Choreographers on show this Saturday

Sunday, December 09, 2018

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Come this Saturday, December 15, the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica (NDTC) will stage its biennial Young Choreographers Showcase to prepsent works in progress from some emerging creative artistes from the country and the region.

According to Artistic Director of the NDTC Marlon Simms, the event was first started in 2000 upon the suggestion of the younger generation of dancers and choreographers within the company and was quickly snapped up by Professor Rex Nettleford who was at the helm.

“ This is our ninth staging and back then we thought it was important to express ourselves and wanted to showcase some of our ideas. So we put it to Professor Nettleford and he loved the idea and jumped at it. For him this was a great way for us to explore our talents as choreographers and the feedback we receive would help us to grow. Over the years, the showcase has produced works that have made it into the repertoire of the company,” said Simms.

Among the works which premiered at the Young Choreographer's Showcase and have jumped over into the company are Variations of Ska (2005) and Far From Heaven (2010) choreographed by Chris Walker. The popular Barre Talk (2005) by Oneil Pryce and The Thin Line (2010) by Natalie Chung. Simms also has works that have made the transition — Memories, Milennial Beings and Ode to the lost for which he shares credits with Neisha Yen Jones.

“The Young Choreographers Showcase which will be held at the NDTC Studio, really serves as an incubator to discover and nurture these voices, a new generation who will grow to become well- rounded artistes. Following the presenations, there will be a discussion on the works,” Simms added.

This year the showcase will not only feature the works by choreographers and dancers attached to the NDTC, as Kareen McLean has set a work on the UWI Dance Society. The creators of the works also represent the wider Caribbean. Haitian Mackenson Blanchard will introduce two new works, one for the NDTC and the other for the School of Dance at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. Jamie Thompson from Belize will also show his new work, a duet featuring Michael Small and Javal Lewis of the NDTC.

The list of local choreographers presenting works includes Malikah Johnson, Kenneil smith, Rajeave Mattis, Kemar Francis, and Paul Newman.

— Richard Johnson

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