Cultural Voice eZine

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Enjoy The Music of the NDTC - A Pre-Christmas Musical Treat

Ewan Simpson (Source: The Jamaica Observer)
Cultural Voice went behind the scenes for a chat with Ewan Simpson, Musical Director of the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica (NDTC) about the upcoming evening of Music scheduled for December 15, 2013, 6:00 pm at the NDTC Studio (behind The Little Theatre).

CV: What does this concert mean in the journey of the singers of the NDTC?

ES: The concert is an opportunity to showcase in a more fulsome way the music of the NDTC.

CV: What have been the major challenges you've faced since assuming the role of Musical Director?

ES: Transitioning to have a solid, consistent set of voices able achieve a desired balance as persons have left, retired and new persons have come in. It is the work it takes to settle down and practice over and over to have a consistent sound.

CV: Will there be themes for the upcoming concert? If yes what are those themes?

ES: No. There are no themes. It is the music of the NDTC, mostly current music.

CV: Any special arrangements that the audience should look out for on that night?

ES: There will be a section in tribute to Marjorie Wylie, Musical Director Emerita, which will include two of her compositions performed by guest performers. The night will also showcase original arrangements and instrumentals composed by myself. In addition, a member who was on extended leave in Japan will return to do a featured solo work.

CV: Will there be dancing in the show?

ES: Yes. Dancing will be included as a compliment to the music.

CV: Why should we come out and support this show?

ES: It is an opportunity to see the NDTC singers in full blow performance. The music of the NDTC will be taking centre stage for an undiluted, fully loaded presentation. 

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Black Sand - Edward Baugh's Latest Collection of Poetry Launched

The Department of Literatures In English, University of the West Indies, Mona, had the honour of launching Professor emeritus Edward Baugh’s Black Sand and Cultural Voice was present.

Representatives of the Department came out in their numbers, special mention was made of Sir Kenneth Hall, and Professor Roy Augier. In the audience Velma Pollard, Victor Chang, Karen Ford-Warner, Judith Hamilton, Genevieve Vassell, Monica Minott, Tanya Batson, Earl McKenzie, Erna Brodber, Norval Edwards, Schontal Moore and Paula-Ann Porter were among those who showed their support.

Professor Carolyn Cooper, a former student who studied at the feet of Professor Baugh, consoled the poet and scholar, who bemoaned writing too few poems (less than 100) thus far. She assured him that his giving of his life to teaching was indeed another form of poetry much appreciated by his many students. Tanya Shirley introduced Dr. Michael Bucknor, who introduced Professor Edward Baugh, the star of the evening.

Ambiance (Rosina Moder on recorder, Jeremy Ashbourne on piano along with Peter Ashbourne) presented stirring musical interludes. But it was the poem, "It Was The Singing", that first brought the audience into the world of Edward Baugh. It was the singing presented by Jean Small took us through music, sunshine, laughter, envy and, more laughter, especially his reminders of  the “carry down artists” and “ingratitude” that face Jamaicans daily. Through his works Baugh shows a willingness to face death man to man, not shirking away but acknowledging that we as conscious beings can do so graciously, giving thanks for the days we have had.  

The life of The narrator of the poem embodied by the dramatist Jean Small portrayed , a person that could be an aunt, mother, or cousin but certainly a rural Jamaican woman, whose simple life touched many. In his characterisation, Baugh took us and placed us in the song service, we sat in our pews acknowledging the traditional long-meter pastor, and a daughter that did her mother proud, “ and just like me and Gertie," on Sunday morning  “we know we were people together.”  Some of us were moved to tears.

Dr. Michael Bucknor said it well: Edward Baugh’s poetry spotlights what many call the throw aways, the rubble. The book starts with the END POEM, where goats and children know delight. It gave pause, and reminded us that to enter into the kingdom we must first become like little children. Those of us who put aside besetting haughtiness could enter and were welcomed and feted with treats: The ICE -CREAM MAN who had developed a new market,  we met the editor who exposed Baugh, who did not have any ‘Black poems’to present, leaving him only to respectfully decline. Baugh's strong sense of a world out of balance, focused us to the inequities meted out to minorities in the U.S.A. He allowed the audience to follow him into his searching out Miss Lady is Weeping, thankfully he did not leave us there, but transitioned into lighter moments, nevertheless troubling. Those who listened intently like his father did in Listening Dead or to True Love, and I Wish You a Leaf Falling, experienced the essence of Baugh; compassion, wit, honour and love. Baugh is without contest one of Caribbean’s finest poets/scholars.

