Bogle's legacy lives on


Bogle's legacy lives on

By Aaliyah Cunningham
Observer writer

Monday, January 20, 2020

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TODAY marks 15 years since the death of famed dancer Gerald “Bogle” Levy. The colourful member of the Black Roses Crew was killed at the height of his success, but flag-bearers of dance in dancehall say they are doing their best to preserve his legacy.

Speaking to the Jamaica Observer, Ding Dong says Bogle paved the way for him and others to take dancing to another level.

“When he [Bogle] died he was just about to get di recognition he deserved, he was just really about to make money from dancing. People in di corporate world were just about to recognise his talent,” Ding Dong told the Observer.

“I decided that if given this platform I'd really pick up from where he left off an' really take dancing to different parts of the world an' it was really him that made me feel like it was possible,” he continued.

Bogle, 40, was killed on January 20, 2005 shortly after leaving the Weddy Weddy dance in Kingston. He became a dancehall heavyweight by creating the popular dance moves Bogle, World Dance, Jerry Springer, Wacky Dip, Willie Bounce and Urkle Dance.

He was also a leading figure in the flamboyant Black Roses Crew, which hailed from his native Trench Town.
Ding Dong said he got the opportunity to meet Bogle during the video shoot of Voicemail's Jiggy Time Again in 2005. The single also featured the charismatic Delly Ranx.

For Ding Dong, Bogle was more than just a great dancer. He was a genuine representative of dancehall culture.
“Bogle used to not only dance but have his entire community around him. He inspired me in a way dat allowed me to exceed what he has done. I did something different with the whole culture where I started giving each dancer in di Ravers (Ding Dong's dance crew) a foot an' a time to shine so each a dem a get fi create and promote dem own dance moves. Dat's something Bogle neva get di chance fi do an' mi just pick it up an' through dat carry on his legacy,” he told the Observer.

Ding Dong (given name Kemar Ottey) added that he tries to keep the original style of dance from the Bogle era.
“Si back inna dem time deh, when Bogle a dance, there was no choreography. There was no set-up an' practice an' man a do dis an' den one do dat. From there, we take it an' try keep it like dat where me an' di ravers are not choreographed or have no line, probably when wi a try teach di dance or something, but we try to keep di authenticity of dat,” he reasoned.

Ding Dong and the Ravers are as popular with their generation as Bogle was in the 1990s. Their dances, such as Syvah, Shampoo, Flairy,Fling, Wul Up, Cha Cha Boy, Gas, Ravers Rock and Genna Bounce have become dancehall staples. He says it is impossible for him to not pay respect to Bogle.

“I remember when he died an' di dancers dem did kinda go inna hiding like dem neva did too wah come out an' mi link dem, up an' a sey, 'a wah gwaan'? Like they were afraid to come out an' mi sey, 'no man, if Bogle did alive, him woulda waan si wi dance an' out there', so mi decide sey mi a go take it up an' bring back di whole vibe an' energy 'cause there is no dancehall without dance,” Ding Dong explained.

“This is why mi always big up 'Mr Wacky' an' keep him name in almost everything mi do,” he continued.

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