Stella Maris Dance Ensemble’s 24th Season

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The Jamaica Observer reports that Stella Maris Dance Ensemble’s 24th Season of Dance opens at the Little Theatre in St Andrew on Saturday, November 4 at 8:00pm. Also slated for Sunday, November 5 at 5:00pm, the event is under the patronage of Mr and Mrs. Wayne Chen.

Founder [and artistic director] Dr Monika Lawrence said “there will be something for everyone [. . .] This season continues our quest to explore Caribbean aesthetics through movement by highlighting, through choreography, the regional stories. In fact, storytelling is a strong part of our composition.”

According to Lawrence, the outfit explores not just the nation’s history, but our contemporary lividity as shown in Liza — a comedic dance drama and favourite among patrons. Liza features the principal dancers of the ensemble, Monique Spence, Wendi Hoo Fatt, Karen Seymour, Roxanne Cornieffe, Gavin Hart, Jamal Wakeling and Andre Hinds. She said the ensemble will also explore nature and its elements, as can be seen in the premiere of Baka Beyond, featuring Atira Robinson on the aerial.

“Our religious affirmation is evident in Where is Maria. This dance looks at women’s issues through the life of the blessed Virgin Mary, which I will choreograph,” said Lawrence. “This year Stella will again be collaborating with choreographer Dr Kemal Nance from the USA. His new work Manifesta is a reaction to an active and resurging racism in America. It represents Nance’s attempt to ‘write’ a new reality that calls on an imagined solidarity among black people all over the world,” she continued.

Nance’s company, The Berry & Nance Dance Project, will also be sharing the stage this year with Stella in Manifesta. This collaboration is inspiring for both companies, as his three principal dancers: Cristian Barreto-Avila, Julian Darden and Danzel Thompson-Stout will be performing his work, in addition to local items. The world-renowned ‘H’ Patten with connections to Africa and London, will showcase Gye Nyame, an energetic African/rhythmic dance. Stella Maris Dance Ensemble’s ballet master and dancer extraordinaire Abeldo “Tokie” Gonzales will be premiering two new works: Exchange and Ode to Nina.

For original article, see http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/entertainment/stella-maris-season-begins_115492?profile=1463

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