One night only
NDTC contemplates single live performance for 59th seasonSunday, August 01, 2021
BY RICHARD JOHNSON
The National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica (NDTC) is currently working towards the possibility of a live performance on August 10, at the Little Theatre in St Andrew.
This event forms part of the company's 59th season of dance and will complement the series of virtual performances now on for a third weekend.
Artistic director of the NDTC Marlon Simms noted that this live performance is still not cast in stone, as everything depends on the national status as it relates to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“We working on our plans for this event; however, we are monitoring the numbers, and it all depends on what happens within the coming days. In the meantime, we are preparing ourselves and listening to the reports from the authorities to determine how we will move forward,” said Simms.
He further explained that should the performance become reality all the necessary protocols will be adhered to. This includes the mandatory wearing of masks for the duration of the show; temperature checks and sanitisation of all patrons upon entry to the theatre, as well as social distancing within the auditorium as it relates to seating.
Simms further noted that, as a result of the need to socially distance, there will be limited tickets available for this performance.
Meanwhile, it has been decided that two new works will première should this performance come to life, joining a number of time-honoured favourites from the company's repertoire. Among the new works is Erzuli, a solo choreographed by Haitian dancer/choreographer McKenson Blanchard on NDTC company members Ashley Bromfield and Gillian Steele in 2018, but which has never made it into a performance.
The NDTC has for a number of years had a strong relationship with this sister Caribbean island, and so Haitian choreographer Jeanguy Saintus has two works, Incantation and Soufflé, which is part of the company's active repertoire. Local choreographer Kevin Moore also used Haiti as the inspiration for his 2016 work Hommage a' Dambala.
Simms will also première his latest work Cascade, which is among his first works created since he has taken over the reins of the company as its artistic director.
He explained to the Jamaica Observer that the dance looks at the pandemic experience: “Conceptually it is a metaphor for how we have had to deal with the challenges posed by this pandemic which we are experiencing... that is the driver of the piece. It is a modern dance work that deals with the ebbs and flows of life at this time and how we are forced to move through space like water,” Simms shared.
“These new works will join pieces like Steal Away, which we are doing in tribute to Uncle Bertie (NDTC founding member and choreographer Bert Rose), and Professor [Rex] Nettleford's Kumina. Due to the times we are living in it will not be a full show, we are looking at under 90 minutes. We have to be so mindful of everything that could potentially happen, so right now our rehearsals are all being done in masks to ensure that that everything is being executed with limited risks,” Simms added.
The virtual season continued this weekend. Today's offering will be Nettleford's Celebrations, which has been chosen specially in keeping with the Emancipation Day observances. The performance, which is being used for this virtual series, has been taken from the NDTC's 40th anniversary season of dance nearly two decades ago.
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