Jamaican arts icon Bert Rose, 81, has died after a long illness. The dancer, choreographer, teacher, designer, and founding member of the National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC) of Jamaica passed on April 1, at the University Hospital of the West Indies, Kingston.
Rose was among the 17 founding members of the NDTC in 1962, just after Jamaica gained independence from Britain. Apart from tutoring at the Jamaica School of Dance, which he co-founded in 1970, Rose had stints at the Tanz Forum, a dance school in Vienna, Austria, and the celebrated Spellman College at Atlanta University in the US. Rose was also a senior choreographer and former principal dancer before teaching at the NDTC, and worked at the University of the West Indies, through which he conducted dance workshops throughout the Caribbean.
Olivia 'Babsy' Grange, Jamaica's Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport said: “As a dancer, Bert Rose lit up every stage on which he appeared with his energy, faultless technique and enthusiasm. He felt and displayed the pulse of the Jamaican people as he took to stages across the world. Bertie was electric and electrifying.”