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La Chapelle dancers open ‘Toybox’ for Christmas

Friday, November 27 2009

CONTINUING THE Christmas tradition in dance is something that has evolved over the years in La Chapelle Dance Company, a group of enthusiastic dancers, led by veteran dancer/choreographer Carol La Chapelle.

Providing opportunities for the young dancers has always been a challenge, says La Chapelle, but passion and determination continues to drive this artist and those who come to her for guidance and support.

The group has thrilled audiences year after year with their productions, exploring various dance styles and themes and sharing and developing their creative talents. The Senior Company has in the past focused on exploring the space between meaning and metaphor which encouraged the growth of Contemporary dance and helped in the development of local choreographers like Avni Joy Dookie, Alan Balfour, Sonia Dumas, Gary De Matas and Christopher Sheppard.

Once home to lead dancers like Allison Seepaul, Marlon Phillip, Renee Castle, Leah Gordon, Derek Casanova, Marcia Charles and Delton Frank, it provided a wonderful melting pot that encouraged crossover from folk to modern and the creation of Caribbean dance fusions alongside experiences of touring and working with other dance professionals, globally.

Another generation of dancers like La Shawn Prescott, Nyla Edghill, Anna Lee Mc Calpin and Danielle Alexis moved more readily into the Carnival and festival markets and continue to forge ahead with signature presentations and a determination to make dance their profession.

The present, the young La Chapelle Dance Company (Jnr) has established the custom of presenting dance at Christmas which allows the opportunity to showcase the work of the company at La Joya, St Joseph, using the designs of Gregory Singh, First Chapter Adam and the choreography of Gregor Breedy, and Christopher Sheppard.

Sheppard and Breedy, while firmly rooted in TT folk, have worked with La Chapelle for many years, growing in strength and artistic ability but always supportive of the young dancers in their charge.

In celebration of the season the theme this year is “Toybox – a child’s dream” and as the name suggests is a fantasy that borrows from the classic Nutcracker but with a Caribbean twist. Dance, dance, dance from African to Spanish to interpretative – all geared to entertain and enrich.

Toybox takes place at the Eric Williams Auditorium, La Joya on December 4 at 6 pm and December 5 at 4 pm. Tickets are available from the La Joya gymnasium (663-8533), J Lequay (491-2219) and J Young (663-3122).

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