Entertainment

Plié For Arts looks global

By Rory Daley
Observer writer

Sunday, September 08, 2019

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Marisa Benain, founder/artistic director of Plié For The Arts, wants the annual dance festival to be an international event.

The third staging was held at the Little Theatre in Kingston from August 30 to September 1 under the theme, 'Amalgamation'.

“Last year, we had a full company. This year, our theme was Amalgamation because what we're trying to do is get into the international gala calendar year. So for one, it will now always be called Amalgamation, but just with a different theme. This year was the global gala because we had dancers from nine different countries,” Benain explained.

In her third year as organiser, she is happy with how things turned out.

“I was expecting a full house, but this was close enough to a full house. [Sunday] was a good night as well in terms of ticket sales, so I'm pleased, very pleased,” she told the Jamaica Observer.

A good turnout helps Plié For Arts raise much needed funds, which goes to scholarships for Jamaican dancers.

“Even though we're three years old, we've provided eight scholarships so far and they get scholarships to New York dance intensive programmes to either A-List School, Steps in New York and for the most part, Complexions Contemporary Ballet,” said Benain.

The 2019 scholarship went to National Dance Theatre Company's Javal Lewis, who participated in the event.

For Keita-Marie Chamberlain-Clarke, a regular at Plié For Arts, this year was its best to date.

She was enthralled by Cuban dancer Osiel Guoneo's pas de deux with Nikisha Fogo named Diana & Acteon.

Her praise was echoed by Kay Henlon, another repeat attendee who welcomed the international variety. Guoneo was also her favourite.

As for Benain, “I had a couple favourites. Renee's [McDonald] two pieces, I really loved Caught by Zoey [Anderson] from Parsons [Dance Company] and, of course, Wrath of God.”


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