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Sunday, April 11, 2010

What the wind can't blow away

The following fascinating account has just come in from Dance Films Association and BAAD.

Julia and Joyce: The Story of Two Pioneers

Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD!) presented on March 13, 2010 a world premiere screening of the documentary JULIA AND JOYCE: THE STORY OF TWO PIONEERS directed by Sonia Dumas, Trinidad and Tobago, 2009, 60M. The filmmaker and one of her subjects, Joyce Kirton, came from Trinidad to show their film, bringing their weather with them. Wild winds, torrential rains, and a blast of calm courtesy of their sunny, serene temperaments.

A window blew in on an actors class at BAAD! just before our master class in Afro-Caribbean dance was to begin. Fortunately the community center across the street from BAAD, The Point, welcomed us! Joyce Kirton regaled us with stories and insights about the dances we learned, as demonstrated by Sonia Dumas and accompanied by three masterful drummers. Along with Joyce came her brother and his wife from Florida, her sister from Texas, and two dancers from Toronto, all coming to NYC to show their love and support for Joyce.

Arthur Aviles and Charles Rice-Gonzalez hosted this event with admirable aplomb. Despite the disastrous loss of a window at BAAD!, the rains threatening to tear the house of BAAD! down, they served supper, and wine, replaced the window, put candles in all the windows by the time of the screening, and pulled in a crowd!

The New York Times printed a story on the same day as the screening and class on Trinidadian dancer Mike Quashie who was known as The Limbo King in the sixties. Susan Quist, a long time friend of Mike Quashie who hung with Jimi Henderson, Lou Reed, and Led Zepellin, brought Mike to the screening. Also at the screening were Sonia's teachers from NYU, Phyllis Lamhut, Pat Hall and Pam Patrick.

The film JULIA AND JOYCE:THE STORY OF TWO PIONEERS looks at aspects of the Trinidad and Tobago dance world and its local and global impact through the eyes of two local dance legends--Julia Edwards and Joyce Kirton--in an attempt to capture some of this history. These two women, now in their seventies, have collectively contributed over 110 years of dedicated, pioneering work to the dance community of Trinidad and Tobago. Between them, they have been instrumental in the preservation of and innovation in countless traditional dance forms, and their commitment to dance is echoed in the accomplishments of the many dancers and choreographers of the generations that have come after them.

For more information on the film, contact Sonja Dumas at: aguawaterleau@yahoo.com.

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