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Nov 27, 2014

Dance X Kicks off at the Bliss

Dance X Belize has become an annual event in November hosted by the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. This year, the four-day festival will feature both national and international dancers and groups, including Belize’s own Jamie Thompson. Several workshops have been conducted by Thompson since he touched down in the Jewel last Wednesday and today, a dance presentation and a cultural dance display was held for high school students at the Bliss. News Five’s Duane Moody was there and has this story.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

For the next four days…it is all about dance at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts in Belize City. It’s Dance X 2014 under the theme, A Dancing Culture. For the past five years, it has been a highly anticipated event that showcases the many styles of creative art in Belize. The idea is to educate the youth and the Belizean populace on the history of dance and music.

 

Jamie Thompson, Professional Dancer

Jamie Thompson

“What we are doing this year is making dance X all about the Belizean community. And you know that when you talk about the Belize community, we talk about the Caribbean Community because we are such a melting pot in the true sense—not only in a tourism marketing strategy, but we are truly a melting pot.”

 

Several dance companies from Cuba, Jamaica and the United States have been brought in to participate in this year’s Dance X.

 

Marlon Sims

Marlon Sims, Associate Artistic Director, National Dance Theatre Company, Jamaica

“Everybody is familiar with social dance…what the artist does is take all of that experience and put it on a stage and give an audience a feel of what it is like to be a part of a group, a society, a particular kind of novel experience that people never seen or delve in before. An artist job is not an easy one because it takes analysis and extrapolation and abstraction, distillation and creating a work of art for the main stage.”

 

Michael Manswell

Michael Manswell, Artistic Director, Something Positive Incorporated

“Something positive is the premiere afro-Caribbean performing arts company in the United States. We were founded in 1981 by our founder who is now with the ancestors and we are pan-Caribbean company. We have people from Haiti, Panama, Dominica Republic, Guyana, Barbados, IT, everywhere. And so my role as artistic director is basically to form the artistic vision of the company and also to crafty some of the performance presentations that you’ve seen, like that one that we just did.”

 

According to Thompson, today’s event also included a display of the various cultural groups, their attire and contributions to the creative and performing arts. And a special treat was held for the students in attendance today; some took home complimentary tickets to the show.

 

Calman Hall, Student, Wesley College

“From I was small, I loved dancing and today I learnt a lot about dancing. That is it not about just moving the body; it is technique and I would like to continue in dancing, but I have some stumbling blocks but I will get there.”

 

Luigi Acuna

Luigi Acuna, Student, Nazarene High School

“I have learnt here today that dance is a way of expressing yourself. As these people performed today, dance is a part of their life. They express themselves and in many cultures they could, with the way of dancing.”

 

Annually, Belizean dancer, Jamie Thompson returns home to conduct various workshops and sessions with dancers and groups from across country. But always anticipated are his performances…that are so unique and overwhelming. This year, Thompson says he is doing a tribute to Paul Nabor.

 

Jamie Thompson

“This year, I am doing a tribute to Paul Nabor. But it is not a typical tribute. I am mixing…I am a fan of African orchestra music because it is a universal language. Here we have very indigenous music and you know people like Andy Palacio and Aurelio Martinez have made one of our cultures global. The voice of Paul Nabor as well can be identified globally.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

 

On Saturday at ten a.m. at the Biltmore Plaza, the first annual Dance for the Cure will be held. A donation of ten dollars per person will be charged; all proceeds go to the Belize Cancer Society. 

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