An arising in dance

Says artistic director, Nancy Herrera, “It’s a season of all brand new choreography, except two pieces from the late Claudia Applewhaite, who passed away on January 31. Claudia made significant contribution, not just to the dancing but to the dancers development as young professional women so we are acknowledging Claudia’s contribution and doing two of her more successful pieces.

Nicola Johnson will perform Circle Song and Shari Rhyner is the dancer for R’Adar bach, which is choreographed to Celtic Folk — the music named the song. Both of these pieces were created as audition pieces for dancers to get into performing arts school to pursue the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and morphed into theatrical performances on stage.

“Claudia was a very creative, no-nonsense person who really did inspire and push the dancers to achieve. She herself was a good dancer and therefore could demonstrate well. She was very focused, very passionate and became very involved in whatever she was doing. She taught every dancer who came out of Caribbean School of Dance, into the graduate company — Metamorphosis.” The rest of the season’s six new pieces, is all brand new choreography as last year the company looked backwards at all of its achievements over 20 years and highlighted the significant milestones and successful pieces of choreography on stage, in a DVD, and in a photographic exhibition. “We came back from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, in Scotland, in August 2015, which was very successful for us,” said an enthusiastic Herrera.

“Came back very excited and full of the joys, to a very depressed Trinidad of elections, and it was like if the country stood still.

Everything was on hold, the price of oil dropping, no money, and we said ‘forward ever’ since when do we depend on this.

“We knew it was collaboration that will get us through and just happened to get lots of collaborators, one exciting happening was Viki Psihoyos, a former New York City ballet dancer – Repeteur of George Balanchine’s work.

He was one of the greatest ballet choreographers of the 20th century who left his work in Trust when he died and people like Viki go worldwide teaching his work.

They then share in the success of the spoils they helped to build.

“We met and negotiated with Viki and Balanchine Trust to do an educational residency.

She came down for the month of January, literally took over the company for three weeks, taught a class in Balanchine technique and then used vocabulary to create a new work, called “Chaconne” and what is interesting is that she is using the music of Prokofiev — a famous composer who died 125 years ago in April so internationally there is a celebration of his life and work and it is coincidental that at the same time we in Trinidad will be showcasing this brand new piece of choreography and the musical score will be played live by the National Steel Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jessel Murray.” Jacob Tino, a Canadian who has adopted Trinidad as his home, is working on contact improvisation technique, the complete opposite to a structured ballet technique. Using the whole company, he has workshopped his “LeFT.” Bridgette Wilson, rehearsal director, is premiering two new pieces “f(x)” (reads f of x).

And “People” — Guns don’t kill people — using smaller ensembles and trios for both her pieces.

The artistic director has produced “Wandering” Inspired By The Moon by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822). Says Herrera: “My music is being played live by Lindy Ann Bodden Ritch on the grand piano and Caitlyn Kamminga on the double bass. Anna Maria de Freitas is the dancer.” Juan Pablo Alba Denis, who is coming from New York to dance, has choreographed the last of six new pieces — “With Grace.” Other live music accompaniments will be provided by Aidan Chamberlain on the trombone and Eleanor Ryan on the violin.

The two-hour long show, with a 20-minute intermission begins at 6.30 pm Thursday and Friday; Saturday at 7.30 pm, and on Sunday at 6.30 p.m.

Tickets are available at Queen’s Hall Box Office and Caribbean School of Dancing on Dere Street.


"An arising in dance"

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