Tenk You Sah. 

Friday, 18 October 2013

Film Series Launched in Commemoration of Renowned Spanish/Mexican Film Director Luis Buñuel

Luis Buñuel’s iconic and internationally acclaimed film “Viridiana”, winner of the Palme d’Or at the 1961 Cannes Film Festival, the first of four films to be presented to invited guests, was compelling. It demonstrated that what would now be considered a shoe string budget can produce an excellent film. Congratulations to the Ambassadors of Mexico and Spain H.E. Gerardo Lozano and H.E. Celsa Nuño for the collaboration.

The movie questioned faith versus fate, with strong religious undertones and overtones adding complexity and tension to Viridiana’s story. The story of an orphaned young girl who grew up in the convent, neglected by her only living relative her rich uncle and who at the point where she is ready to take her vows, is forced by the Holy Mother superior to visit with her uncle before taking the pledge.  Her uncle finds that she reminds him of his deceased wife, and drugs her, in an attempt to keep her in his unhappy home. Viridiana insists on leaving and on her way to the train station the uncle hangs himself in shame.

The police bring Viridiana back to the house, where she decides to stay and provide a safe haven for the lame, blind, and diseased.  But after extending the milk of human kindness, two of the sufferers that she has rescued plan an attack and one succeeds in raping her.

A heartbroken Viridiana decides to try the other way. The movie asks many questions of us.  Some we can never answer.


The Embassies of Mexico and Spain have partnered to present, in collaboration with the Spanish Club of the University of the West Indies, Mona, a series of four films in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the passing of renowned Spanish/Mexican Film Director Luis Buñuel. This joint initiative comes at a time when both Embassies, Spain and Mexico, recently celebrated their National Days, and responds to their desire to bring to audiences in Jamaica the work of this cultural icon, inspired in and shared by both countries.
The Embassies of Spain and Mexico, as well as the UWI Spanish Club, invite Jamaicans to attend these screenings, offered free of charge, as they represent a unique opportunity to view some of the most emblematic films of Buñuel, regarded as the 14th best film director of all times.
Other films which will be shown as part of this series are “El Gran Calavera”, “El Ángel Exterminador”, and “Subida al Cielo”, on October 24 and 31, and November 14, respectively, at 2:00 pm, in Room 03, of the Faculty of Humanities and Education, UWI Mona.

Friday, 16 August 2013

'Black Man Art; and The Brown Paper Bag

Nature’s art gallery is always open. We are all appraisers critiquing the creator’s artwork. We critique the creator’s use of shades, colors, textures lines and shape.

Art is valued based on collective assessment. Leonardo da Vinci’s painting ‘The Mona Lisa’, considered as one of the best known and most highly valued works of art in the world is constantly replicated by individuals and is for many a standard of beauty. The white tiger in parallel is considered rare and exotic and protected to prevent extinction.

Collective Assessment: ‘The Black Man’

The Black Man is art.

The shades often considered too dark - lines not carefully drawn - texture not sufficiently smooth.

By what measure should the Black man be valued? Did the creator sculpt too many? Can the Black Man be Mona Lisa?

Wait! Some will ‘pass,’ maybe, the shades of the ‘Black Man Art’ which are similar to or lighter than that of a brown paper bag.

'Brown Paper Bag’

Through his art Wilmer Wilson lends his voice and talents to the conversation of how the Black Man has been valued in colonial past. He complexly links brown paper bags into a stunning and dramatic backdrop and intricately intertwines his body in various positions throughout this compelling art work. Perhaps Wilmer Wilson motive is to make us question how the ‘Black Man Art’ is valued today.

Did we stop to think that the brown paper bag is typically crumbled, stepped on and discarded when deemed to be of no more use. The question must then be asked, if the brown paper bag is a standard, then can any ‘Black Man Art’ be considered of value?

 I wonder how long it will take for the ‘Black Man Art’ to be truly valuable. Maybe Wilmer Wilson is on to something. Maybe like his dramatic piece of united brown paper bags, maybe ALL black men will have to unite and create new art out of a material whose intrinsic value is unquestioned. 
Contributed by guest blogger: Yolanda Rainford



Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Sizzling Hot Summer Edition - Cultural Voice July 2013

 Have you seen Cultural Voice eZine's July edition. It was sizzling hot. Send us an email with your feedback so that we can improve your customer experience.

Cultural Voice keeps you connected to the hot trends in the creative space... In this issue we chat with the world famous artist Kehinde Wiley, get advice from dancer extraordinaire N'Jelle Gage, explore the homes of young people from cultures across the Globe guided by French photographer John T. and much more! 

