Stella Maris Dance Ensemble celebrates its 20th anniversary season of dance from Thursday through to Sunday at the Little Theatre. The season will be under the patronage of Wayne Chen, chief executive officer of SuperPlus.
However, the performance on Thursday will be a special event for 600 young people from homes of safety in the Corporate Area who will be admitted free of charge to see the full programme, beginning 7 p.m.
This is part of Stella Maris Dance Ensemble's community outreach programme, started three years ago.
The hundreds of young people will be treated to refreshments before the show and during intermission courtesy of Digicel and Reggae Jammin.
The gala performance will be held on Saturday, starting at 8 p.m., and cocktails will be served prior to the show courtesy of Lascelles Wines and Spirits and Patsy Lyn Caterers.
Among the special guests in attendance at this year's dance season will be Curtis King, founder and CEO of The Black Academy of Arts and Letters, Dallas Texas, and Dr Kariamu Asante, professor at Temple University and choreographer for the Stella Maris Dance Season in celebration of the ensemble's 20th anniversary.
According to Dr Monika Lawrence, founder of the Stella Maris Dance Ensemble, seven dances will be mounted for the 2013 season.
These will include three new works being premiered by the inimitable Abeldo Gonzales, ballet master from Cuba (Sensación Loca); Neila Ebanks, a founding member of the ensemble and lecturer at Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (In Moving Mind); and Lawrence, (Where is Maria).
Where is Maria has been reworked in celebration of the lives of two deceased patrons of the Stella Maris Dance Ensemble, Wycliffe Bennett and Professor Rex Nettleford, as well as communications consultant Christine-Ann Bell, all of whom contributed to the success of the dance troupe.
The season will also showcase outstanding works from overseas choreographers Dr Kariamu Asante from the United States (Sankofa Ja) and H. Patten from London (Gye Nyame).
The ensemble's classical work, Liza, which has been staged across the globe, will be remounted this season with Gavin Hart, Monique Spence, Wendi Hoo-Fatt, Roxanne Cornieffe, and Karen Seymour Johnson in lead roles.
Another classic that will be part of the programme is Nettleford's Tribute to Cliff, which was first mounted by the National Dance Theatre Company and given to the Stella Maris Dance Ensemble by the late professor.
Ebanks, who is considered one of the most creative and innovative artists of this generation of dancers, and who consistently erodes boundaries in the dance world, will premiere In Moving Mind.
Hoo-Fatt, who is also rehearsal mistress and committee member; Baheerah Millwood; Karen Seymour Johnson; Dr Monique Spence; Gavin Hart; Jamal Wakeling; Roxanne Cornieffe; Mesha Harris; Atira Robinson; Naomi Blackwood; André Hinds; and Maschel Bailey are this season's featured dancers.
This season's supporting dancers are: Ann-Maria Boyd, Brittany Hart, Leslie Ann Grossett, Keianna Byfield, and Samantha Isaacs.
Other performers will include Alvan Small, who is also costume coordinator; Patrick Green; Sue Ellen Pingue; Kamilah Maxwell; Laura Kaye McFarlane; Keisha Ferguson-Facey; Sasha Hart; Agostinho Pinnock, Roshe McLean, and Imani Lawrence.