A Love Offering for Oneil Pryce tonight
The roster of dance companies performing at the Vera Moody Hall at the Edna Manley College of the Visual Arts tonight reads like an all-star Jamaican gathering. The direct connection many of them have to the person who is the reason for the coming together underscores his significance.
The Love Offering, which starts at 7 p.m., is for choreographer Oneil Pryce, who is doing treatment for colon cancer. There will be presentations by L'Acadco: A United Caribbean Dance Force, Tivoli Dance Troupe, The National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC), Praise Academy of Dance, The Company Dance Theatre, The School of Dance Junior Department, Movements Dance Theatre, Stella Maris Dance Ensemble, Arabesk Dance Collective and the Campion College Dance Society. Gospel singer Carlene Davis-Cowan will also be performing, and an art auction where Miriam Hinds-Smith, director of the School of Visual Arts, is among the artists whose work will be available to the highest bidder.
The college is involved at many levels, as a GoFundMe campaign will also be launched at the event.
Pryce's credits include collaborations with a number of the companies which will perform, among them Propsobilities (The Company Dance Theatre), Certain Today Unborn Tomorrows and Barre Talk (NDTC, of which he is a former member) and Cenotaph (L'Acadco). Tonight, the School of Dance Junior Department will be doing a piece which Pryce choreographed.
BEING A PERFORMER
He channelled his talent into choreography as the bio quoted Pryce as saying, "I found early on that creating was my passion as opposed to being a performer. If a work didn't engage me holistically, I was not able to perform it to the best of my ability. Being a performer means that you are willing to engage in anything that is thrown at you. The lessons I have learnt from being a performer are now an important part of how I now see and make works."
While many of the companies are slated to do one dance, Coleen Douglas, marketing manager at the Edna Manley College, noted that there are some dances which can go for as long as 10 minutes. She said that Pryce's choreography reflects a contemporary approach as well it should, since a brief biography states that he is one of only two Jamaicans who has a Masters of Arts in choreography from Trinity Laban (London).
On the other side of the ocean, he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance from the State University of New York College at Brockport, and it all started at home with diploma in dance education from the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.
While in England, Pryce not only studied, but also taught at the primary and secondary level, plus lecturing in Caribbean Dance Studies and Performance at Irie Dance Theatre. He expanded his choreography credits as well, doing Traces of Home Connecting Vibes for Irie Dance Theatre, Of God, Dance and Religion and The Body Remembers and Breaks the Silence (Trinity Laban) and Speaks Like a River.
Pryce has been doing treatment for colon cancer, and Douglas said previously there was a blood drive by the Edna Manley community for him. The initial financial target was US$5,000, but Douglas said, 'We plan to double that." Another fundraiser is planned for early in the next academic year, when more people in the Edna Manley community are around.