Baddie Labuage (2023), choreographed by Steven Cornwall (Photos: Karl Mclarty)

Dr Sade Bully-Bell, artistic director of CDT Jamaica, was pleased with the success of this year's season of dance dubbed Ignite.

"These dancers gave their all every single night. [There was] true artistry, true passion, true professionalism... I'm so proud of them. All the work they have put in, we saw it right here," she told the Jamaica Observer.

The season, which featured nine works, culminated last Sunday at the Little Theatre.

Among the pieces onstage were Rebirth (Excerpt) (2004), The Herd (2023), Woman Behind Bars (1990), As Yet Untitled (2018), Baddie Language (2023), Rite Undone (2023), Through The Darkness Comes Light (2022), The Blueprint (2023), and Prisms (1994).

Abigail Berry, apprentice, and Principal Dancer Andrew Bailey in the third movement from Renee I McDonald's The Blueprint

The performers ignited the stage with graceful moves and turns that were visibly the result of successful preparation.

Audience members were treated to a memorable showcase. The true testament of patron enjoyment were the intermittent screams, whistles, and applause that reverberated in the theatre.

According to Bully-Bell, this year's theme was inspired by the drive that each dancer displayed as they rehearsed for the shows.

"All our pieces, as we approached the show, we started to see a theme of passion and fire developing in the dancers' belly that needed to come out. We saw a lot of reds and a lot of colours, and we felt the spark," she said.

One of the six movements of The Blueprint (2023), choreographed by Renee I McDonald.

Bully-Bell, who following her medical studies at The University of the West Indies, Mona campus, followed her passion for dance and performed with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Garth Fagan Dance, and danced her way around the world to critical acclaim.

Part proceeds from this year's season of dance will go towards the care of founder of The Company Dance Theatre and CDT's honorary Artistic Director Anthony "Tony" Wilson, who has been unwell for some time.

"He was the original founder of The Company Dance Theatre which was around for 30 years, before he became suddenly ill. Once he became ill, CDT emerged from alumni of the company. So, we are continuing his legacy," Bully-Bell explained.

The CDT School is expected to mount its end-of-year showcase, Holly, on December 3, 2023 at Philip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts on The UWI, Mona campus.

Tony Wilson's Prisms (1994)
Dr Sade Bully-Bell, artistic director of CDT
BY KEDIESHA PERRY Observer writer

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