Threshold, the new season by the Noble Douglas Dance Company Incorporated (NDDCI) promises to be an exciting one, as the company celebrates its 30th year in existence. The production runs on October 17 and 18 at Queen’s Hall featuring new and classic choreographic works by Noble Douglas, Allan Balfour, Penelope Kalloo, Arlene Frank, Delton Frank and Megan Navarro.
Balfour, the oldest founding member currently aligned with the group, who choreographed the title piece, said it’s in line with the company being on a threshold with the youth of the company transitioning to more senior roles. “We still have some of the senior members involved and performing in the company, like Charlene Rollocks, Charlene Harris, Dave Williams, Louanna Martin and Arlene Frank, so we have a passing of the baton period right now where senior members are still involved and trying to help and build the capacity within the junior members to come up to scratch. The company has a very strong reputation of having very advanced and difficult work relative to this part of the region, because Noble came with that vision and a lot of the work was very concept work that you would see in an international or First World arena. So the young members have a lot to live up to in terms of performance and there are a lot of the previous members who were of extremely high quality that left the Noble Douglas Dance company and went abroad and excelled.”
“My piece, Threshold, is about us living on this earth, a place where there are challenges and struggles and there’s always a threshold where we have to make a decision to cross over into a better life. This can be different things for different people, from breaking through in their family lives to a change in thinking from teenager to adult. For me the spiritual aspect of it is very strong, in that we need to be spiritually sound in what we believe in and in my faith, the decision to cross the threshold will take you into Heaven and everlasting life. So the dance portrays that important decision we have to make when we reach the threshold and the dancers are moving from one side of the threshold which represents the struggle and then to the other side, which represents the victory.”
Balfour said the audience will be thrilled by the quality and style of the performances.
“I think there is a great balance of deep work and entertainment for a wonderful show for the public. There are messages within some of the pieces, especially the Threshold piece which I think will be thought-provoking and make people examine their lives and say life is to be taken seriously. I think the public will enjoy the fact that the junior members of the company are performing at a higher level and it will just be a very entertaining and wonderful show. The pieces are diverse in their styles but all have a contemporary flavour so you have contemporary or modern dance mixed with other elements, for example in Delton Frank’s case, he’s a folk-based choreographer, so he’s using live drumming and that should be really exciting and interesting. Megan Navarro is doing a noveau contemporary work, her vocabulary is very wide and attractive as well.”
Balfour also had high praise for Noble Douglas and her work with the company over the last 30 years. “I’ve been with the company since 1985 or 1987 and I’m the oldest founder member that’s aligned to the company right now. I’ve danced in almost all the major seasons that she’s had, and Noble for me has been quite a mentor in dance because she pushes us, the training we get is really high quality training that you would get from someone in an advanced company. Expectations were high so she always pushed us to really perform at a higher level. Right now my involvement in the company is very supportive as I try to choreograph pieces for the new company. I also have my own company, the Trinity Dance Theatre. Through Noble‘s involvement she has really boosted my career and taken my training to another level and I think all of us in the company, we really appreciate what she’s done for us. She loves what she does and she is passionate about excellence so in that regard we have benefited because of her actions.”
“The Arts are very important for people to make time to come out. I know people are busy but it is important that they come out and expose their children and other people to it and we encourage people to do so.”