Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College continues its 2011-2012 World Stages series with the much-anticipated return of the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica (NDTC). The company will perform two programs of dance and music celebrating West Indian culture and the 50th Anniversary of the company on Saturday, March 24 at 8pm and Sunday, March 25 at 3pm.
A biennial visitor to Brooklyn Center for more than two decades, NDTC celebrates its Golden Anniversary with two special programs featuring repertoire highlighting the company's 50 year history. The repertoire for the company's 2012 Brooklyn appearance includes: Drumscore
(1979), choreography by Rex Nettleford
, featuring the NDTC singers; ... minutes and seconds
(2010), choreography by Kerry-Ann Henry
and Momo Sanno; Cry of the Spirit
(1996), choreography by Gene Carson; Sweet in the Morning
(1992), choreography by Leni Wylliams; Urban Fissure
(2004), choreography by Chris Walker
(1980), choreography by Eduardo Rivero-Walker; Gerrehbenta
(1983), choreography by Rex Nettleford
, featuring the NDTC singers; Kumina
(1971), choreography by Rex Nettleford
, featuring the NDTC singers
With the blessing of the Ministry of Development and Welfare, co-founders Rex Nettleford
and Eddy Thomas formed the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica
in 1962 at the time of Jamaica's Independence from Great Britain. Their search for a definitive Caribbean dance theatre linked a varied and versatile group together to make this goal a reality. The original 18 members represented a diverse mixture of artists with differing backgrounds in dance training and. This emerging corps, along with Dr. Nettleford and Mr. Thomas
, worked together for three years, from 1959-1962, to form NDTC. The company has survived on a vision of dancing on its own feet, capturing the rhythms, body language and aesthetics of a people who have lived for over three centuries under British rule and a total of 400 years under slavery and the plantation system. Its dancers, choreographers, musicians and designers have continuously striven to communicate these experiences and are dedicated to the creation of works rooted in the Jamaican and Caribbean cultural experience. NDTC has gained an international reputation, garnering both critical and popular acclaim throughout the world. To date, NDTC has completed more than 100 tours to North America, Europe, the former USSR, Australia, the United Kingdom, Latin America and Puerto Rico.
Barry Moncrieffe (Artistic Director)
Former Associate Director and long-standing lead dancer with the NDTC, Mr. Moncrieffe has served as "the clay" on which many leading male roles in NDTC's repertoire were molded for some three decades. Mr. Moncrieffe did early training in Eddy Thomas Dance Workshop, in summer schools at the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies and later on scholarship at the Martha Graham
School of Contemporary Dance in New York. The company's principal dance tutor and a senior lecturer in dance at Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, he has also taught and performed in the Caribbean, Germany, England, China, Finland and at Vassar College
in the United States. 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, he made his debut as a choreographer for NDTC in 2002 with a dance-work based on Bruckins Party in collaboration with NDTC founding member Joyce Campbell. Mr. Moncrieffe is also a well-known fashion designer, designing costumes for major NDTC dance-works such as Incantation
Marjorie Whylie (Musical Director) Leader of the NDTC Singers, composer, arranger, cultural consultant, music educator, musicologist, and jazz expert has been all these things inside and outside of Jamaica to her credit and greatly advanced reputation. Former Senior Lecturer and Head of Department of the Music Unit at The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, many times honored, nationally and in the profession of music, she continues to explore and experiment with the rich reservoir of Jamaican traditional and contemporary musical forms and rhythms which she has collected, researched and documented for over forty years.
Brooklyn Center's presentation of the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica is made possible, in part, through the generous support of the Macy's Foundation; the Mertz Gilmore Foundation; and Golden Crust Caribbean Bakery and Grill.
Founded in 1954, the mission of Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts
is to present outstanding performing arts and arts education programs, reflective of Brooklyn's diverse communities, at affordable prices. Brooklyn Center's presentations explore both the classical traditions and the boldest contemporary performances, embracing the world culture that defines Brooklyn. Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts
welcomes over 70,000 people to the 2,400-seat Walt Whitman
Theatre each season, and boasts one of the largest arts education programs in the borough, serving 46,000 schoolchildren from over 300 schools annually with its SchoolTime series.
National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica
Saturday, March 24, 2012 at 8pm
Sunday, March 25, 2012 at 3pm
Tickets: $45 orchestra, $36 mezzanine
Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts
2/5 trains to Brooklyn College/Flatbush Avenue
On-site paid parking available
Online orders: BrooklynCenterOnline.org
Box Office: (718) 951-4500, Tuesday - Saturday, 1pm - 6pm
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Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts' programs are supported, in part, by public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Additional support for the 2011-2012 season is provided by: Brooklyn College; Con Edison; National Grid; TD Charitable Foundation; and Kings Plaza Shopping Center. Additional support provided by CNG Publications and The Brooklyn Eagle. The Sheraton Brooklyn New York Hotel is the official hotel of Brooklyn Center's 2011-2012 season. Backstage catering is graciously provided by Applebee's.
Brooklyn Center gratefully acknowledges generous support from New York City Councilman Albert Vann and the Department of Youth & Community Development; New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn
; and Commissioner of Cultural Affairs Kate Levin