JDU twirls off on Thursday
The Ashe Company

AFTER a two-year hiatus the 13th edition of the Jamaica Dance Umbrella (JDU) will run from Thursday, March 2 to Sunday, March 5 at the Philip Sherlock Centre at The University of the West Indies, Mona campus, in St Andrew.

Leon N Gill, JDU marketing and communications coordinator, promises an extraordinary return.

"With the return of the production patrons can expect a fine-tuned, well-mobilised and exciting dance festival. The return of JDU promises to fill the hunger of patrons because they have missed this unique experience where they get to sample Jamaican and regional excellence in dance on one stage, in one night. This will be replicated for three full nights of dance.

"It is not just that dance is back but that dance is back with a bang! This is a triumphant return to dance, showcasing both new and cherished signature pieces from the companies. JDU will be able to present this as a 'best of the best' for our audiences as the premiere dance companies of Jamaica, who have a maximum of thirty minutes to spread of their performance over the night, will be giving JDU their standout pieces from their repertoire in their season of dance," he told the Jamaica Observer.

On opening night, stalwart Professor Chris Walker will be honoured for his contributions to regional dance, arts and culture, as well as his internationally acclaimed works and research.

There will be performances from groups including National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC); L'Acadco: A United Caribbean Dance Force; Movements Dance Company; The Ashe Company; CDT, among several others. They will be joined by the University of Wisconsin-Madison from the US; the University College of the Cayman Islands; and Barbados-based, UWI Cave Hill and the Eleve Performing Arts Center.

Gill further noted that it is all systems go for this year's staging.

"Preparations have been going very well for this year's staging; the companies have been hard at work on their various pieces. The technical elements of the festival have been coming together nicely — even though very tedious in parts — and everyone is being kept abreast with happenings so as to facilitate a seamless, efficient execution of the event," he said.

The JDU was conceptualised by Michael Holgate in 2009.

Kediesha Perry

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