Cayman Islands National Dance Company & School celebrated their 30th Anniversary over three nights at the Harquail Theatre, with “Dare To Dance,” a show which contained the full spectrum of the kind of dances taught by the dance company, through and an equally wide age range, from tiny tots (their group is called the Twinkle Tots), up to adulthood.
There were many different dances and dance styles, and there had been much thought about choreography and about the messages of each of the dances. One of the dances was all about feminism, and another all about human rights – but of children. The dances explored themes that had to do with inner reflection, revelation and growth, conflict, and resolution.
In the dance “I Remember,” an older woman looks through her photograph album, and remembers herself as a young dancer (a role played by a young member of the dance company). There comes a point in the dance where she wonders if she can do it again – a feeling many older people have had about gifts which they may have neglected. There comes a point where the young girl of memory and the woman dance together. “Ask Yourself,” choreographed by Liana Coggins, explored the idea that human rights should be extended to children, not just adults. The Junior dance section performed the dance to the music of What About Us by Pink.
“Bodyline,” celebrated Caribbean women: “Every curve and shape speaks volumes as to who we are,” the announcer said. “Celebrate,” was a dance celebrating birth, with dancers Alana Tucker, Analeah Parker, Maia Pitter, among others. “Dream,” explored the resolution to keep your dreams alive no matter what the cost – the message of “Impossible Dream” sung by Luther Vandross was beautifully interpreted by dancer Debbie Clarke. “The Power of She,” asked many questions about the progress of feminism – about the political, economic and social equality of the sexes. The dance was punctuated by short monologues asking poignant questions.
“Girl On Fire,” was an upbeat, fun dance by the Intermediates, about being driven by an innate passion to achieve ones’ goals “Mannequin,” was a fun dance, and very funny too, in places, about shop mannequins coming to life and dancing when the owner was away. “Me Too,” was a dance all about believing in yourself from as early on as possible, performed by the Twinkle Tots.
“Praise,” was a reflection of the joy when giving praise during worship in a traditional church, performed by the Juniors. “The Battle Within,” was all about a man’s internal struggle and the realization that his achievements and personal will are not enough to sustain him in a chaotic world. “The Escape,” was a dance-exploration about the magical worlds that children disappear into, especially as a way of dealing with difficult situations. The Intermediate Dancers used dance to explore themes. In “Yes,” Nina Simone’s atmospheric song, “Feeling Good,” was the music to inspire a beautiful, strong and moving dance by Schwannah McCarthy-Brown.