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Amalgamated, Inc!

Sunday, October 01, 2017

After enthralling The Rock's dance enthusiasts in March with a brilliant two-night performance debut of the American dance company Complexions at the Little Theatre, Pliť For The Arts Executive Director Marisa Benain brainstormed and delivered a spectacular encore with the staging of Amalgamation — a 12-piece production featuring ravishing show pieces from both local and international dancers — on September 23 and 24 at the Tom Redcam Avenue venue.

The Jamaican troupes from the National Dance Theatre Company, Movements Dance Company, Stella Marris Dance Ensemble and The Company Dance Theatre joined their counterparts from Alvin Ailey Dance Company, LINES Ballet, corps de ballet, Complexions Ballet and Garth Fagan Dance Company onstage for what amounted to a winsome potpourri of dance forms from jazz and ballet to modern contemporary.

The concept for Amalgamation's diverse mix of idioms, Benain shared post-show last week with the Style Observer, began with conversations she had with American dancers Terk Lewis Waters and Ashley Mayeux, when she extended an invite for the two Complexions Ballet members to return to Jamaica for a show. However, it wasn't until an April lunch date at Fromage with her friend and Pliť communications officer Phillip Earle that the springboard to create a show that melded locals and overseas performers, while giving each the opportunity to grace the stage separately, took shape.

“I really think I found the formula this time. It allowed something for everyone, a true amalagantation of styles,” Benain explained. “I am also immensely proud of the local companies. We worked very hard, and, I believe, acquitted ourselves.”

Impressed, too, were Mayeux and former Philadanco Artistic Director Michael Jackson Jr, who together performed the beautiful Dwight Rhoden-choreographed Amazing Grace.

“Ashley and Michael attended the rehearsals with me,” Benain divulged, “and where they would have rehearsals that start at 10 in the morning, I explained that our dancers had other jobs, and they were shocked that we had full-time lives and would get to rehearsal to dance after-hours.” The dedication paid sweet dividends come showtime.

Take a well-deserved bow, Ms Benain and company. Truly earned!

Next up on Pliť: an eagerly anticipated performance by Misty Copeland due mid-2018.