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News Article
Dancing To Success
November 23, 2012
Dancing To Success

Fresh from its win at the Florida's Youth Ballroom Blitz, the Bahamas Salsa Social Network (BSSN) is now preparing to waltz and salsa across a local stage - a move that the dance company hopes will attract international groups and start what could be an avenue to foster dance tourism.

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News Article

November 05, 2013
Whining: Genuine Caribbean dance form or vulgarity

Vulgar! It means rude, impolite, bad mannered. Vulgarity often times is used to describe certain aspects of Caribbean culture, not least is the "whine''.
Whine is defined by a Caribbean dance expert as the thrusting or rotating of the pelvic girdle in a rhythmic pattern. This must be distinguished from the English dictionary's definition of "whine'', which refers to a long cry of complaint or pain.
In the context of Caribbean culture, whine is a genuine regional dance form. It is the natural way in which Caribbean people dance to the calypso or soca rhythm. It requires no teaching or no formal learning at a school of dance. It's as natural as our language rhythm or cadence of speech.
Unlike other genres of music that inspire the feet - such as "salsa'', "kweyol'' and "tango'' - the dancing of soca music inspires the rhythmic movement of the waistline, more than any other body part.
In many African societies also, similar movements to the soca whine are well known; synonymous with the continent is the African gyration of the waist and the "tumbling'' of the posterior part of the human anatomy to the drum and musical instruments. As an African descended majority, it is safe to say we inherited many ancestral traits.
It is bizarre that other peoples who were transplanted to the west have tried to hold on and perpetuate their motherland culture. The Jews, for example, have done that; so, too, have the Chinese and East Indians.
Africans, however, have either had their culture banned, such as their language and religion, even up to the mid-20th century prohibition of the Shouter Baptists; or we ourselves have tried to distance ourselves from or to ridicule our own African-based culture.
Generally, the culture of Western Europe idealizes "thin'' - thin women, thin waists and so on. On the other hand, the culture of black people - in Africa and in the Caribbean - is not shy about celebrating "big'' - big hips, big bottom, and the curvature of our women.
That celebration reaches fever pitch when we see it "roll''. That is the simple truth. It brings unbridled joy to the men folk in our society.
It is also cultural, the way we dance with partners as well. We hold on to each other and dance in harmony with our partner. Again, it is the same body parts that are summoned into action. In essence, we "whine'' up on each other (what Americans call twerking) from either the front or back of our partner. This way of dancing is natural to us. It is neither rude nor sinful.
At a recent music awards' ceremony, some Americans expressed outrage at Miley Cyrus "twerking'' with Robin Thicke on stage. In response, CNN broadcaster Piers Morgan wondered aloud what the fuss was about. He said he had travelled to the Caribbean and seen that kind of dancing from Jamaica in the north to Guyana in the south.
Now, the other motion that goes with whining is "djuking''; this may be referred to as the forward thrusting of the pelvic area. Men and women alike can be seen "djuking'' rhythmically, while whining to the same calypso or soca music.
Frankly speaking, this whining and "djuking'' action is not too distant from the motion that we associate with the act of sex. To me, this is where the gray area emerges; leading to claims that whining is vulgar. Let's be clear, all societies have moral thresholds and sex is a very sensitive issue. For us sex is a private act by consenting adults.
Moreover, it is best if these adults are married; we do tolerate adults out of wedlock, though. It is forbidden under law for persons under the age of 16; morally, they should finish school and be above the age of 18.
So, suggestive sexual acts in public are frowned upon. But it so happens, as I have discussed, whining and "djuking'' are cultural forms for us. Therefore, there can be a thin line that divides what we think is vulgar or what is not.
However, whining or "djuking'' in and of themselves are not - and cannot be seen - as vulgar. Nonetheless, it can be said that with some add-ons and embellishments, one's performance can be classified as vulgar based on our moral threshold.
Another relevant issue is the age at which children, especially girls, should get involved in public dance whining. Ironically, in formal dance shows here in the Caribbean, if a young girl were to whine on stage she would be applauded. However, if she were to repeat that same performance on the streets, it's likely to be frowned on.
My view of this is that if you agree that whining is a genuine dance form, then I don't think that the age should be different from someone aspiring to be a ballerina. Our culture is not inferior to that of other societies; but, subconsciously, we do treat the cultures of others as superior to ours.
The paintings we cherish are the works of European artistes like Rembrandt and Michelangelo. In music, many look up to and refer to Tchaikovsky's "classics'', as if our own musicians like Sparrow, Kitchener, Bob Marley, Arrow, Wizard and Ajamu have not created classics.
Clearly, the European artistes are good. But, it should not blind us to the excellence we have here in Grenada and the Caribbean in the arts - created and established by our authors, musicians and dancers.
The largest exposition of regional ingenuity and creativity is the hosting of CARIFESTA that was recently held in Suriname, and the celebration of the various annual carnivals - from Trinidad and Grenada in the Eastern Caribbean, to Haiti and Brazil, to Miami, London, New York and Toronto.
The carnival package combines different cultural elements, particularly song and dance.
Whining is an established dance form in the Caribbean. We should respect it as such.
o Arley Gill, a lawyexr, is a former Grenada culture minister. Published with the permission of caribbeannewsnow.com.

