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Nov 26, 2015

Dance X Celebrates Seven Years with Show Series at the Bliss

Dance X Belize 2015 started on Monday of this week with master classes being held with local dance groups throughout the country. following a Forum and Barefoot Belize production on Wednesday night at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts, today there was a lecture and mini performance for primary and high school children. Duane Moody was there and has this story.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Dance X Belize 2015 is taking the world of dancing to another level, inspiring the various aspects of the fine art within the youth. Today, a lecture, demonstration and mini performance was on the agenda.

 

Jamie Thompson, Director, Lyve Arts Project

Jamie Thompson

“What we did, we gave the students an opportunity to see the rehearsal process, the warming up process, which is very important. The warm up process for dance resembles our training. So it is just a set of exercises that is best for our bodies pertaining to what sort of dance that we are going to do. So we did up to forty minutes so that the students can see how we stretch and strengthen our body.”

 

It was a real treat for all in attendance, even if you’ve never danced a single count in choreography. Thompson’s Lyve Arts Project and Dallas Black Dance Theatre from the U.S. both took to the stage and performed a total of three spectacular pieces that we are told will be showcased for one night only, on Friday during the Dance X Belize 2015 line-up. The techniques and skills were impressive and is only a snippet of what is to come in the days ahead.

 

Jamie Thompson

“The piece is actually called Four—it’s a solo, a duet, a trio and a quartet, a dance for four. So I decided to only bring the duet portion of that dance. And on Friday night, Dallas Black Dance Theatre will be performing the solo from that piece that I have.”

 

Sean Smith

Sean Smith, Dallas Black Dance Theatre

“Well I can’t give away all of our secrets, but we have four pieces on the program. They are very diverse—from modern to contemporary to jazz. They are all exciting works, including a work choreographed by Jamie Thompson. So we have that true collaboration, it is not us just bringing what we have in Dallas, but there’s a little bit of Belize. We have nine dancers so it is a full jam packed performance. I believe it is under sixty minutes so we are just going to jam packed into one nice little package for you.”

 

But it takes years of professional dancing to be at the level of these performers and many of them have been dancing various styles from a young age.

 

Kayah Franklin, Dallas Black Dance Theatre

Kayah Franklin

“This is several of the company members first time here in Belize, but our experience with the organization ranges all the way from first season in company to sixth season in company. And we all have company class, Monday through Friday to upkeep our training and then we have our rehearsal schedule that goes approximately until five p.m. on a regular day. And we all train in everything from classical ballet to modern, West African and some of us specialize in tap, hip-hop. So we are a very diverse company with extensive training.”

 

According to Thompson, the idea is to educate the youth about the world of dance through edutainment. He wants to bridge the gap between formal, technical dance in the classroom or the fine arts and the multi-faceted cultural dances inBelize.

 

Jamie Thompson

“There are so many entertainment things out there and sometimes just like how you have in the dance world or in the arts world, you have something that is done for a theatrical purpose or for what you call a concert purpose. And then you have commercial dance which is what you see in Missy Elliott videos, Beyonce and all that stuff.  It’s very different types of dancing and it depends on where your interest lies. Now for these kids, they’re blank slates so we are able to show them; this is what it is, this is what you do with your body. If you have this desire, this is what you are able to do and have a full-time job with it. I think the theme throughout all my interviews on morning shows and stuff is trying to figure out how come we don’t see more of our children dancing. It is because they are not exposed more.”

 

That exposure began today and continues tonight through to Sunday with performances from local dance groups and dancers fromMexico,CubaandArgentinaand theU.S.  Duane Moody for News Five.

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