Friends gathered recently at Farfina Restaurant and Lounge, 1813 Amsterdam Ave. in Manhattan to celebrate the birthday of Michael Manswell, the artistic director of Something Positive, Inc. the preeeminent Caribbean/Afro-American performing arts troupe. The occasion was of the all of whom love Michael.
The well-appointed restaurant and lounge was packed with Something Positive members and a host of friends, to show their love for the troupe’s celebrated lead dancer and to ensure that his birthday celebration was a huge success.
One of the highlghts of the evening’s festivity was the announcement that the group had accepted an invitation to perform next month in Belize.
DJ Keith kept the music pumping and the dance floor full. Even those sitting at tables and at the bar couldn’t help but do some hip-shaking, head bobbing and toe tapping. The joint was jumpin!’ Alex Boicel, the Farfina proprietor, was present, greeting revelers and making sure the wait service was efficient and patrons were happy.
Farfina has an excellent menu and serves delicious food and great drinks at very reasonable prices, but for Michael’s birthday celebration they offered a special menu of appetizers and drinks at a reduced price. What a nice gesture it was, and it kept the wait staff busy all night long.
After the party had been going for a couple of hours, two Something Positive drummers, Marcus Williams and Darius Williams entered playing African rhythms and Marcus was also calling all to assemble on a conch shell. The dancers on the floor immediately responded and broke into African dance patterns.
After the performance, Company Manager Sandra Bell, who recently returned from a trip to Belize, announced that Something Positive would be going to the Caricom country on November 22 to perforn at the Belize Independence Festival 2013. The DJ brought the volume down and switched to beats that complimented the live drumming. Now there was a collaboration of strong African Rhythms with hip-hop beat underneath. The blend was working, and so were the dancers on the floor.
Chairs began to empty and tables were pushed aside as the dancing went into high gear. One by one, dancers paid tribute to the drummer by saluting them and demonstrating their skill and proficiency at performing intricate West African dance steps. The party was really live then, and it continued for some time.
Later, Michael Manswell and the Something Positive Company Members took the stage to sing in tribute to the late Cheryl Byron, founder and dynamic driving force behind Something Positive. They sang “Vision” written by Cheryl Byron, the title track from their just released CD Vision.
It was a great party and the people came to party and to make Michael’s birthday celebration a night to be remembered. They succeeded!
© Amun/Ankhra House, Ltd.