CAMPION COLLEGE DANCE SOCIETY FROM JAMAICA PRESENTS "ROOTS"
Published: Jul 10, 2023
Get ready to be captivated by an explosive fusion of culture, tradition and artistry with Roots, a vibrant and dynamic Afro-Caribbean dance performance coming to Lillian S. Wells Hall at The Parker at 8 p.m. Saturday, August 5 and 7 p.m. Sunday, August 6. Following its performances at The Parker, the troupe heads to New York City to present the performance at the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts at Lehman College.
Endorsed by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports in Jamaica as one of the official events of the country’s 61st independence celebration, the performance features the 35-member Campion College Dance Society, one of Jamaica’s leading high school dance troupes.
Roots highlights the struggles facing the country and the optimism in the hearts of its people. Featuring a beautiful mix of modern contemporary and Afro-Caribbean folk forms fused with jazz and infused with reggae and dancehall, the repertoire transcends nationality and ethnicity to connect deeply with the viewing audience.
From the opening dance “Cry of Africa” to the independence dance drama “Jamaica Love,” audiences will feel the raw kinetic energy of the talented troupe. “In Our Lane,” one of the troupe’s most treasured pieces, highlights the country’s dominance in track and field. The work was choreographed by Renee McDonald, a Campion alumna and resident teacher with the society. Dwright Wright, the troupe’s artistic director, choreographed “Misogyny,” which explores the social ills facing the country and reaffirms the promise of Jamaica being the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business.
“These student dancers are committed to their craft,” Wright said. “I am proud of this new generation of Campion dancers. They have kept the rich dance tradition at Campion alive and are eager to perform internationally.”
The company has been heralded by none other than Marlon Simms, artistic director of the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica, who wrote “There is a burst of energy and power oozing from this set of young but talented Campion College High School dancers that you are quickly transported to environments specifically designed to touch the soul.”
The performances are presented as part of the Broward Center's Arts for Action: Black Voices initiative, presented by Baptist Health and JM Family Enterprises, Inc., which aims to use the arts as a catalyst to heighten awareness, deepen knowledge, create connections and elevate the voices of Black creatives in South Florida.
As part of the initiative, the Campion College Dance Society will present workshops at the L. A. Lee YMCA/Mizell Community Center located in the nearby historic Sistrunk community. Nearly 200 summer camp participants will learn to execute Jamaican traditional folk dance elements with an emphasis on musicality, phrasing and style. The workshop will culminate with the participants learning and performing excerpts from selected Campion College Dance Society repertoire. The troupe will also present a lecture and demonstration for adults at the YMCA.
Tickets start at $25. Ticketmaster is the only official ticketing service of The Parker. Buy tickets online at ParkerPlayhouse.com and Ticketmaster.com; by phone at 954.462.0222; in person at The Parker box office and the Broward Center’s AutoNation Box Office.
Lillian S. Wells Hall at The Parker is located in Holiday Park at 707 N.E. Eighth St. in Fort Lauderdale. The Parker is an affiliated venue of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, which provides programming and management of the facility. The performance season at The Parker is supported by the Broward Performing Arts Foundation.
About The Parker
The Parker is Fort Lauderdale’s iconic, heritage theater presenting concerts, comedy, dance, family fare and more. Beautifully renovated in 2021, The Parker offers audiences enhanced entertainment and hospitality experiences. The neo-classical Lillian S. Wells Hall features outstanding acoustics, unobstructed sightlines, wide rows and continental seating. The grand S. Donald Sussman Lobby, the intimate Haller Club, and the private members’ lounge, The Place To Be, provide ample opportunities for audiences to enjoy culture, cocktails and conversation with every visit to the theater. For more information, visit ParkerPlayhouse.com