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Livestreamed on this page on Sunday 29 November 2020 at 1 p.m. PST (San Francisco, UTC -8) / 3 p.m. CST (Chicago, UTC -6) / 4 p.m. EST (Kingston, UTC -5).

United States
Sunday 29 November 2020

Dancehall Reggae and the Nettleford Effect

10 Weeks In Jamaica: Theater Conversations from Jamaica to The World!

Produced With
Sunday 29 November 2020

Akiba Abaka Arts presented the conversation Dancehall Reggae and the Nettleford Effect as a part of the 10 Weeks in Jamaica series livestreamed on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Sunday 29 November 2020 at 1 p.m. PST (San Francisco, UTC -8) / 3 p.m. CST (Chicago, UTC -6) / 4 p.m. EST (Kingston, UTC -5).

10 Weeks In Jamaica: Theater Conversations from Jamaica to The World!
Often seen as an ideal tropical vacation destination, the island nation of Jamaica is a tourism and cultural hub of the Caribbean known globally for its ska and reggae music, world class sprinters, high grade ganja, endless sunshine and beautiful beaches. Yet, Jamaica possesses a theatrical legacy that contains catalytic approaches to decolonization, language reclamation, indigenous narrative formation, community development and nation building. As the world focuses on achieving racial equity, the rich history and contemporary narratives of the Jamaican stage provides valuable learnings for theater practitioners and audiences in search of models and memories of progressive community building through the arts.

Dancehall Reggae and the Nettleford Effect
The sounds and movements of Dancehall Reggae music scores the landscape of Jamaica’s cultural identity. Rooted in the Afro-Jamaican Kumina and Mento traditions, this form of popular music is among the country’s largest exports. The Hon. Rex Nettleford, OM, FIJ, OCC, Jamaican scholar, choreographer, and co-founder of the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica, shared philosophies on the importance of contemporary Jamaican music and its linkages to pre-colonial African societies. These philosophies he expressed through dance theatre and a rigorous support for the arts in academia and in the shaping of Jamaica’s national identity.

Join us for a conversation with three beneficiaries of Professor Nettleford’s legacy for a conversation on how Dancehall Reggae shows up on the Jamaican stage.

Speakers: Orville Xpressionz Hall, Marlon D. Simms and Neila Ebanks

orville xpressionz hall

Orville Xpressionz Hall aka Dancehall Professor is the Artistic Director of Theatre Xpressionz. He served as the chief judge on Dancin’ Dynamite on Television Jamaica (TVJ) for 15yrs and a radio host on Jamaica’s Fame FM 10yrs. He is also the Creative Director for Dancehall Hostel in Kingston, Jamaica. Mr. Hall is the writer/director of the world’s first dancehall musical, From Den Til Now. He is also the creator and producer of the YouTube series, The Bartender which can be found on the xpressionz ja YouTube channel. He has toured over 35 countries teaching and lecturing about dancehall. Mr. Hall is the recipient of the Gregory Isaacs Foundation Award for international contribution to dance by Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) in February, 2020. He is the vice president of the Jackson Town citizens association.

marlon d simms

Marlon D. Simms is the Artistic Director of the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica succeeding former Artistic Director Barry Moncrieffe in 2018. Prior to his appointment he served as the Associate Artistic Director for 4 years (2014-2017) He also held the post of Dance Captain for 5 years (2009-2013) after being appointed by Co-Founder and past Artistic Director Prof. The Hon. Rex Nettleford. Simms' dance journey began at St. Jago High School where he was a leading and award winning male dancer through the Jamaica Development Commission (JCDC) Dance Competition. He was awarded a summer intensive scholarship to the School of Dance at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts where he was taught by dance luminaries Barbara Requa, Sheila Barnett and Barry Moncrieffe. It wasn't until his sojourn at The University West Indies Dance Society that he was invited by former NDTC Ballet Mistress Arlene Richards to join the Company. He quickly rose in the company to be a frontline dancer due to his technical and interpretive skills, commitment to process, discipline, passion and strong sense of purpose. He appeared as lead in several seminal works which includes Tintinabulum (1997), Spirits at A Gathering (1995), Ritual of the Sunrise (1998), Gerrehbenta (1983), Dis Poem (1988), Kumina (1971) and Malungu (2013). His first successful choreographic work on the Company was Millennial Beings (1999) but it wasn't until he returned from pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Choreographic Theory and Practice on a full scholarship at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas in 2005 that he began to seriously focus on choreography. He has done several works for the Company's annual Season of Dance and Morning of Movement and Music as well as with other dance companies and groups locally and overseas. His last work to have received critical acclaim was Beres on Love (2016) in tribute to reggae superstar Beres Hammond. Simms has travelled and performed extensively with the Company and as a solo performance artist to England, Canada, USA, the Caribbean and South America. He has taught and conducted workshops in choreography, technique, performance and dance education within the Caribbean with an aim to develop dance in the region. Between performing and directing the Company, he co-produces the NDTC journal and oversees the Company's trainee programme and Education arm. He is also the current Dean of the School of Dance at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.

nelia ebanks

Artistic Director and Founder of Jamaican dance aggregation eNKompan.E™, Neila Ebanks holds a Master of Arts in Physical Theatre from Royal Holloway University of London and the University of Surrey and [UK], a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from the University of the West Indies, [JM] and a Certificate in Dance Theatre and Production from the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts [EMCVPA], School of Dance. Ebanks was, until 2018, Chief Examiner for the CAPE Performing Arts examination and was also the first ever Dance recipient of the Commonwealth Connections Residency [CA]. Her diverse Jamaican and Caribbean connections include her present work with the EMCVPA School of Dance as Director of Studies [Acting] and with eNKompan.E™, as well as past work with Continuum Dance Project [TT], The Stella Maris Young Adult Dance Ensemble [JM], The University Dance Society [JM], L’ACADCO United Caribbean Dance Force [JM], Dance Theatre Xaymaca [JM], ASHE Performing Arts Company [JM], Movements Dance Company [JM], The Company Dance Theatre [JM] and the NDTC of Jamaica. Internationally, she has also represented Jamaica in the Bienal de Danza del Caribe [CU], the Caribbean Educative Arts Festival (BB), Tobago Contemporary Dance Festival [TT], Skjoldungefestival [DK], COCO Dance Festival [TT], CARIFESTA XIII [BB] and OUTBURST Queer Arts Festival [IE].

About HowlRound TV
HowlRound TV is a global, commons-based peer produced, open access livestreaming and video archive project stewarded by the nonprofit HowlRound. HowlRound TV is a free and shared resource for live conversations and performances relevant to the world's performing arts and cultural fields. Its mission is to break geographic isolation, promote resource sharing, and to develop our knowledge commons collectively. Participate in a community of peer organizations revolutionizing the flow of information, knowledge, and access in our field by becoming a producer and co-producing with us. Learn more by going to our participate page. For any other queries, email [email protected], or call Vijay Mathew at +1 917.686.3185 Signal/WhatsApp. View the video archive of past events.

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