Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Passa Passa will return
Since the conflict arising in Kingston and St Andrew over the extradition warrant issued for Christopher 'Dudus' Coke, there have been numerous postponements and cancellations of events.
While some promoters await freedom, others question their fate.
The promoters of Passa Passa, Prodigal Entertainment, Swash International and Dylan Powe, have said since the outbreak of civil unrest in Tivoli Gardens, there has been no Passa Passa, the dance which has gained for Jamaica, and that community, significant international acclaim.
"The last Passa Passa was kept in April and the turnout was not much because of the tension," said Powe.
According to the promoter, because of the circumstances surrounding the Kingston conflict, no permits could be granted for outdoor events in the Corporate Area.
Passa Passa isn't the only dance affected by the state of emergency imposed on the Corporate Area and according to Powe, he and his fellow promoters have always subscribed to the wishes of the security forces and are now just waiting until there is a change.
"Passa Passa is a brand," he said.
"And, as such, we deal with our event professionally by adhering to all rules and regulations set forward by the necessary agencies."
Powe said that arrangements were always made with the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation as well as the police.
"There has never been an incident at Passa Passa," Powe explained.
Passa Passa for survival
The promoter went on to explain that while Passa Passa was free for its patrons, there were a chain of persons who needed it for their survival.
"Dancers, vendors, selectors, sound systems, artistes are just some of those who earn from the dance," said Powe.
"Corporate companies have used the event over the years to launch their products, so it's not just a little ghetto dance, contrary to what people may think."
According to Powe, Passa Passa is also a tourist attraction.
"When people come to Jamaica, they don't want to be locked in a hotel, they want to see every aspect of the culture, that is why tourists will travel all the way from Europe to come to Passa Passa," he said.
The promoter also said Passa Passa was started after security forces led by Reneto Adams went into Tivoli in 2001 resulting in the death of 27 persons.
After that episode, Powe said people were afraid to leave their community and so Passa Passa was started to cater to them. He also said the dance facilitated unity.
That need for unity lead to the name Passa Passa which is the colloquial term for mix-up. Passa Passa attracts patrons from all walks of society.
Copies of the dance, including the name has been all over the world and the original Passa Passa has toured New York, Philadelphia, London, and Toronto.
Powe says in addition to Passa Passa, Prodigal Entertainment is responsible for artiste production, and has worked with artistes such as Natalie Storm, Gyptian, Beenie Man, Einstein and others.
The optimistic promoter says, Passa Passa will return and his advice to the public is to bear with the security forces and listen to the media for updates.
"I want to extend gratitude to the west Kingston communities for their support as well as the sponsors that made the series possible. Look out for Passa Passa when the smoke clears."