Arts & Culture

Amalgamation ready to rock

BY RICHARD JOHNSON
Observer senior reporter
johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, September 21, 2017

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Preparations are progressing satisfactorily for the staging of Amalgamation, an international dance event set for the Little Theatre in St Andrew on Saturday and Sunday.

Organised by Plié for the Arts, a local outfit dedicated to showcasing international talent to local audiences, Amalgamation will feature a star-studded line-up of dancers from some of the most renowned dance companies in the United States, alongside local dancers.

Marisa Benain of Plié for the Arts explained that it is all systems go for the upcoming event which pulls on artistes from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theater, Alonso King Lines, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, among other companies.

These dancers, which include Ashley Mayeux — prima ballerina at Complexions and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; Terk Lewis of Complexions; Jamie Thompson of Dallas Black Dance Theater; dancer and choreographer Momo Sanno; Shuaib Elhassan and Adji Cissoko from Alonso King Lines, will perform works specifically chosen by Benain and her team.

Of note is the presence of Sade Bully — who was born in Dominica but rained in Jamaica — who has performed with Alvin Ailey, as well as the Garth Fagan Dance Company. She will be performing 180, a piece choreographed by Jamaican choreographer Renee McDonald.

Benain is also excited to have Michael Jackson Jr from Alvin Ailey and Spanish dancer Carlos Gonzalez, who is now attached to the American Ballet Theater, performing at the event.

A major part of the focus of Plié for the Arts is giving back to the local dance community. This will take the form of four dance workshops — a partnership with the United States Embassy in Kingston.

“Jamie Thompson will be teaching a class on Afro rhythms and the Horton technique set to live drumming September 21 (today). The following day will see Michael Jackson Jr taking local dancers through their paces with jazz techniques. The hottest ticket has been Terk Lewis's modern contemporary class on September 24. All these classes were open to intermediate and advanced dancers. So in order to take in a wider pool, Ashley Mayeux will conduct a class in ballet for our younger dancers from ages 10 to 15. The classes will be held at the studios of the National Dance Theatre Company. All these classes have been fully subscribed and we have closed registration,” Benain told Jamaica Observer.

“We are currently working to meet the lighting and other technical requirements of the various dancers, and have brought in lighting consultant Nadia Roxborough and Solomon Sharpe of Main Event to supervise this area. Tickets reservations have been going well. So with two weeks to go, we are well on the way for what promises to be a great event,” she added.

 

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