DANCE JAMAICA

Members of the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica.
BryanRobinson

Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College continues its 2016-17 season with the much-anticipated return of National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica (NDTC) on Saturday, March 18, 2017 at 8 pm and on Sunday, March 19, 2017 at 3 pm.

A biennial visitor to Brooklyn Center for more than two decades, NDTC celebrates its 55th anniversary with a program combining evocative new works with favorites from their extensive repertoire. The residency includes three New York premieres, including “Mountain Climbing,” created by choreographer Chris Walker in tribute to NDTC’s Founding Artistic Director Rex Nettleford, who died in 2010.

Tickets for Saturday evening are $40-$75 and tickets for Sunday matinee are $36-$45, and can be purchased at BrooklynCenter.org or by calling the box office at 718-951-4500 (Tue-Sat, 1 pm-6 pm).

Co-founded by Rex Nettleford and Eddy Thomas in 1962, at the time of Jamaica’s Independence, NDTC ventures to provide an atmosphere in which dancers could create and perform works of high standards, to encourage the Jamaican public to better appreciate the art of dance, and to research and utilize indigenous dance-forms and movement pattern from Jamaica and the wider Caribbean.

The repertoire for the company’s 2017 Brooklyn residency includes:

“Folktales” (2003), choreography by Clive Thompson

“Labess” (2002), choreography by David Brown

“You/We” (2016), traditional Jamaican folk songs arranged by Ewan Simpson, featuring NDTC singers and orchestra

“Into The Blue” (2014), choreography by Renee McDonald, New York premiere

“Hommage a’Dambala” (2016), choreography by Kevin Moore, music by Ewan Simpson and Jeff Pierre, New York premiere

“Mountain Climbing” (2014), a tribute to NDTC Founding Artistic Director Rex Nettleford, choreography by Chris Walker, a New York premiere

“Gerrehbenta” (1983), choreography by Rex Nettleford

About National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica (NDTC)

National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC) is a voluntary group of dancers, singers, musicians and creative technicians who are dedicated to the view that their work in the dance can help to bring discipline, a sense of process and cultural awareness to the awesome task of nation-building. The search for a definitive Caribbean dance theater linked a varied and versatile group together to make this goal a reality. During its more than five decades of existence, NDTC has achieved a reputation for artistic excellence developing much of its repertoire from authentic folk material. The entirely Jamaican ensemble has performed in Europe, North, Central and South America, Australia and the wider Caribbean meeting with unqualified success and establishing for itself a laudable international reputation.

Barry Moncrieffe (Artistic Director) is the former associate director and a long-standing lead dancer with NDTC, during which time he served as “the clay” on which many leading male roles in NDTC’s repertoire were molded for some three decades. Moncrieffe did early training in Eddy Thomas Dance Workshop, in summer schools at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus and later on scholarship at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance in New York.

NDTC’s principal dance tutor and senior lecturer in dance at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (School of Dance), he has also taught and performed in the Caribbean, Germany, England, China, Finland, and at Vassar College in New York. He appeared with the last states-wide tour by the famous Anna Sokolow before finally returning to his native Jamaica and NDTC.

A Musgrave Medalist and more recently a National Honours Award Recipient (Commander of Distinction, CD), Moncrieffe made his debut as a choreographer for NDTC in 2002 with a dance-work based on Bruckins Party in collaboration with founding member and dance icon Joyce Campbell.

Ewan Simpson (Musical Director), attorney-at-law, holds a Master of Laws (LL.M) in Intellectual Property Law from the University of Turin (Italy). A creative and analytical mind, Simpson wears many hats and can be described as a young veteran in the Jamaican entertainment arena. He has a wealth of experience in production and events management, and has been a production and entertainment consultant to major entertainment stakeholders, including the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival for which he has been appointed associate producer.

Simpson is also a mentor, advocate, and lecturer in the areas of Intellectual Property Law, Entertainment Law and Artist Management, and has co-hosted or appeared as guest presenter on several radio talk shows, addressing areas of concern to the enhancement and development of the creative industries in Jamaica.

Bryan Robinson

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