A true Legacy of dance
The finale of Calabash was excitement in colour and movement. (Photo: Joseph Wellington)

Curtains opened weekend last and CDT Arts dance company delivered a series of creative and thrilling numbers as part of its Legacy-themed season.

Eva Lewis, chair of the board, signposted during the welcome, "Prepare to be awed!" She told no tall tale.

The show opened and closed with heart-stopping numbers from the work of Honorary Artistic Director Emeritus Anthony "Tony" Wilson — The Journey Continues... (2013) and Calabash (1999), respectively. Both presented an array of emotions through their multiple movements of full company, small groups and soli. The seeming acrobatics and allegro of movement made for exciting visuals, supported by costuming which helped to tell the story.

A full glossary of terms from arrondi to triple runs were on full display. Gazelle-like leaps and fluttery, as would birds, are mere translations to the theatre of dance on stage.

When the company assembled for the closing movements, the intensity was palpable, as audience members anxiously awaited their cue for action.

The near-capacity Little Theatre audience were effusive in offering appreciation for the works on stage. Screams of excitement and rousing applause punctuated the programme, with the company taking time to recognise the ovation.

The turmoil of the One80 (2016) solo from the choreography stable of Renee McDonald was both emotive and engaging. The staging, under simple lighting and limited range of stage movement, transfixed the onlooker.

Among the highlights was the use of mixed media of live performance and film which featured particularly in Helene Taddai-Lawson's So Many Directions (2022) supported by strains from Bob Marley, et al, served as added excitement. The video interlude Just a long way (2022) was a 'wowzer'.

Among the music accompaniment featured high-tempo syncopation and slow jazzy thrills. There was even one number which manifested a shocker of sounds from the dancers front of stage — the audience was tickled by the animation before the intermission.

From black suits to two-toned leotards, the use of textile and tones was a kaleidoscope of colour that lifted the pieces on display. So too was the use of modern movement, which included head-bobbing that resulted in the movement reverbing with outward ripples.

Other items gaining rousing response was Gamma Gamma (2022), from the group's Artistic Director Dr Sade Bully; On earth as it is in heaven by Lloyd A Boyd III; as well as Through The Darkness Comes Light by guest choreographer Nijawwon Mathews.

The group seized the opportunity to thank the individual and corporate sponsors who have supported their work. The team acknowledge the love for what they do and for the seeds planted in them by Wilson.

The on stage work was creditably supported by an ultra-effective sound and lighting team of individuals, whose work added to the play on the senses that was the composite of the Legacy programme.

CDT Arts has truly secured the nation's legacy of dance.


(Photo: Joseph Wellington)
Leaps and intensity of the male ensemble (Photo: Joseph Wellington)
The ladies of the CDT Arts company presented lyrical colour. (Photo: Joseph Wellington)
Theatre in dance (Photo: Joseph Wellington)
The CDT Arts dance company (Photo: Joseph Wellington)
(Photo: Joseph Wellington)
(Photo: Joseph Wellington)

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