Barry Moncrieffe DEAD

Barry Moncrieffe DEAD

Former NDTC artistic director losses battle with cancer

Sunday, January 19, 2020

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The National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC) is expressing deep and profound sadness at the passing of its former artistic director, Barrington “Barry” Moncrieffe. Moncrieffe passed away on Friday, following a long battle with cancer. He was 78.

He had been at the helm of the company since 2010, retiring in December 2017 following 55 years of unbroken service and is considered one of the most renowned Jamaican male dancers, having performed on stages across the world spanning more than 30 years.

His expertise assisted in the development, growth and continuity of the NDTC's reputation as a globally acclaimed theatre arts ensemble.

“The loss of Mr Moncrieffe is heart-wrenching and tremendously painful for generations of members and supporters of the company,” said Marlon Simms, artistic director of the NDTC.

“He served the NDTC with distinction, exhibiting and validating the ethos and culture of the company's voluntary membership. As the principal guardian of the NDTC system and style, the depth and breadth of his contribution is incomparable. As a mentor and quintessential teacher, his authority and scope of influence extended far beyond the NDTC. He was a masterful, gentle giant who created significant and lasting impact on the entire Jamaican dance community,” Simms continued.

Joining the NDTC during the year of its inception in 1962, the 19-year-old Barry Moncrieffe started out as a supporting dancer, becoming a full member within a year. His talent, dedication and naturally expressive movement and technique quickly developed and was honed over decades as a principal dancer.

Moncrieffe had his early training with the Eddy Thomas Dance Workshop and Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance in New York, as well as at the Jamaica School of Dance now School of Dance at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, from which he graduated with Honours. He also appeared with the famous American Anna Sokolow Company.

He taught workshops across the Caribbean, in the Netherland Antilles, the USA, Hong Kong and Germany as a senior tutor at the Jamaica School of Dance. During the mid 90s, he was also a resident teacher at Vassar College in New York.

In 2002, Moncrieffe ventured into choreography with the company, alongside Joyce Campbell, with a work based on the cultural tradition of a Bruckins party.

Outside dance, Moncrieffe was a fashion designer, showcasing his work at Caribbean Fashion Week for more than a decade.

In recognition of his profound work in dance, Moncrieffe was awarded the Musgrave Medal from the Institute of Jamaica. In 2012, he was conferred Jamaica's national honour, the Order of Distinction, Commander Class.


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