NDTC, 'Stella' to get Keys to City

Observer writer

Thursday, November 15, 2018

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IN recognition of its cultural contribution to Jamaica, the Kingston and St Andrew Muncipal Corporation's (KSAMC) council unanimously approved a resolution for the National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC) to receive its Keys to The City.

The resolution was moved and seconded by Jamaica Labour Party Councillor Donovan Samuels (Tivoli Gardens Division) and People's National Party (PNP) councillor Venesha Phillips (Papine Division), respectively. The Stella Maris Ensemble will also be presented with the keys.

“The NDTC, which has been in existence since 1962, has contributed exemplary cultural value to Jamaica's cultural development. Significant contributions to the development of the performing arts and education have been made by the late Professor “Rex” Nettleford, one of the founders and directors of the NDTC; Eddy Thomas; Dr Monika Lawrence,” the resolution read.

Nettleford died of a heart attack in Washington DC on February 2 2010, while Thomas died in Montego Bay four years later.

Based at the Little Theatre on Tom Redcam Drive in Kingston, the company draws on African folk traditions and cultural themes as well as modern dance.

In 1987, the NDTC was awarded a Musgrave Gold Medal for its contribution to dance.

The resolution said that the Stella Maris Ensemble, which has been in existence for 32 years, has “contributed significantly to the development of the performing arts”.

The resolution noted that in 1986, “the Stella Maris Ensemble became the youngest group to represent Jamaica overseas when they toured the Cayman Islands and were the first group to ever win both Junior and Intermediate categories at the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission's (JCDC) Festival Dance competition”.

Lawrence is artistic director for the Stella Maris Dance Ensemble.

A date for the ceremony is to be announced.

Both groups have performed in countries including the United States, Canada, Cayman Islands, The Bahamas, West Germany, Puerto Rico, Spain, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and Trinidad and Tobago.

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