Eduardo Rivero-Walker, the adopted Jamaican dancer, legendary Afro-centric modern dance choreographer and artistic director of Cuba's leading modern dance company Compania Teatro Dela Danza Del Caribe de Santigao died on Thursday, November 1 after a few months' illness.
This has created a void among members of the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica and the Stella Maris Dance Ensemble.
Stella Maris Dance Ensemble 19th Season of Dance, scheduled to run at the Little Theatre in St Andrew from November 9 to 11, pay tribute to Rivero-Walker's work as choreographer and teacher.
"His passing has given heightened significance to his entrusting to us his choreographic work 'Toromato'," said Dr MoniKa Lawrence, artistic director and founder of The Stella Maris Dance Ensemble. She worked closely with Rivero-Walker - first as a dancer with The National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC) and subsequently with the Stella Maris Dance Ensemble, where he taught classes.
"Eduardo is a cultural icon," said Dr Lawrence. "His rich legacy in the arts will unquestionably live on. We owe a debt of gratitude for his varied contribution to the arts in Jamaica. He will surely be missed by the world of dance theatre."
Barry Moncrieffe, artistic director of NDTC remembers Eduardo Rivero-Walker -- whose mother was Jamaican -- "not only as a teacher, dancer and choreographer, but also as a close friend."
The bonds between NDTC and Rivero-Walker's dance company were further strengthened when two lead dancers of Compania Teatro Dela Danza Del Caribe de Santigao -- Arsenio Andrade-Calderon and Abeldo "Toki" Gonzalez-Fonseca -- joined the NDTC in 1995 and served for many years as principal dancers.
Gonzalez-Fonseca, who currently serves as ballet master for the Stella Maris Dance Ensemble, describes Rivero-Walker as an inspirational mentor and teacher who was proud of his African roots and Cuban nationalism.
"In Cuba, Eduardo is to dance what Rex Nettleford is to Jamaica. His legend and legacy will live on through his dances and his teaching," he said.