National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica Plays Brooklyn

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Photo and Story by Roland Hyde

News Americas, BROOKLYN, NY, Tues. Mar. 24, 2015: Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College continued its 60th Anniversary Season with the much-anticipated return of the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica (NDTC) on Saturday, March 21, 2015 and on Sunday, March 22, 2015.

Returning to Brooklyn for the first time since their 50th Anniversary tour in 2012, the company performed PROGRAMS combining evocative new works with favorites from their extensive repertoire.

A biennial visitor to Brooklyn Center for more than two decades, NDTC presented two special PROGRAMS featuring repertoire highlighting the company’s 50 year history. The repertoire for the company’s 2015 Brooklyn appearance included:

  • Drumscore (1979), choreography by Rex Nettleford, featuring the NDTC singers
  • Dialogue for Three (1963), choreography by Rex Nettleford
  • Playtime (2014), traditional Jamaican folk songs featuring NDTC singers and orchestra
  • Rough Drafts (2014), choreography by Chris Walker, featuring full NDTC company
  • Sulkari (1980), choreography by Eduardo Rivero-Walker, originally premiered on May 13, 1971 by the Danza Nacional de Cuba
  • Incantation (2002), choreography by Jeanguy Saintus, a solo excerpt featuring Kerry-Ann Henry
  • Kumina (1971), choreography by Rex Nettleford

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 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 five decades of existence the 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.