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

New Exhibition at the Palais Garnier!

Exhibition "Le ballet de l’Opéra", from 5 June  to  1 September 2013

On the occasion of the Tercentenary of the École Française de Danse, the Opéra National de Paris and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France are retracing the history of the Ballet de l’Opéra, from Louis XIV to the present day. Concerned with bringing a noble style to the performing arts and laying the foundations for the dancers to turn professional, the king created the Académie Royale de Danse in 1661. In 1669, the king also granted the poet Pierre Perrin the privilege of founding an Académie d’Opéra, which was acquired by Lully in 1672. Thus the Opéra de Paris and its Ballet were created. At the end of his reign in 1713, Louis XIV decided to found a dance school within the Opéra: it was responsible for ensuring the quality of the performers. Initially reserved for adults, the school then opened to children in 1784 and remained faithful thereafter to its vocation of making the repertoire accessible and being open to creativity.

The history being recounted here is both that of the Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris and its school. From Pierre Beauchamp to Brigitte Lefèvre, the first directors of the École de Danse, Maximilien Gardel and Jean Dauberval to Élisabeth Platel, the exhibition explores the major institutional and aesthetic rifts. It also covers the appeal the Opéra’s dancers held for painters such as Edgar Degas, the social aspect of ballet performances, important figures and the evolution of the company’s repertoire: the introduction of ballet d’action and the role of Noverre in the 18th century, the birth and advent of Romantic ballet, the invention of Neoclassicism with Lifar, the part played by Balanchine, Robbins, Petit, Béjart, Cunningham, Carolyn Carlson, Forsythe and Nureyev, and the policy of encouraging creativity and openness towards important international choreographers, from Pina Bausch to Angelin Preljocaj.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Submit Original and Creative Videos for PLURAL!

Call  for  entries
Deadline 30 June!
The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the International Organization for Migration again invite the world’s youth to submit original and creative videos focusing on PLURAL+ themes: migration, diversity and social inclusion.
Recognizing youth as powerful agents of social change in a world often characterized by intolerance, and cultural and religious divisions, PLURAL+ invites youth to address key challenges related to migrant integration, inclusiveness, identity, diversity, human rights and social cohesiveness, both at local and global levels.  Young people up to 25 years old are invited to submit short videos of five minutes maximum in length.
Michele Klein-Solomon, IOM Permanent Observer to the United Nations, said, “PLURAL+ videos touch very sensitive issues in a very real way.  They look at the realities that people are facing.  We like to see young people expressing their profound ideas in a manner that allows the opening of a dialogue.”
Jordi Torrent, UNAOC Project Manager, Media and Information Literacy, added: “PLURAL+ videos fit very well in this very relevant conversation: how to build more inclusive societies where we can all live together in harmony.”
PLURAL+ supports young people’s expression of their opinions by providing them with a variety of media platforms and distribution networks, including broadcasts, video festivals, conferences and events around the world.  PLURAL+ also reinforces the firm belief of IOM and UNAOC that youth are powerful and creative agents of social change.
A prestigious international jury will select three winners in each age categories (9-12, 13-17, and 18-25).  All the winners will be invited to New York, all travel expenses paid, to present their work at the PLURAL + 2013 Awards Ceremony at the Paley Center for Media on the 5th of December 2013.
Mariana Araujo, a member of the PLURAL+ 2012 international jury commented,  “For me PLURAL+ is the best link between intercultural dialogue and intergenerational justice.  I can't imagine a better way to understand the other but through their own eyes and listen with their ears.   With these videos I can internalize their emotions and realities through their stories.”
PLURAL+ 2013 deadline for video submission is 30 June, 2013.  
Early submissions are encouraged.   Further information, including guidelines, regulations, awards, and the entry form
can be found at the PLURAL+ website at:  
You can watch PLURAL+ 2012 winners 
PLURAL+ is organized by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the International Organization for Migration with the collaboration of many international partners including: Red UNIAL, Gulen Institute, MTS Travel, SIGNIS, Global Block, Humanity Without Borders Foundation, Television America Latina, Universal Forum of Cultures Foundation, NEXOS Alianza, CHINH India, Turkish Cultural Center of New York, COPEAM, Institute for Leadership Excellence,Without Borders Film Festival, IAAI GloCha, Doha Center for Media Freedom, CNTV Chile, Amara, Scalabrini International Migration Network, IUEDESP Spain, Balkan Media Education Centre, Waging Nonviolence USA, IOM Migration Research and Training Centre Korea, Anna Lindh Foundation, United Nations Television, RAI TV Scuola, Royal Film Commission Jordan, GoodnessTV, Cine y Salud Spain, AFS Intercultural Programs, UNESCO Associated Schools Network, and the Paley Center for Media of New York.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Quick Recap of Liguanea Arts Festival 2013