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Event
A Dance For Life 2012
A Dance For Life 2012

Saturday 23rd June 2012  9:00 PM

BSSN Dance Showcase A Dance For Life • ATLANTIS Imperial BALLROOM - 23 JUNE 2012 Bahamas & International Dance Showcase A Dance For Life 2012 A Dance Sport Spectacular A Red Carpet Event Black Tie Event General Admission $75 Premium Ticket $200 Saturday, June 23rd, 2012 @ The Atlantis Resort & Casino Imperial Ballroom, Paradise Island

SALSA 2012 PROMO from Gary Miller on Vimeo.

ENTRY FORM GUIDELINES All competition categories are “Open”; dancers may perform steps and choreography of their choosing; however lifts, drops or movements considered “inappropriate or dangerous” are not allowed with the exception of the Salsa Championship where tricks are allowed. 1. Choose the dance of your choice Novice Salsa Bachata Merengue Cha Cha Tango Waltz Salsa Championship 2. Select the Age Category. (This is determined by the age of the oldest dancer in the partnership at the time of the event) Divisions for Novices - Under 12 - Under 18 - 18 and over - 35 and over Divisions for Salsa Championships - Under 14 - Open (over 14 and no age limit) 3. Contested entries: All competitions are ‘contested’. You will be judged against other dancers in your category. 4. Freestyle- These events involve several couples (Pro - Am or Amateur), dancing one type of dance on the floor at the same time. You can expect 6 or more couples on the floor. The music will be played for one minute thirty seconds at standard tempos. 6. All participants are expected to wear dance costumes and ballroom dance shoes. 7. There will be prizes for the Championship Salsa division for first, second and third place. 8. FEES: Discounted ballroom admission for dancers: $60.00 per person; Competition Dance Entry Fee: $10.00 per person Minimum number of entries – three (3) Heats. DEADLINE The deadline for entries and registration is 5th June 2012. (Note: No Entries can be accepted without receipt of fees) COSTUMES Contact BSSN for assistance - bahamassalsa@gmail.com or 376 2776. If costumes are supplied by BSSN - Payments for shoe and costume orders must be paid in full. JUDGING SYSTEM The judges will award one couple per division (1st Place); one couple (2nd Place); one couple (3rd Place). SCHOLARSHIP In addition to other awards, the winning couples in the Salsa Championship divisions for the Dance for A Life competition will be granted a fully paid dance scholarship for eight (8) lessons with the BSSN, (expires March 2013). COMBINATIONS The organizers reserve the right to combine age groups if necessary. SPOTLIGHT / Solo Routine Cost – $75.00 per person general admission Performance fee: $100.00 Choreographed routines performed by couples/groups to individual music shall not exceed two minutes including entrance and walk off – the music will be faded at two minutes. Music is to be provided by dancers in the form of CD, with only one musical number per disc. Appropriate costumes are expected. Be sure to test your music on a CD player (not computer) before bringing it to the competition. General Admission Doors open at 8:30pm Premium Ticket Dinner: 7pm to 8:30pm / Show: 9:00pm For Reservations please contact BSSN 364-4941 or 367-2776


