NDTC lauds stalwarts
AS part of its 50th anniversary celebrations, the National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC) honoured 101 of its past and present members who have served the company for 12 to 50 years.
The event, held at the Mona Visitors' Lodge on the UWI's Mona campus in St Andrew on Sunday, saw a number of the company's dancers and support staff being recognised for their contribution to the troupe which was founded by the late Professor Rex Nettleford and Eddie Thomas back in 1962.
Among those recognised were choreographers, dancers, singers and musicians.
Sixteen members of the NDTC were recognised having served between 40-50 years. This included founding members Bert Rose, Brigette Spaulding, Barbara Requa, Audley Butler, Gertrude Sherwood, and Ronan Critchlow. Current artistic director Barry Moncrieffe was also among the honourees but was absent from the event due to illness.
The list of awardees in this category also included photographer Maria LaYacona, musicians Marjorie Whylie and Albertina Jefferson, lighting director and stage manager George Carter; wardrobe mistress Barbara Kaufman; NDTC singers Carole Reid; and, Paula Johnson as well as former principal dancer Melanie Graham.
Other familiar faces among those recognised were former stage manager and psychiatrist Professor Freddie Hickling, dancers Patsy Ricketts, Jackie Guy, Denise Robinson, Clive Thompson Sandra Minott-Phillips, Arlene Richards Alaine Grant, Dr MoniKa Lawrence, the Cubans -- Arsenio 'Toki' Gonsalez and Ansenio Andrade Calderon, as well as the company current ballet mistress Kerry-Ann Henry and dance Captain Marlon Simms.
Guest speaker at the event, playwright and talk show host Barbara Gloudon in reflecting on the life and work of the NDTC's co-founder Professor Rex Nettleford, challenged the 'new breed' to work towards building and preserving his legacy, while at the same time working toward the development of a new repertoire which will stand up for another 50 years.