New works and favourites for NDTC season

DEBORAH GORDON
Observer writer

Sunday, July 14, 2019

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A potent combination of existing works and favourites from over the years have been brought together for the 57th season of dance by The National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC), which will run at the Little Theatre from July 19 to August 11.

Patrons can look forward to remounts of classics such as Kumina and Blood Canticles choreographed by the NDTC's co-founder Professor Rex Nettleford, Sweet in the Morning by Leni Wlliams, the duet entitled Dimensions by Cuban choreographer Arsenio Andrade-Calderon, Vision by Clive Thompson, Chris Walker's Troubled Waters and Unscathed by Troy Powell of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Soufflè #Extenso by Haitian choreographer Jeanguy Saintus, which premièred two seasons ago, will also make its return.

This year marks the second season for Artistic Director Marlon Simms and he told the Jamaica Observer that his journey in the role is proving to be a wonderful and interesting experience for him so far.

“It is an awesome task and an honour, so I have to ensure that each year we try to sustain or maintain a quality that has been set by the predecessors, which in itself is a lot of work. We have a wonderful team of people working with and that is extremely helpful. I am only good because the persons behind me are so good and so supportive. It's really helpful.”

Simms and his team have also drawn from the artistic skills of international choreographer Hope Boykin, a senior dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. She has brought her 20 years of dance experience to bear on a new work, which she has set on the local troupe.

Other choreographers offering new works are Renee McDonald with her second work for the NDTC, Simms himself has choreographed a piece entitled Legion, which will feature three male dancers and Orville McFarlane will be creating a work for the NDTC for the first time this season.

“It has been exciting watching the dancers grow and be challenged in different ways and watching them learn the different choreographing styles. They have been working really hard. They want to do really well this season and they want to sustain the excellence of the company. The majority of the company are young members, young dancers. Vibrant, fresh, passionate, excited to work, with the company and really ready to give it their all.”

“There is something for everyone. Remember the NDTC singers, a wonderful addition to the offering of the season, will be doing songs by Buju Banton. There is a wide array of works, from modern, traditional folk forms, to contemporary dance works. We have younger dancers, fresh faces and familiar faces as well. It will be a wonderful experience. We guarantee that everyone who comes will find something that they love. The programme is going to be wide and diverse, with everyone going full circle to do their very best to encapsulate that true celebration of our 57th year as a company, and of course our 57th year as an independent nation.”


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