Binghi to di worl'
L'Acadco for Edinburgh FestivalSunday, May 02, 2021
BY RICHARD JOHNSON
LOCAL dance company L'Acadco will be representing Jamaica once again on the international stage. The troupe has been invited to represent the country at the 2021 Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival/Edinburgh Festival Carnival which, due to the current global health crisis, will be held virtually from July 16 to 18.
L'Acadco has chosen dance work Binghi, A Mystic Revelation of Rastafari, a piece choreographed nearly two decades ago by its founder and Artistic Director Dr L'Antoinette Stines, as it's contribution to the festival. The piece offers Jamaica's indigenous Rastafari rhythms and dance dedicated to Count Ossie and honouring Queen Nyahbinghi.
Stines told the Jamaica Observer that she was more than pleased to be asked to showcase her work at this international event with a wide range of other international performances and online workshops.
“I am so pleased and honoured to have been asked by the organisers of this festival to represent Jamaica. There are so many dance companies all over the world and to request Jamaica and L'Acadco in particular is absolutely pleasing, and it is my hope that what we present will represent Jamaica, its people and culture in the best possible light. This also shows that huge level of respect that the international community has for Jamaica. As I said, they could have gone anywhere else but chose this little island to be among this year's participants at the festival,” Stines noted.
For Stines, in choosing a work for an international showcase such as the Edinburgh Festival, she bore a number of factors in mind. One of the primary factors which determined her choice was that it had to be specific to Jamaica and represent the culture of the island.
“The organisers didn't give any guidelines as to what they wanted from L'Acadco – all they wanted was something from Jamaica and the company. I decided on 'Binghi'. It is one of the iconic pieces from our repertoire and was choreographed many years ago. The first lead dancer was Patsy Ricketts. It is set to the beat of Rastafari drumming and pays tribute and celebrates something that is Jamaican.
“I wanted to stand out. This piece is distinctly Jamaican in every way. When you think about it, Rastafari is the only religion established in the 2oth century and it comes out of this country. When you experience this performance you see, hear and feel the energy that is Jamaica through the music and movement. Even though, the movement is contemporary... done in L'Antech, the movement structure which I have developed. But this is all rooted in cultural aspects such as Rastafari and others,” Stines continued.
Due to the current pandemic, the performance by L'Acadco will be seen virtually. The performance was filmed by DASH Productions. Stines and her team purposely chose the scenery of Hope Gardens located in the the Corporate Area for the filming as a means of showcasing more of the island.
“I definitely didn't want it to be shot inside a dance studio. If we are celebrating Jamaica and Rasta it had to be outdoors in nature. So, I chose the Sunken Garden at Hope Gardens. Here the dancers could be barefooted and therefore grounded. I also included images of the Jamaican flag to make it clear that this is Jamaica, just in case you missed any of the other clues,” she noted.
From all indications it is not only Stines and her dancers who are looking forward to the performance. The organisers are also in anticipation mode too.
According to Giles Agis, the carnival and community manger for the event, the organisers of the festival are also looking forward to showcasing L'Acadco's work.
“We look forward to premièring this work in July and continued cooperation with the Jamaican cultural sector. We are very excited to be working with L'Acadco, a united Caribbean dance force, and look forward to 2022 when we will finally host emerging artistes from Jamaica in Scotland.”