compete but I’m a shy person. This year, my friend coerced me into joining. And she got third runner-up,” Shanice said.
LeShaunte said they used the element of surprise for their performance because they did not use any of the choreography they practiced at rehearsals.
“We had one thing going and then we surprised everyone tonight. I really believe that it was a great experience for us and I’m really ecstatic about this win,” she said.
In the junior category, Leanne Hernandez and her daughter, Ja’Nae Hernandez joined the winners’ row after their eye-catching display on stage. Ja’Nae birthed from a lotus and joined her mother on stage as a blossoming flower in purple gowns adorned with green ruffles that imitate leaves bundled up at the bottom of their flared gowns.
“It was hard work and it paid off. I am happy, my daughter is happy. It was a bit nervous but I came out and gave it my best shot,” Leanne said.
This year, the performances were not the only highlights. The Fung family, which produces the pageant, expanded with a concert that saw local artistes such as Jumo, Calvin Burnett, Vicadi Singh, Timeka Marshall and others, as well as, the Chung Red Carpet which had a segment for wishes to be made, and food and drinks being served before the pageant started. The carpet was sponsored by Chung’s Global Inc.
“We are very, very satisfied with the 30th production, it is very very overwhelming for us,” Sulan Fung, a co-producer said. Sulan worked alongside her mother and Ingrid Fung, the pageant founder.
“Now we have an addition which is the concert that we celebrated. It was more of us just expanding our production and celebrating family hood for this year,” she said.
Sulan added that the family hasn’t decided how next year’s pageant could get bigger and better but she said the family is happy that it got support from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports to organise the grand show.