Dance Theatre Xay­maca’s 22nd Sea­son a hit

Jamaica Gleaner - - ENTERTAINMENT - Mar­cia Rowe Gleaner Writer

Lead dancer Reneé Grant in ‘Ne­mow’.

OPEN­ING NIGHT of Dance Theatre Xay­maca’s (DTX) 22nd Sea­son of Dance was held at Lit­tle Theatre, Tom Red­cam Drive, on Satur­day. It show­cased the works of seven chore­og­ra­phers who not only ex­panded the dance vo­cab­u­lary, but had the dancers per­form amaz­ingly chore­ographed rou­tines. The small-size au­di­ence was en­thralled.

Reneé McDon­ald’s dance, Un­til Novem­ber Ends, was in­spired by the dev­as­ta­tion caused by the re­cent hur­ri­canes, she told The Gleaner.

“I do a lot of epic and dra­matic type of dances, usu­ally us­ing re­ally dra­matic mu­sic, es­pe­cially last year for DTX. So ‘Space and Time,’ chore­ographed by Bar­bara McDaniel. ‘Space of Mind’, chore­ographed by Bar­bara McDaniel.

this year, I de­cided to tone it down a lit­tle,” she said.

“So why not use that in­spi­ra­tion, while it is present

and rel­e­vant? Fo­cus on the emo­tions of peo­ple who are con­stantly deal­ing with the hur­ri­cane. Why not have the au­di­ence feel more solemn as op­posed to sit­ting on the edge of your seat? I want ev­ery­body to sit back and think about what peo­ple are deal­ing with and how they are feel­ing. I ti­tled it Un­til Novem­ber End, be­cause I want the au­di­ence to re­mem­ber that it [a hur­ri­cane] is con­stantly cir­cu­lat­ing un­til the sea­son ends. And even when the sea­son ends, next year, you have to go back to it again, un­til the end of Novem­ber,” she con­tin­ued.

CAPTIVATING CHOREOGRAPHY

The dance, well chore­ographed and justly ex­e­cuted, was com­pelling and cap­tured var­i­ous stages of the hur­ri­cane ex­pe­ri­ence.

The open­ing dance of the evening was Jig­saw, chore­ographed by Jes­sica Shaw. It was a fit­ting choice as it set the tone for the rest of the pro­gramme. All were com­ple­mented by the Bar­bara McDaniel’s de­signed black dresses. Black back­drop and an in­ter­est­ing in­ter­play be­tween light and dark­ness added a beau­ti­ful di­men­sion to the dance.

Ni­cholas McPher­son’s chore­ographed Ne­mow (women spelt back­wards), con­tin­ued the in­ter­ac­tion be­tween light and dark­ness, with re­sound­ing suc­cess, too. Like­wise, white­clad all fe­male dancers per­formed the slow tempo yet pow­er­ful dance with pre­ci­sion and in­ten­sity. An out­stand­ing per­for­mance came, too, from lead dancer Reneé Grant, who por­trayed her char­ac­ter with con­vic­tion.

DTX artis­tic di­rec­tor, McDaniel, was cred­ited for de­sign­ing most of the cos­tumes. She also chore­ographed two dances, Cry Free­dom – the clos­ing dance, and her re­mounted 2004 Space of the Mind. Both were con­trast­ing in tempo and choreography. Of the two, Space of the Mind was more an il­lus­tra­tion of body ex­ten­sions and cre­ative ex­plo­ration of lev­els.

Michael Hol­gate’s Trod­ding Thru and Cather­ine Reid’s Talk to Wi Nice, were well chore­ographed and justly ex­e­cuted, while Onaje’s choreography, Thirst, was ex­per­i­men­tal and bold.

Over­all, ex­cept for the low turnout, Dance Theatre Xay­maca’s 22nd Sea­son of Dance was a fine dis­play of cre­ativ­ity in move­ments, cos­tume, sets and props.

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