Fifteen years ago, Nancy Herrera, the company’s Artistic Director, a dance teacher for more than 25 years, saw the need for a “graduate” dance troupe for her pupils when they had completed the level of dance taught at the Caribbean School of Dance, so she formed Metamorphosis.
Says this woman who has been pursuing her sole passion, dance, since she was five years old: “In celebration of this anniversary, the show presents a mixture of both old and new repertoire. One of the old pieces “Everything comes to an end”, choreographed by Carol Yip Choy, a director of Metamorphosis premiered in the very first season “Beginnings” in 1995.
“Out of the five original dancers who performed in the premiere, four made dance and theatre their careers, Zara and Elisha Bartels, Camille Fitzworme and Sonelle Renaud. The fifth was Abbey Charles.”
Other repeat performances include “She”, choreographed by the late Astor Johnson with music by the late Andre Tanker and a poem by Lesana Kwesi. When Metamorphosis toured England in 2002 and 2004 and India in 2009, “She” was one of the pieces on the programme. Shari Rhyner, the dancer on the nine city tour of India, will repeat her performance.
Also on the programme is “Tribe”, choreographed by Delton Frank, which Herrera says “was the highlight when we danced in Trafalgar Square in 2004”, and from 2009 “Seeds” choreographed by Nicole Wesley, who is also doing a new piece called “Exodus.” Wesley works with contemporary American Modern dance techniques.
Working with Metamorphosis for the first time is Elvis Radgman, the first Tobagonian to have studied dance on a scholarship. He is a graduate of Hunter College, University of New York City, and works as a Dance Administrator and choreographer in Tobago. In “Skins” Radgman is experimenting with contemporarising the traditional Tobagonian folk forms with modern American dance.
Another new piece is ‘R.E.M” from the company’s rehearsal director, Bridget Wilson, a recent graduate of York University in Canada. who started in 2001 with Metamorphosis, went on both UK tours, and is now a teacher with the Caribbean School of Dance.
Two dancers who will present choreographic works are Juan Pablo Alba Dennis, duetting in “Where We Stand” with Ruth Porther, also a Metamorphosis choreographer for a trio called “Anticipating Emancipation.” Porther is one of the National Scholarship winners from the Company in the past 15 years, which says Herrera “just goes to show that despite some parents refusing to allow their children the extra curricular, that it is possible to combine academics and dance successfully”.
Between all the choreographers the audience will have an interesting mix of real high energy productions in a programme which experiments with different forms and techniques of dance, from classical ballet through to contemporary and modern.
The majority of accompaniment for the nine dance pieces is recorded music except for “She” and “Tribe”, which are contemporary Caribbean folk done to traditional drums by Everard “Redman” Watson and Larry and Gary Harewood.
Herrera promises “a fabulous range of costumes by John Christopher”.
“He has done masked Japanese ghosts in Japanese kimonos, who will dance on pointe in this highly theatrical piece in “Everything comes to an end”, and also very dramatic headpieces in “Tribe”,” she said.
Tickets are available at Caribbean School of Dancing, 2a Dere Street, Port-of-Spain, daily from 10 am to 6 pm and in the week of the show at Queen’s Hall Box Office. Entrance to Thursday’s show is $50, and to all others $100.