News Article

June 15, 2012
The beauty of dance

New York is no longer the only place to see quality dance and theater with the internationally acclaimed Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) coming to Bahamian shores.
The group is set to stun the audience during their performances, Monday, June 18 to Sunday, June 24 at the Atlantis Theatre on Paradise Island. The black-tie gala performance will be held on Friday, June 22 at 7:30 p.m. A matinee performance will be held on Saturday, June 23.
According to Diane Pindling, president of the Nassau Chapter of Links, the DTH performance which the organization will host is meant to expose the Bahamian dance community to the social and artistic legacy of DTH through performances and educational experiences.
"We are very pleased that Bahamians, especially our young people, will have the opportunity to interact with a group of this magnitude, and to benefit from the greatness that DTH has cultivated over the past 43 years," she said.
DTH is an allied ballet school in Harlem. It was founded in 1969.
The world-renowned dance troupe is led by ensemble director Keith Alan Saunders, and artistic director Virginia Johnson.
An added educational bonus to this once-in-a-lifetime affair will be the workshops and master classes to be held June 19-21, at the Kendal G.L. Isaacs Gymnasium that local dancers and instructors, old and young, experienced and amateur can participate in to show off their talents, hone their skills and see firsthand what it takes to be a member of an elite ballet company.
Organizers say that whether one wants to sit back and see the show or be a part of the workshop this opportunity is not one to miss. This will be a great way to see ballet at its best for an affordable price.
Tickets for the gala are priced at $200 and will include entrance into the after reception with the dance troupe. The Saturday afternoon matinee tickets are $40 adults and $20 for students.
The performance will also be a great way for young traditional and modern dancers to see that dance is a viable field to pursue professionally. Seeing firsthand how the performers express themselves artistically should inspire locals to also take the leap of faith and continue to dream creatively.

oTo purchase tickets telephone 676-3592 or 322-8718 or email laurajanemarketing@gmail.com or spmg@coralwave.com.

DTH Gala performance
When: Friday, June 22
Where: Atlantis Theater, Paradise Island
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $200

DTH Matinee performance
When: Saturday, June 23
Where: Atlantis Theater, Paradise Island
Time: 3 p.m.
Cost: $40 adults, $20 children

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News Article

December 17, 2011
Cultural heroes celebrated in 'The Spirit of the Dance'

