Wed | Dec 13, 2017

NDTC Gala opens 55th anniversary season, July 21

Published:Wednesday | July 19, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Helen Christian and the NDTC Singers in performance.
NDTC associate director, Marlon Simms, performing Sweet in the Morning, a riveting solo by international guest choreographer Leni Williams.
David Rodigan excites reggae fans with some classic Jamaican music.
NDTC Dancers perform in Rex Nettleford's masterwork, 'Tintinabulum'.
NDTC Ballet Mistress Kerry-Ann Henry, performs a solo in Marlon Simms' 'Beres on Love'.
Musical director Ewan Simpson leads the NDTC Singers and Orchestra in the 55th Anniversary Season.
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Established at the time of Jamaica's Independence, The National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC), together with the nation, celebrates its 55th anniversary this year.

As its premier event, the NDTC will host a special gala opening of its 55th Season of Dance at The Little Theatre, 4 Tom Redcam Avenue in Kingston on Friday, July 21. The 8 p.m., performance will be followed by a cocktail reception in the garden at The Little Theatre.

More than 16 dance and musical works make up the repertoire for the 2017 Season, NDTC's artistic director, Barry Moncrieffe advised, including two new creations choreo-graphed by celebrated former NDTC principal dancers, Tony Wilson and Professor Chris Walker.

Under the theme, 'Reflection, Celebration and Continuity', "the company will share with the public its distinctive journey of 55 years, shaped by the continuing artistic exploration of the aesthetics and realities of a rich Jamaican and Caribbean cultural heritage," Moncrieffe explained.

Audiences will be treated to a diverse, active repertoire and remounts of critically acclaimed works during the month-long event, which runs Fridays through Sundays until August 13 at The Little Theatre.

 

New Suite

 

Musical director Ewan Simpson has arranged two suites of songs for the NDTC Singers and Orchestra. Created in 2017, the new Jamaica Suite will offer tribute to musical theatre. It will be alternated by Rock Sweet and Steady, the popular 2015 suite of Jamaican songs from the rocksteady era.

The NDTC Singers and Orchestra, will also provide musical accompaniment for major dance works, including the much-admired Gerrehbenta and Kumina by the Company's co-founder and late artistic director, Professor Rex Nettleford and Kevin Moore's Homamage a' Dambala, back by popular demand for the 55th Anniversary Season.

 

Remounts

 

The highly acclaimed Sulkari, by the late Cuban-Jamaican Professor of Dance, Eduardo Rivero-Walker, has been remounted, along with Incantation, the powerful piece by Haitian choreographer Jean-Guy Saintus.

Other established NDTC choreographers: Clive Thompson, Arsenio Andrade-Calderon, Marlon Simms and Kevin Moore have also remounted dances, complementing those from international guest choreographers, David Brown, Leni Wylliams and Jamie Thompson. The duet co-created by Romanian choreographer Momo Sanno and NDTC Ballet Mistress Kerry-Ann Henry is also billed for the Season.

Simms' 2016 choreography, Beres on Love, will be performed in tribute to architect and set designer Michael Lorde, who passed away recently. Lorde designed the set for Beres on Love and served the company with distinction over many years.

The talents of Michael McDonald, lighting director; Dwayne Brown, stage manager; and Blaine Reid on sound, will complete the ensemble's commemorative 55th Anniversary Season of Dance.