Entertainment

A decade with Deh Jah Dance

BY RICHARD JOHNSON
Observer senior reporter
johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, June 23, 2019

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Artistic director of the Deh Jah Dance Theatre, Ghana Samuda, makes no bones about that fact that she is a Christian and therefore the majority of the works presented by the troupe are about worship. It is, therefore, not surprising that in choosing a 'best of' for the company's 10th anniversary season of dance, the lion's share of the works were in that vain.

A total of 13 works were showcased with just over a half being of a spiritual nature. These included Amazing Grace which was choreographed by Samuda for the company's first season in 2008; the all-white presentation Awesome — a movement from the work Atonement; Amazing Grace performed by the Deh Jah Dance Academy; Sanctuary, Hosanna, and Exaltation, all choreographed by Samuda.

Pulling together this selection of works showcases the obvious talents in choreography and dance which exists within the ranks of the company. Alexea Lothian's stirring solo work in Run To You is a prime example of the talent within the ranks. She was able to deliver the physically demanding choreography as laid down by Danielle Hammond, and make it look effortless.

The non-spiritual pieces showcased the range of the company. When Darkness Becomes Light, choreographed by Raquel Bragg, was well worth the watch, using this as the show's opener was a great decision. The storyline was effectively accentuated by the use of lighting and the use of the monochromatic black costumes served to advance the story.

Having a training arm in the Deh Jah Dance Academy can only redound to the company's benefit in coming years. The works presented by the intermediate groups showcased raw talent that when honed could make strong performers.

Deh Jah Dance Theatre can be proud of what they have achieved in the past decade and the company, as well as audiences, can only look forward to growing strong and reaching for even greater heights in the years to come.


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