NDTC celebrates Rex Nettleford at Sony

A scene from Tribute to Rex by the National Dance Threatre Company of Jamaica. Photo by Tony Wong
A scene from Tribute to Rex by the National Dance Threatre Company of Jamaica.
Photo by Tony Wong

National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC) of Jamaica will cement its place as the Caribbean’s premier dance company on Nov. 4 at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.

This single-night show will feature standout performances from NDTC’s repertoire, built on dance and supported by remarkable music, costume and choreography. The Toronto audience will be favoured with a historical master class in dance, part retrospective, part reveal and part ode. This tour de force marks the closing of its stellar 52nd season.

The evening will highlight a much-anticipated Tribute to Rex. The late Ralston Milton ‘Rex’ Nettleford, OM, FIJ, OCC, was the company’s co-founder, an intellectual, activist and a global citizen who died in 2010.

The Toronto gathering will also feature the company’s seminal work, a program to include the Súlkari (1980), an elaborate, Yoruba-inspired “dance of exaltation.” This introspective of the ever complicated male-female relationship is a fusion of artistic forms choreographed by Eduardo Rivero-Walker, featuring Marlon Simms, now NDTC associate artistic director.

Artistic director and technician artist Barry Moncrieffe says, “The season promises to be a rewarding and uplifting experience for audience members.” Moncrieffe, committed to legacy building, is creatively governed by the company’s core values of “exploration, experimentation, renewal and continuity,” a formula that has made NDTC “Alvin Ailey’s diasporic twin and a revolutionary creative force in modern dance.”

But before lights go up on the elaborate stage at the Sony Centre, “students and professional dancers from across the GTA will have a chance to share in the NDTC’s magic,” says ArtsJam Chair Camille Hines. “The NDTC’s solo performance is initiated by ArtsJam and will be held under the auspices of the 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,” Hines continues.

NDTC will present a closed workshop to some 50 dance students at Rosedale Heights School of the Arts on Nov. 3. Later that night NDTC will host a sold out master class at COBA’s Daniel Spectrum Studio for 40 dance professionals. Lastly, 500 students from across theGTAwill have the opportunity to watch NDTC rehearsals on Nov. 4 on stage at the Sony Centre hours before showtime.

Tickets are $50-200, available at Ticketmaster and the Sony Centre box office. For more information, please call Jones & Jones Productions at 905-452-1911.