OBOG Dance Ministry stays with the message
Marcia Rowe, Gleaner Writer
A change in venue and a much later date for their third dance season did not deter the directors and dancers of One Body One God (OBOG) from producing compelling dances, all designed to minister to the soul.
Last Sunday, the final of their weekend show, saw an almost full house at the Philip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts, UWI (Mona). And from all accounts, the messages behind the work of the six choreographers and the clarity in execution by the dancers were well received.
Dubbed Untold Stories, the 'dance sermon' began with Charissa Allwood and Sherona Wright's Oceans. Based on Psalm 42:5, the piece began with a solo dancer in silhouette before the full cast, performing in costumes of varied shades of blue, gradually filling the stage. It ended with the dancers in clusters, walking towards a light.
Subsequently, Allwood and Wright brought more of their creativity to the fore. Among the memorable ones was Wright's high spectacle Woman by the Well, which was based on the John 4:7-23 story of the Bible. The dance commenced with a group of females seated in the shadows, and as the story progressed, each dancer shared her version with the audience.
Allwood's choreographed I Will Rejoice and The Missing Y Chromosome were well conceptualised and justly executed by the dancers. In the emotionally charged, The Missing Y Chromosome, choreographed to the spoken word, the female dancers along with their stuffed toys, show disgust and anger at tales from their fathers. On the flip side, it was a joyous occasion in I Will Rejoice, done as a tribute to OBOG's 'Dance Dad', Stephen Edwards. The celebratory dance was performed by Brittani Clarke, Joel Wright, Justine Edwards, Kadia Williamson and Kimberly Rowe, the females clad in green laced dresses.
The show ended with Allwood's Victory. Fittingly, it was another celebratory dance and was performed by the company. And like all the dances on the show, it, too, was based on biblical reference.
Other choreographers included Nichola MacDonald, Keenan Fletcher and Judene Edwards, who teamed up with Sherona and Joel Wright to produce an engaging dance titled Free. The dance of hope had the dancers freeing themselves of all sins, from the taboo to the mundane. Edwards was also the choreographer of Testimony, a dance based on the real testimony of an OBOG member. This dance is set as a 'street-side dance'. Not only were the struggles in the testimony clear, but it gave the Christian dancers of various denominations an opportunity to explore other genres of dance.
On a whole, the show was uplifting and the choreographers and their dancers stayed committed to the message of OBOG's dance ministry.