Entertainment

Amalagamation ranks swell

BY RICHARD JOHNSON
Observer senior reporter

Sunday, September 10, 2017

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TONY Wilson's The Company Dance Theatre is now part of the line-up for the international dance event, Amalgamation, set for September 23 and 24 at the Little Theatre in St Andrew.

This brings the number of local outfits to four, joining Movements Dance Theatre, The National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC) and the Stella Maris Dance Ensemble on the production organised by Pli For The Arts. All the companies will be performing one work from their repertoire. The Company will be contributing Divulgence , a work choreographed by Renee McDonald; Movements will showcase their Wrath of God, the epic dance work by Christopher Huggins. The NDTC's contribution at this event will be Sulkari , the provocative piece created by Cuban choreographer Eduardo Rivero-Walker, while the Stella Maris Dance Ensemble will present The Potter , a work created by its artistic director MoniKa Lawrence and dedicated to renowned academic, dancer and choreographer Professor Rex Nettleford.

Plie for the Arts' Marisa Benain told the Sunday Observer that The Company was one of the first local ensembles that she approached, however they were unavailable due to scheduling conflicts.

“I knew I wanted wanted Divulegence to be part of Amalgamation and at first they were not available... I was so disappointed. So when I was informed that they would be available as their tour of Barbados was no longer on I was pleased. I love Renee McDonald's work and for me this work is one of the strongest pieces created for a local company. Having another piece added to the programme and especially f rom The Company, adds to the programme in a very strong way as it it showcases the great work that Jamaican dance companies are capable of producing.”

The event pulls on artistes from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theater, Alonso King Lines and Complexions Contemporary Ballet and other companies.

These dancers include Ashley Mayeux — prima ballerina at Complexions and Alvin Ailey, Terk Lewis of Complexions; Jamie Thompson of Dallas Black Dance Theater, dancer and choreographer Momo Sanno; Shuaib Elhassan, Adji Cissoko, and Sade Bully who has performed with Alvin Ailey as well as the Garth Fagan Dance Company.

She is also excited to have Michael Jackson Jr from Alvin Alley and Spanish daner Carlos Gonzalez, who is now attached to the American Ballet Theater.

Benain, a dancer with the NDTC, is still undecided whether or not she will take to the stage at Amalgamation, performing with her home company in Sulkari. She disclosed that Tamara Noel, Keita Marie Chamberlain, and Kerry Ann Henry are the dancers down for the female roles in the popular work. She, however, could be brought in as an alternate. The cast will be completed by Marlon Simms, Mark Phinn, and Kemar Francis.

This opportunity for local dancers to perform alongside their international counterparts is one of the high points of Amalgamation for Benain.

“This event will not only be a treat for audiences whole will have the opportunity to see dancers from some renowned companies. But our dancers will get to stand toe to toe with these international dancers, each showcasing their craft. The local companies could possibly earn new audiences as their are some persons who never go out to see their performances, so this is an opportunity to showcase what we do here. That also applies to the international set who will get to see our dancers and choreographers at work,” she said.

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