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Nov 2, 2011

Dallas Black Dance Theatre at the Bliss

Three major events are on ICA’s calendar to celebrate its third Dance Extravaganza. The first takes place this weekend at the Bliss. Performing will be twelve professional dancers including a Belizean, Jamie Thompson, who make up the Dallas Black Dance Theatre. The line-up includes modern, jazz, ethnic and spiritual works. News Five’s Delahnie Bain reports.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

The Institute of Creative Arts third Annual Dance Extravaganza will be bigger than ever this year. One new feature is the inclusion of international companies and a major name on agenda is the Dallas Black Dance Theatre.

Shari Williams, Communications Officer, NICH

Shari Williams

“This year for the first time, we’ve decided to invite some international dance companies to come in and so this weekend we’re having the Dallas Black Dance theatre; they’re going to kick it off. Now this is the oldest continuously performing dance group in the US, actually they’re celebrating their thirty-fifth year as a company. They are coming into Belize. They have two performances scheduled; Friday in PG at the PG Sports Complex and Saturday here at the Bliss.”

Ann Williams

Ann Williams, Founder/Artistic Director

“Dallas Black Dance Theatre is celebrating its thirty-fifth anniversary season. We’ve been around for thirty-five years. We’re a modern dance company and of course we do some jazz and spirituals. But what you see in the company members is a great deal of artistic excellence. Really, their skill, their training and I just call them a bunch of hams because they really have great personalities and really will enjoy serving and dancing for the people of Belize and the people of Belize will enjoy looking at them. So we want everybody to come out and see this.”

Highlighted on the poster for Saturday’s event is Belizean, Jamie Thompson, whose career as a professional dancer took flight five years ago.

Jamie Thompson

Jamie Thompson, Professional Dancer, Dallas Black Dance Theatre

“I’ve been discussing it as my co-workers were getting excited over the past few weeks and I get overwhelmed with emotion a lot. They’re like “are you excited” and I’m like yeah, I’m excited. I haven’t danced here in a long time. I left in 2007 to pursue a degree in dance and now I’m a professional dancer. So there’s a lot invested in coming home and performing for my people. For the past five years I’ve been performing for a bunch of strangers so it will be definitely very heartwarming come Saturday night when we have to come off the stage.”

This will be his first professional performance at home and Thompson as well as the dance company’s founder, Ann Williams, say that the Belizean public is in a treat.

Jamie Thompson

“I think Belize will have a different perspective on dance after seeing Dallas Black Dance Theatre because we bring a theatrical aspect to the performing. It’s not just the step; it’s about what you’re saying, how are you saying? Are you speaking clearly? Can you hear me? So I think that will be one of the most outstanding things about this company is that we perform. We’re artists on stage not just dancers.”

Ann Williams

“We’re gonna be doing some things by Ray Charles, we’re going to also be doing some things by Marvin Gaye and the music they will love, they’ll be able to identify with. We’re gonna do a Spanish number with Spanish music and just a lot of modern dances and just a lot of fun. Then they’ll see some true modern dance. So we want them to come out, after the performance, stay around and meet the dancers, get to know them because dancers love to meet people.”

Jamie Thompson

“I would like for everyone to come out and support because it’s very important to me. I think it’s by faith that I got into the company the same year they made plans to come to Belize.”

Dallas Black Dance Theatre will also be hosting dance workshops in Belize City and Punta Gorda. Delahnie Bain for News Five.

The two other events will feature the National Garifuna Company from Honduras and the Ballet Folklorico out of Chetumal.

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