'Bert Rose was a master storyteller' - Marlon SimmsFriday, April 02, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica— The National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica (NDTC) says it is saddened by the passing of Bert Rose, one of its founding members
Artistic director of the NDTC Marlon Simms told OBSERVER ONLINE that the company is indeed saddened by Rose's passing as he represented one of the architects of the 59-year-old company started by Professor Rex Nettleford and Eddy Thomas.
"Bert Rose was a master storyteller. That can be seen in his works which have immortalised the history of our country and captured the essence of our people, by telling our stories. The works he choreographed for the company are cherished, memorable and will live on. His storytelling ability is showcased in works such as Switch which tells the story of Annie Palmer and Edna M, an ode to Jamaican artist Edna Manley. Among his other popular works are Reflections which he choreographed in 1975, Glory Road from '74 and Thursday's Child in 1973. There is also the very popular Steal Away."
Simms noted that Rose's death will also be felt on a personal level, as he described Rose as a dear friend, motivator and mentor.
"He would just call me for a quick sit down to talk about ideas he had for the company, where he think we could improve things like training and community outreach. One of things he was working on was his ideas for what we could do regionally. He was excited about that. He just sometimes wanted to hear what I was doing and what were my plans as it related to the NDTC... so I will definitely miss his counsel," Simms noted.
Rose was among the founding members of the NDTC along with Monica McGowan, Joyce Campbell, Bridgitte Spaulding, Barbara Requa, and Sheila Barnett.
He joined forces with Barnett and Requa to establish the Jamaica School of Dance in 1970. The school was later absorbed by government and went on to form one of the schools at the Cultural Training Centre which is now known as the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.
Rose, who had been admitted to the University Hospital of the West Indies in St Andrew for observation on Tuesday, passed away on Thursday morning. He was 81 years old.
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