Well done 'Jackie' Guy!Saturday, November 27, 2021
Jamaican dancer and choreographer Carlton “Jackie” Guy has been praised for his indefatigable promotion of the island's arts and culture as well as Caribbean folk forms.
The sentiment is shared by Monica Campbell McFarlane, artistic director of Movements Dance Company of Jamaica, who also described Guy as a “great son of the soil” and “one of the most talented and colourful products of Jamaican dance theatre”.
Guy, who was in his late 70s, died in London on Tuesday, triggering a wave of tributes from influential people in the arts.
Below is Campbell McFarlane's tribute.
“The past two years will go down in history as a watershed for the passing of many memorable Jamaicans. In the dance, earlier this year we mourned the passing of Patrick Johnson, founding member and stalwart of Movements Dance Company of Jamaica, and just days after the passing of National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC) founding member Bert Rose, a great friend of Movements and myself professionally. Bert's contribution to multiple areas of the arts in Jamaica has left a significant void.
It was against this background Movements received news this week of the passing of another great son of the soil, one of the most talented and colourful products of Jamaican dance theatre and indeed our culture, Carlton 'Jackie' Guy, CD, MBE.
Uncle Jackie, as he was fondly called, left large footprints on many aspects of Jamaican culture and dance theatre as a whole.
Jackie was a founding member, teacher and choreographer of Movements Dance Company of Jamaica. He solidly supported us 40 years ago when we decided to establish Jamaica's second dance company. An alumni of the NDTC, who served for many years as artistic director of the University Dance Society, Jackie shared the vision of the founders of Movements that Jamaica needed another dance company. He journeyed with us throughout the early years of Movements and continued to work with the company long after he migrated to the United Kingdom (UK) in the late 1980s to become artistic director of Birmingham's Kokuma Performing Arts Company, which he led to great success as well and taught at a variety of companies and colleges in the UK.
A versatile tutor/choreographer Jackie was particularly noted for his work in the area of traditional dance.
Jackie's early work at the Social Development Commission (SDC) in communities across Jamaica included extensive work with the Cultural Theatre of Spanish Town, an SDC initiative that gave opportunities to numerous young people and shaped several notable artists and dancers.
After leaving Jamaica for the UK, Jackie took his love for teaching and sharing to another level and continued to unearth and shape significant talent that went on to feed a number of dance companies and theatre groups.
Jackie was indefatigable in promoting Jamaican arts and culture and Caribbean folk forms. His work in the UK with the city of Birmingham and London in particular, touched the lives of many Caribbean artistes and students.
Recognition of Jackie's achievements in the UK resulted in his receiving several awards for his work, culminating in him being conferred with the Member of the British Empire (MBE). In Jamaica, he was further invested with the Commander of the Order of Distinction by the Jamaican Government.
Jackie's work transcended many barriers and served as a standard-bearer of Jamaica's cultural heritage.
From humble beginnings in the accounts department at Radio Jamaica, this warm and generous artiste with an infectious sense of humour was always the life of the party.
Carlton “Jackie” Guy was indeed a solid standard bearer for Jamaica. He will be sadly missed.
Our sincere condolence to Jackie's family, dance families, friends and well-wishers.