The National Dance Theatre Company’s (NDTC) long-awaited return to Toronto to perform in tribute to the legendary late choreographer, Rex Nettleford, is a must-see event.
However, before the lights go up on the elaborate stage at the Sony Centre, where the event, titled “Tribute to Rex” will be held, local dancers and students will have an opportunity to dance with the renowned company.
“Students and professional dancers from across the GTA will have a chance to share in the NDTC’s magic,” said ArtsJam Chair, Camille Hines. “The NDTC’s solo performance is initiated by ArtsJam and will be held under the Auspices of Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto and we are pleased to share the 52 years of Jamaica’s world class dance art with dance students and lovers of dance.”
The NDTC will present a closed workshop to some 50 dance students at the Rosedale Heights School of the Arts, on Monday, November 3. Later that evening, the NDTC will host a sold-out master class at COBA’s Daniels Spectrum Studio for 40 dance professionals.
In addition, some 500 students from across the GTA will have the opportunity to watch the NDTC’s rehearsals on Tuesday, November 4 during the company’s run through on stage at the Sony Centre hours before showtime.
Under the artistic direction of Barry Montcreiff and Associate Artistic Director, Marlon Simms, the NDTC’s performance will continue the company’s theme of renewal and continuity.
Simms has honed his craft within the NDTC since 1999. He has toured extensively with the company to England, the U.S. and the Caribbean and will make his first appearance in Toronto. He now heads the Dance Education Department at the Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts, where he also serves as the Assistant Director of The School of Dance.
Ralston Milton “Rex” Nettleford, who was the NDTC’s co-founder, died in 2010. The NDTC’s tribute will include some of Nettleford’s seminal works, including Gerrehbenta. The dance takes its name from two of the major traditional rites practised in Jamaica – “gerreh” in the parish of Hanover and “dinky-mini”, which uses the musical instrument, the benta, in the parish of St. Mary, Jamaica. The tribute will also include Nettleford’s masterpiece, Dialogue for Three. In addition, the event will feature the joyous musical deliveries of the NDTC singers and musicians, under the direction of Musical Director, Ewan Simpson.
Also on the program is Urban Fissure, featuring the music of Bob Marley, Eryka Badu and a Rastaman Chant with Busta Rhymes.
The National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica’s “Tribute to Rex” will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 4 at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, 1 Front St. E.
Tickets are $50-$200 and are available at Ticketmaster, the Sony Centre Box Office and Nicey’s in Scarborough and Brampton, Gem’s two locations in Brampton, Harry’s and Charley’s in Scarborough and Jeanie’s Market in Mississauga. Tickets are also available from the Jamaican Consulate, located at 303 Eglinton Avenue East.
For more information, call 905-452-1911.