Dancers off to New York
Two Jamaican dancers, Ashley Bromfield and Oraine Frater, will participate in a summer intensive programme organised by New York-based Complexions Contemporary Ballet.
Bromfield dances with the National Dance Theatre Company and Vickers Ballet Studio, while Frater is a principal dancer with L’Acadco. They earned scholarships to participate in the programme based on their performance in a workshop conducted by Desmond Richardson, co-founder and co-artistic director of Complexions.
The class was part of activities surrounding the company’s two performances in Jamaica, organised by local outfit PliÃ© For The Arts. They were staged at the Little Theatre on Wednesday and Thursday.
Making the announcement at Wednesday’s performance, Marisa Benain of PliÃ© For The Arts noted that giving back to the arts community was part of its mandate. Therefore, part proceeds go to covering airfare, accommodation and per diem for the dancers during their stay in New York.
Richardson said he chose Frater and Bromfield as they possessed the spirit, skills and determination to make them great dancers.
“They have the fire and passion and cleanliness and detail, plus they are so unique as dancers. This makes them ideal candidates. When they come to the summer intensive they can expect more of the same which they experienced in the class on Tuesday. It will be about a challenge, detail, focus and an awesome experience from being around like-minded people,” he said.
For 19-year-old Bromfield this opportunity is part of her dream to follow dance wherever it can lead.
“It’s an overwhelming feeling, especially since dance is something I have been passionate about since I was five years old. There are not many opportunities available here in Jamaica, and this is my dream so I believe that this is the platform that is going to help me to branch off into something even bigger. The class with Desmond was kinda intense. Usually, when companies come here, because they don’t know what kind of crowd they are working with, they usually have a simple class. This is the first workshop that I’ve taken that has been really challenging. This is due to the style that Desmond tries to get us to capture. As it relates to the summer intensive, I am looking forward to being able to dance every day,” she said.
Frater was in shock and disbelief about being selected.
“I am just in awe right now. I’m still shaking. I never really thought I would have been selected, but I gave it my best shot... Tuesday’s workshop started slowly and I thought I could handle it but when we were given the routine I got nervous. I just had to talk myself throught it, remembering that I got a lot of training from my company L’Acadco. So I just took it all in and got through. I am just embracing this opportunity to learn more and to become a better dancer at the end of the day.”