A fitting 'Tribute' - the best season yet
Published: Monday | October 5, 2009
A scene from Wolmer's Dance Troupe's 19th Season of Dance titled 'Tribute', on Sunday, September 27. - Winston Sill/Freelance Photographer
The Wolmer's Dance Troupe wowed an audience last weekend as they paid homage to Jamaica's heritage, and world-class athletes, as well as the King of Pop during their 19th season of dance.
Considered as one of the troupe's best showing to date, 'Tribute', held at the Little Theatre from September 25-27, was truly outstanding. The final show last Sunday was exceptional. The presentation was a good mix of both simple and elegantly designed costumes. Some with bland and bold hues, others with an explosion of colour. 'Night Journey', done by Catherine Reid, Jahaire Jones and the juniors, was indeed "a celebration of life and freedom".
Choreographed by artistic director Barbara McDaniel, it had simple African-inspired movements with costumes reminiscent of our Afro-Caribbean heritage with loin cloths, palm leaves, yellow dresses and brightly coloured headbands.
The second piece 'But for the Cross', by guest choreographer Ghana Hyatt, presented an elegant reconnaissance of lines using long geometric forms that made the item smooth and effortless.
Much of the dances used a mix of linear movement and played around with levels in the delivery, making them visually appealing. At times, it seemed much more like a party onstage owing to the fun each dancer had, as in the pieces Rebirth in Drums and Ceremony of Passage choreographed by guest choreographer, Natalie Nash.
'Turning', also by McDaniel and done by the seniors, was another interesting piece. The dancers were very dramatic as they moved to Tremaine Hawkins' What Shall I Do in flowing black dresses with white accents.
Watching the tiny tots dressed as cherubs in 'Joy' was quite a treat. It was the juniors, however, during 'Nothing to Hide' who won the audience over with their innocence and dexterity after finishing their final movements during a power outage and redoing the piece after the power was restored.
Gabriel Waite's solo 'Movements', done to Bob Marley's No Woman No Cry, was noteworthy as she paid respect to women.
Most pieces paid respect but not all. 'Soul Embrace' and 'Landscape' were two such pieces. Both were poetry in motion.
The night's final piece, 'MJ The King of Pop', was the best. From the tiny tots to the seniors, each group had a take on a Jackson hit. The tiny tots were Bad with cut-off black pants and white long-sleeved shirts, while the seniors surprised the audience dressed as ghouls and entered at various points of the venue and danced to Thriller.
The night's biggest reaction went to Onaje Bell, who, just before the final piece, treated the audience with his own imitation of the late icon's hit, Billie Jean. Bell came dressed as the 'King' - jewelled glove and jherri-curled hair - doing everything to precision and left one female audience member screaming "Michael!" until the very end.