VIDEO: Remembering Nettleford - The Dance Issue

Friday, February 04, 2011

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ON February 2, 2010, a day before his 77th birthday, dancer, choreographer, scholar, social critic and vice chancellor emeritus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Professor Rex Nettleford passed away in a Washington DC hospital, after suffering a heart attack in his hotel room a few days prior.

His death sent ripples through the Jamaica, the Caribbean region and the world, as Nettleford and his work had reached global levels.

However, it is fair to say his passing was felt deepest in the world of dance, and particularly at the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica (NDTC).

Strong in his belief of the power of the artistic and creative energies of a people, upon his graduation from Oxford University in England in 1962, Nettleford, along with other dancers among them Eddy Thomas, made manifest his vision of the National Dance Theatre Company.

This Company has grown to become a cultural institution in the Jamaica and the region. His choreographed works serve as beacons of light, highlighting the intrinsic characteristics of our people firmly rooted in Africa, but interwoven with all the other cultures that have combined to create the hybrid known as Caribbean.

With 73 works for the NDTC to his credit, it is clear that his vision, passion and impact will out-live current generations.

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