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Dance Creola comes to Jamaica

Published:Monday | August 15, 2011 | 12:00 AM
The cast of dancers expected on the Dance CREOLA tour of Jamaica next week. - Contributed

  • Trinidadian company presents 'This is Me ... And I Quote'

Mel Cooke, Gleaner Writer

Candice Clarke-Andell describes the Creola dance style which she has developed as "an exhilarating blend of techniques and styles".

In an interview with the Newsday publication in Trinidad and Tobago, published in April, Clarke-Andell described it as "a fusion of the Graham and Horton Techniques and styles such as ballet, modern, jazz, hip hop, tap, African and East Indian folk dance which is all currently being taught at the school".

Later this month Creola comes to Jamaica, as a 35-person strong contingent from the Candice Clarke Academy of Dance visits from August 17 to 25. They will present 'This is Me ... And I Quote' at the Little Theatre, but Clarke-Andell points out that there will be other performances, one at the Bustamante Hospital for Children and another for residents of three children's homes.

Jamaican link

There is also a link between Jamaica and the dancers, as one is a Jamaican, and Clarke-Andell refers to Jamaica and Trinidad's shared colonial history and Jamaica's love for the performing arts.

The academy goes by the slogan 'Dance With a Cause' and Clarke-Andell describes the upcoming trip as "giving back in the sense that we believe that dance is from Almighty God. I think I use it to give back to country, to make a contribution to the youth using dance to bring hope, to inspire, to bring awareness of social issues".

Appropriately then, part proceeds from the Little Theatre feature presentation go towards HIV/AIDS initiatives in the Caribbean, and the piece 'Red Ribbon' is directly related to HIV/AIDS.

Clarke-Andell points out that last year the academy contributed to the Haiti cause and the year before that a contribution was made to the fight against domestic violence.

Based on quotations

There are seven dances in the first segment of 'This is Me ... And I Quote' and nine in the second, with dances based on quotations.

"I often live by a lot of philosophy. I am impressed by a lot of quotations by great men ad women who I think have brought positive change to the world," Clarke-Andell said.

A quote from Marcus Garvey is used for the dance 'Who Am I' and another piece is built around the Jamaican motto, 'Out of Many One People'.

Clarke-Andell said for the Bustamante Hospital for Children performance, the dancers are being encouraged to carry gifts for the children, in keeping with the academy's thrust to foster caring. The dancers are also being encouraged to keep in touch with children they meet at the hospital after they have left Jamaica.

"You don't want a society where nobody cares and everybody is fighting each other," Clarke-Andell said.