KUMINA is an indigenized Jamaican ‘call and response’ practice of Congolese origin. From its earliest days, this framework around drum and dance and its retention, is sustained by practitioners who pass down the tradition through many generations. This tradition is a communal conversation expressed with percussion sounds fused with singing and dancing. It embodies consistency of deep African roots.
The program will include an artist chat that gets into the nitty gritty of drum practices across the Jamaica. We will delve into the similarities to Kumina and other symbolic African Diaspora particularities. This knowledge exchange will highlight folklorist, tradition beaters, cultural workers and academic professionals. Video footage will replace live performance which will feature the highly respected, late Dr. Rex Nettleford. The performance will feature Jamaican dancers, singers and drummers of the islands premiere dance ensemble the National Dance Theatre.
SPEAKER: Marlon D. Simms, Artistic Director
Acknowledged to be an industrious educator and choreographer, Marlon Simms is also celebrated as one of Jamaica’s most proficient male dancers; one with an intuitive strength to develop strongly accepted dance works on stage and screen.
Building on the signature NDTC style, this choreographer and dancer already has impressive works for concert stages in his portfolio. A motivating coach, and the new man at the helm of NDTC, it is noteworthy to share that Simms is seated in two of the most authoritative chairs inside the Jamaican dance space. Over the course of two decades, he was mentored by the late Prof. Hon. Rex Nettleford and Mr. Barry Barry Moncrieffe, past NDTC artistic directors, in addition to studying choreography at the postgraduate level in the United States.
Kumina is organized by Maxine Hamilton-Alexander and the CarIbbean Literary & Cultural Center at BPL with BPL Presents.
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Kumina is funded in part through public funds from New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). Additional support comes from Materials from the Arts (MFTA), a division of New York Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA). The program is a collaboration with the Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).