Music and movement for Moncrieffe

Music and movement for Moncrieffe

BY RICHARD JOHNSON
Observer senior reporter
johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, February 09, 2020

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Memories, music and movement are slated to form the centrepiece of this Thursday's celebration of the life of dancer, teacher, choreographer, designer and former artistic director of the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica (NDTC), Barry Moncrieffe.

Set for Little Theatre in St Andrew, a stage very familiar to Moncrieffe, the celebration will feature performances from the NDTC, including Of Sympathy and Love, choreographed by Clive Thompson and brought to life by senior member of the company Mark Phinn; ...minutes and seconds will be danced by ballet mistress Kerry-Ann Henry and current artistic director Marlon Simms; while the company will stage two movements from Nettleford's iconic work The Crossing a dance work in which Moncrieffe was part of the original cast.

The NDTC Singers have not been left out of the celebration They will perform Andrew Lloyd Webber's Pie Jesu and You Made A Way. Renowned soprano and past member of the NDTC Singers, Carole Reid is slated to perform, as well as Bunny Rose and The University Singers.

Broadcaster and actress Fae Ellington will remember Moncrieffe with the spoken word while other tributes will come from the Leader of the Opposition Dr Peter Phillips; Entertainment and Culture Minister Olivia “Babsy” Grange, founding member of the NDTC; Jamaica School for the Blind; Ashe Performing Arts Ensemble; Kingsley Cooper; the Stella Maris Dance Ensemble; the School of Dance at Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts; L'Acadco; and Dr Kingsley “Ragashanti” Stewart.

The 78-year-old Moncrieffe, who was battling cancer, died on January 17.

He joined the NDTC shortly after it was founded by Professor Rex Nettleford in 1962. He rose to artistic director in 2012 and served until 2018.

Simms, in remembering Moncrieffe, noted that 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, the depth and breadth of his contribution is incomparable. As a mentor and teacher par excellence, his authority and scope of influence extended far beyond the NDTC. He was a gentle giant who created significant and lasting impact on the entire Jamaican dance community. We will all miss him dearly,” he said.


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