The Bahamas has a rich legacy of cultural icons known internationally and abroad for being pioneers in their field - from Sidney Poitier to Tony McKay to Paul Meeres.  Yet many Bahamians know little about these figures who built them a rich heritage. Lack of tribute to such giants have allowed their stories to slip away, but with a new initiative by Doongalik Studios, their impact is being brought back into our cultural consciousness.
Thanks to the initiative by a core committee of people - Jackson Burnside, Pam Burnside, Orchid Burnside, Charles Carter and Fred Ferguson -  last year, Doongalik Studios hosted the exhibition "Remembering Youngie and Exuma".
Under the curatorship of Orchid Burnside who drove most of the research based on her training at the Smithsonian Museum, the exhibition collected countless items of memorabilia about Bahamian music icons Tony McKay and Joseph Spence to piece together the important stories and impact these figures had on our cultural landscape - both at home and abroad.
"I want people to recognize how talented we are and realize just how much information is here about our Bahamian stars and heroes, and that we really need to appreciate it," explains Orchid. "They need to see these people made a difference here and abroad, so there is no excuse for them to do it too."
Now named "The Jackson Burnside Annual Conversations on Culture" after Jackson's passing earlier this year, the exhibitions continue to examine primarily performers as forgotten heroes to inform and inspire Bahamians today about their history and potential.
"We said we definitely needed to continue this legacy because Jackson was so excited about it all," says Pam. "Jackson was very concerned about educating especially young people about all of this cultural treasure we have in this country that we know nothing about, and so the youngsters now are claiming foreign icons when we have some right here."
Indeed, it's where the sentiment for the phrase for the conversations, "See what you're looking at", comes from - telling the stories of our own greats right here at home.
Storytelling is indeed a large part of the "Annual Conversations" - last year for "Youngie and Exuma", it became apparent that even though Orchid led the curation and information gathering from many foreign sources, many people in the community had memorabilia and their own stories to add. To that effect, they hosted a series of lectures dedicated to the community sharing their interactions with the two singers.
"People were really moved by it and wanted every night to be lecture night," says Orchid. "They asked us when there would be more. So when we wrapped we didn't want it to die - we made a list of forgotten heroes whose lives we wanted to make into an exhibition to celebrate."
This year, keeping in the tradition to focus on performers, especially those who made waves abroad, the committee - with the added help of Dr. Keith Wisdom - chose to focus on three giants of Bahamian dance. The current exhibition, "The Spirit of the Dance", synthesizes countless pieces of memorabilia from the lives and legacies of Shirley Hall-Bass, Paul Meeres and Hubert Farrington who not only made waves internationally but also formed a culture of dance at home through teaching many generations of Bahamians.
"Shirley Hall-Bass - though she's not a Bahamian - taught me and my mother, so that's already two generations of Bahamians who have been influenced by her," says Orchid.
"Hubert Farrington taught a ton of Bahamians. Paul Meeres too, and brought Peanuts Taylor, Chippy Chipman, The Count--they all came up in his theater and learned how to be performers," she explains. "So Bahamian entertainment kind of came out of all these people."
Indeed, when the exhibition opened earlier this month, Bahamians of all generations came together to celebrate the memories of these three irreplaceable figures. Such a gathering is already a tribute to their legacies, however just as last year, the community came together once more to contribute their own pieces of memorabilia to the exhibition.
"That was the great thing, because even though I was technically the curator of the show, it's like the whole community is the curator," says Orchid.
It means that "The Spirit of the Dance" will continue to change and grow as more information is collected and synthesized, the gathering itself another testament to the effect of these three dancers on the creative and wider community.
The great thing about The Jackson Burnside Annual Conversations on Culture is that any exhibition they hold will continue beyond their time on Doongalik's walls, for the committee plans to digitize and store all information they receive at the Jackson L. Burnside Research and Design Library, which is slated to open early next year.
It is Orchid, though, who is leading the way in this initiative. Her time hunting and synthesizing memorabilia from many international sources has shown her how important it is to have such information all in one place at home where Bahamians can access easily to learn more about these cultural icons.
"When these people make it big outside of The Bahamas as they often do, other people take notice and they build collections, not us," she points out.
"In a way it's kind of disheartening that we don't even have here a copy of pictures of our heroes. We have to go elsewhere to find them, but at least it's a consolation that the information still exists."
True to its inaugural effort, this Annual Conversation will launch its community conversations and lectures in January, bringing together ex-students and current legends in their own right to speak to the memories of Hall-Bass, Meeres and Farrington and their greatness. They will also be showing three documentaries--one on each dancer--in the New Year.
Indeed, viewers are encouraged to revisit the exhibition as it will continue to grow and change with new memorabilia, books and film. As it is free and open to the public, there is no excuse not to pay a visit and your respects to those who blazed a path for us at home and abroad.
"There is so much more than what you can put up on a wall, so much more to the story," says Orchid.
"We don't charge so people can participate in their own culture because it doesn't just belong here, it belongs to all of us."
"The Spirit of Dance" is on display at Doongalik Studios on Village Road from Mondays to Fridays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will close in mid-February. For more information about the show and news about upcoming lectures, visit www.doongalik.com.

