Nettleford conference readies

Monday, October 09, 2017

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All is now set for this Wednesday's start of the Rex Nettleford Arts Conference at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston.

The biennial event, which will run until Friday, is being staged under the theme 'Arts and Culture for the 21st Century - Millenial Dis-engagement - Re-Engagement'. The official opening ceremony includes performances as well as keynote address from renowned Caribbean artist Christopher Cozier, originally from Trinidad and Tobago currently residing in the USA.

Conference brings together arts educators and artistes and artists from all over the world to share their knowledge and experiences as well as research in the creative and cultural industries. Among the presenters are members of the faculty of the college, including Michael Sean Harris, Kerry Ann Henry, Orville Hammond, Maurice Gordon, Dr Nicholeen DeGrasse, Neila Ebanks and Michael Ibo Cooper.

Among the presentations will be Bringing the arts to adult Education; milennial marketing: lessons from new media for the creative industries; storytelling through folk dance and best practices in arts education.

The conference will close on Friday with The Listeners — the first major production from the college's School of Drama for the 2017-2018 academic year. This will be staged at the Dennis Scott Studio Theatre

Director Elizabeth Montaya-Stemann describes the play as a vocal and oral performance that emerges from group work inspired by some of the literary works of Derek Walcott.

“This type of performance is a first for the School of Drama, never before a production was a product of a collaborative effort using devising methods and based on vocal work. The entire script was created using actors' research contributions, individual/group vocal/oral improvisations and discussions. The work was supported by collaborations from experts on different fields. The play is a vocal performance that includes 'voices' from different generations of Jamaicans in the aural and metaphorical sense,” she explained.

The Listeners plays on October 14 and 15 then continues the following weekend — October 27 to 29.

The play's cast features students of the School of Drama.

Professor Rex Nettleford was a scholar, dancer, choreographer and general authority on the arts in the Caribbean. Along with Eddy Thomas he founded the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica in 1962. He also authored a number of books including Dance Jamaica, Inward Stretch, Outward Reach and Mirror Mirror.

The vice-chancellor emeritus at the University of the West Indies died in 2010

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