Cultural Voice visited the Liguanea Arts Festival 2013 and checked out works on display by various painters, photographers, sculptors, and jewelry makers. The Creative Industries continue to generate great buzz, and the Caribbean has a bounty of talent to offer. Here are a few snapshots from the event. More photos are available on our Facebook page:

Nicole Brown Photography on Display

CV sends a special “shout-out” to artists such as Rachel Wade-Moss, Kai Watson and Nicole Brown who have all been featured in Cultural Voice’s blog. Cultural Voice remains proud of your growth and achievements, and hope you had a fantastic festival!


Saturday, 20 April 2013

New York Based Artist Kehinde Wiley To Visit Jamaica


Concept NV is pleased to announce the visit to Jamaica of renowned New York based portrait painter Kehinde Wiley, April 22 to May 05, 2013.  This exploratory visit will facilitate preparation for ‘The World Stage: Jamaica’, a portrait exhibition to be presented at the Stephen Friedman Gallery in London, October 2013.  Mr. Wiley’s portraits are typically based on photographs, and include heroic portraits which address the image and social recontextualization of primarily, black and brown young men in contemporary culture. Over the years his extensive ‘World Stage’ series has expanded to include models from countries such as China, India, Israel, Brazil and Senegal.  These portraits incorporate aspects of the history and culture of each country and are often a source of national pride. Jamaica will now be added to this venerable line-up.

During his visit, Wiley will conduct photo sessions with people of interest whose portraits will be displayed in ‘The World Stage: Jamaica’ exhibition in London. He plans to immerse himself in the island’s cultural offerings by investigating sites of historical significance and observing expressions of contemporary Jamaican life.

Wiley will meet with students at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 4:30p.m.


Profile - Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley was born in Los Angeles, California, to an African-American mother and a father of Nigerian heritage.  In the early years, his talent and interest in art were recognized and supported by his mother who sent him to art school at an early age.  He graduated from San Francisco Art Institute in 1999 and Yale University with the MFA in 2001. His early portraits were based on photographs of young men who Wiley saw on the street, who were typically dressed in street clothes, and who he thought had a sense of ‘self possession’. These models were asked to assume poses from the paintings of Renaissance masters, were photographed, and then painted.  Paintings which were regarded as masterpieces have been restated by Wiley, with black and brown heroes replacing the original iconic figures.

Wiley’s naturalistic paintings of contemporary urban black models are described as a fusion of the styles of different periods, which tend to blur the distinction between traditional and contemporary methods of representation. They are also seen as ‘quoting historical sources and placing black men within this sphere of power’. For example Napoleon Crossing the Alps, by artist Jacques-Louis David between 1801 and 1805; was reiterated by Wiley, with a rider of African background, wearing modern army fatigues and a bandana.  Kehinde Wiley’s work is highly acclaimed, and has been exhibited worldwide and may be found in permanent collections both private and public, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles.


Concept NV

Concept NV is an art ideas consultancy founded by Nicola Vassell in 2012 specialized in the development and production of innovative projects and cross-creative collaborations that fuse contemporary artistic strategy with stimulating new ideas  in fashion, music, film and trending social phenomena.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Cultural Voice Explores The Best In The Creative Industries In Madrid, Spain! Viva España!


The Zinc Shower event was held between April 11-12, 2013. It brought together some of Spain’s most promising entrepreneurs and innovators in the world of the Creative Industries. The backdrop for this occasion was set in the abandoned slaughter house known as the Matadero, giving it a rustic feel and space to immense creativity. Cultural Voice was in Madrid, Spain to witness it all unfold. Here are a few snapshots from the event. 

For more intriguing photographs, please go to our Cultural Voice facebook page!

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Cultural Voice's Latest Issue!!!!!!