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News Article

January 24, 2014
Dancers shine at BOB's Love that Child Benefit

They came for the sheer joy of the music and movement. They came for the spotlight and self-expression through the discipline and freedom of the dance. But more than that they came for a cause -- to help children much like themselves, children who need and desire what all children should have, but for reasons beyond their control, do not have all the same advantages.
BOB's recent "Love that Child Dance and Music Showcase" drew an enthusiastic crowd to the Rainforest Theatre to support fundraising efforts on behalf of the Ranfurly Home for Children, The Elizabeth Estates Home for Children and The Children's Emergency Hostel.
The musical extravaganza of "Children Helping Children" featured performances by seven local dance schools, guest appearances from the Philadelphia 76ers Pre-pro Dance Team, Power Surge and Beat Addicts and lively vocals from Funky D, Damien Davis and the Meridian School Choir.
From the first number to the last dance finale, from ballet to jazz, and tap dancing to hip hop, the performers put on an unforgettable show for an appreciative audience.
BOB representatives said they were very pleased with the turnout for this year's show.
"This was the fourth time we've facilitated this benefit and this year was even better than last year," said Dominique Thompson, BOB marketing manager. "The children put on a fantastic show and we were delighted with the level of support from the public and corporate Bahamas."
All proceeds from "Love that Child" will go to assist with the needs of three children's homes in Nassau. A portion will provide partial funding for a training program to upgrade skills of caregivers at the Children's Emergency Hostel.

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News Article

September 06, 2011
Jamaica Dance Festival to Celebrate Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin

NEW YORK - In an homage to the "Queen of Soul" music Aretha Franklin, a
celebrated troupe will celebrate the diva's music through modern dance.

 

The
Vissi Dance Theater will present their novel interpretations of the
music legend's classics at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center (JPAC) in
Jamaica, Queens on Saturday, September 17, 2011.

The creative
choreography will be featured at the second annual "Making Moves Dance
Festival" which will introduce audiences to a diverse group of
performers, including the NEVILLE Dance Theatre, Yoo & Dancers, and
the...

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Event
EURHYTHMICS DANCE STUDIO'S 19th Annual Production Neon Music
EURHYTHMICS DANCE STUDIO'S 19th Annual Production "Neon Music"

Sunday 23rd June 2013  7:00 PM

EURHYTHMICS DANCE STUDIO'S 19th Annual Production "Neon Music" 7:00pm June 23rd,2013 Rainforest Theatre, Crystal Palace Casino EURHYTHMICS DANCE STUDIO, The Bahamas' #1 Premier Dance Studio, under the direction of Gabriella Szabo, the Eurhythmics Dance Studio proudly presents its 19th Annual Dance Production: "NEON MUSIC" on Sunday, June 23rd at 7pm at the Rainforest Theatre, Crystal Palace Casino, Nassau. It will be a show filled with lots of surprises and exciting dance numbers that you DON'T want to miss. Conceived and Choreographed by: Ms. Gabriella Szabo Directed by: Gabriella Szabo and Mario Wright Star Performers: Students of the Eurhythmics Dance Studio. Features: 16 NEW Original pieces 2 Signature pieces 5 Favorite Dance Highlights from "Rock You Body." Funky D and Friends HD Dance Crew (Winners of Sprite's Dance Splash) The Show Stopping Performance will be held Sunday the 23rd of June 2013 at The Rain Forest Theater. Doors open at 6:00pm Showtime at 7:00pm Tickets: $25.00 (Available at The Studio, Rosetta Street) Students $15.00 (Balcony Only) Phone: 436-0303, 535-0956, 394-1822


News Article

August 02, 2013
College choir trains with renowned Bahamian dancer

Incorporating dance moves into The College of The Bahamas Concert Choir performances is vital to the overall success of their presentation, and after an intense dance workshop with a New York based Bahamian dancer they are now sure to have the right moves...

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Movie
Dance Flick
  • Genre : Action, Comedy
  • Rating : T - 15yrs and Older

Street dancer Thomas Uncles is from the wrong side of the tracks, but his bond with the beautiful Megan White might help the duo realize their dreams as the enter in the mother of all dance battles. |...