NDTC's 51st set for weekend start

Published: Tuesday | July 23, 2013 Comments 0
NDTC members perform Nettleford's 'Kumina'. - Contributed
NDTC members perform Nettleford's 'Kumina'. - Contributed

The highly acclaimed National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC) will open its 51st season at The Little Theatre in St Andrew, on Friday, with five new works added to the company's extensive repertoire.

Barry Moncrieffe, NDTCs artistic director, said the repertoire offers a diverse range of traditional and contemporary dance works and music.

NDTC alumnus Carlton 'Jackie' Guy MBE will present Bankra, a full-company work commissioned by the Chase Fund, with arrangements by new musical director, Ewan Simpson.

Led by alternates Tamara Noel and Keita-Marie Chamberlain, the work was inspired by the Jamaican socio-cultural features associated with the 'bankra' or basket, and is dedicated to NDTC's co-founder and late artistic director, Professor Rex Nettleford.

Malungu, a romantic tragedy about illustrious Jamaican musician, Don Drummond of Skatalites fame, choreographed by celebrated choreographer Clive Thompson, will have its debut.

Commissioned by Supreme Ventures Limited, the piece will feature the music of Don Drummond, The Skatalites, Anita Margarita Mahfood, Jazz Jamaica All Stars, Dotty and Bunny, King of Drummers, Siempre, Ewan Simpson and the NDTC Singers and Drummers.

For the 2013 season, NDTC frontliner Kevin Moore has extended his love duet, The Beloven, to be danced by Terry-Ann Dennison and Mark Phinn,. While Marlon Simms, dance captain, and guest choreographer/dancer Neisha-Yen Jones of the Jamaica School of Dance, have collaborated to create and dance a duet, Ode to the Lost (2012), dedicated to Cuban professor, Eduardo Rivero-Walker.

Another guest choreographer and performer, Jamie J. Thompson of the acclaimed Dallas Black Dance Theatre, will mount his solo work, Don't Leave Me, alternating with Phinn.

The NDTC Singers and Orchestra will present a suite of songs, 'Rebel Music', under the leadership of Simpson.

The suite features songs of resistance by reggae icon Bob Marley, Marcia Griffiths, Raging Fyah, Junior Byles, Joseph Hill, and popular young reggae artiste, Chronixx.

masterworks

The NDTC Singers and Orchestra will also join the dancers in performing Awakening (2012) with excerpts choreographed by Rex Nettleford and staged by Kevin Moore and Verman Thomas.

The music is arranged by Ewan Simpson, with solos by singers Leighton Jones, Kemar Lee and Helen Christian.

Among the classic remounts for the season are Nettleford's masterworks, Dis Poem (1988) and Tintinabulum (1996).

Chris Walker has remounted his dramatic piece, Of a Passage (2000), led by ballet mistress, Kerry-Ann Henry, while the highly athletic Chromosome X, created by Simms, dedicated to the women of the Jamaican Olympic team, returns to the stage after a successful debut during the company's 50th season.

Other choreographic works include Bert Rose's Steal Away (1997) and Arsenio Andrade-Calderon's solo, A Prayer (2002).

The season is being held in tribute to the late Ronan Critchlow, founding member, former principal dancer and master drummer with the NDTC.

The three-week season runs Fridays to Sundays, until August 11.

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