Musicians Sara Stranovsky & Binga de Castro on CV's latest Cover

We celebrate some very groundbreaking women from across the globe in Cultural Voice eZine’s latest issue. Amy Selwyn takes us through the streets of Rome in her “Storytegic” journey after leaving the British Broadcasting Corporation BBC. Pavan Ahluwalia, the current Guinness Book of World Records’ Holder of the title “the fastest Henna artist,” sculpts her beginnings. We also feature female artists from Tashkeil’s production of “Backstage.” Tashkeil is a Saudi Arabian platform for trendsetting designers.  The multi-talented Sara Stranovsky’s story is full of adventures and there is even a surprise video!! We of course included the work of a talented Jamaican Male Photographer Max Earle, who gives new perspective to the island nation! Be sure to check out all this and more!!!

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Sneak Peek Behind the Curtain - In Preparation for NDTC's Morning of Movement and Music

NDTC’s Morning of Movement and Music dedicated to Eduardo Rivero-Walker, Monica McGowan and Maud Fuller


The annual Morning of Movement and Music mounted by the National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC) in association with The Little Theatre Movement (LTM) will celebrate its 32nd Anniversary, this Easter Sunday, March 31.

The 6 am performance will take place at The Little Theatre, Tom Redcam Drive in Kingston, and is dedicated to the lives of Founding Member Monica McGowan, long-standing friend of the Company, Maud Fuller and Cuban Professor and Choreographer, Eduardo Rivero-Walker.

Artistic Director Barry Moncrieffe says that the usually capacity-filled audience, will be treated to a renewed programme featuring the full 50-member Company of Dancers, Singers, Orchestra and Creative Technicians.

“In celebration of the 32nd anniversary of the NDTC’s annual act of worship, we have added a number of new elements to the programme, which we are certain our loyal supporters will enjoy as we celebrate this Easter season,” Moncrieffe confirmed.

A full Company performance of Hallelujah from Handel’s Messiah arranged by Ewan Simpson with choreography by Kevin Moore will open the sunrise performance; and for the first time, the audience will participate in the congregational Easter hymn, Christ the Lord is Risen Today. Spoken word will also be introduced to the line up”, Moncrieffe added.

New Recruits

Six new members will make their debut this Easter, Moncrieffe revealed. They are: Kaydene Gordon (Soprano) Carole Kamala Nicholson-Johnson (Contralto); Keith Mitchell (Tenor) as well as musicians Albert Shaun Hird (Flute); Amardo Blake (Guitar/Keyboard) and Ivana Kenny (Keyboards).

They will join in the presentation of arrangements by Ewan Simpson of The Story with music from popular Jamaican Gospel group Grace Thrillers, the Negro spiritual, Were you there? and My Praise.
Celebrated NDTC Tenor Carl Bliss, currently on leave from the Company, will also make a cameo appearance to undertake a solo from excerpts of The Mass in A arranged by NDTC’s major creative artist, Marjorie Whylie.

Dance Works


New dance works to be debuted on Easter Sunday morning include Sanctuary choreographed by Gene Carson, Artistic Director of the Barbados Dance Theatre Company and former NDTC dancer/choreographer; The Beloven by Kevin Moore and Patrick Earle’s Enchanted. In tribute to Maud Fuller, Dance Captain Marlon Simms will present Still Still With Thee, based on the Christian hymn of the same name, written by Harriet Beecher Stowe, to the tune  “ Consolation” by Felix Mendelssohn. 

The act of worship also includes excerpts of works by the Company’s Founder and late Artistic Director, Rex Nettleford (Tintinnabulum and Brazilian Ode), as well as Clive Thompson (Of Prophecy and Song) and Arsenio Andrade-Calderon (A Prayer). In addition to remounting two dance works, his own Steal Away (1997) and a solo excerpt from the Nettleford 1993 Master work (Interconnexions), Founding Member Bert Rose has also been involved in Set Design for the show.


The programme will, as usual, be supported by NDTC’s Lighting Director Michael McDonald; Sound Director, Tony Holness; Stage Manager, Dwayne Brown; Wardrobe Mistress Barbara Kaufman and Secretary/Treasurer; Bridget Spaulding.


The performance will close with a new revival piece involving the Full Company.


Patrons are asked to be seated by 5:45 am.

Pictures courtesy of Stuart Reeves

Tamara Noel in Of Prophesy and Song
Keita Marie Chamberlain, Tamara Noel & Kerry-Ann Henry in Tintinnabulum
The Company in Tintinnabulum
Kerry-Ann Henry in A Prayer
Marlon Simms
Clive Thompson, Bert Rose, Barry Moncrieffe & The NDTC Singers
The NDTC Singers and Dancers in Still Still With Thee
Paul Newman in Of Prophesy and Song
Kerry- Ann Henry, Alicia Glasgow, Stefanie Thomas, Marlon Simms and Mark Phinn in Steal Away