The highly anticipated and critically acclaimed annual Deaf Dance Festival will be held at the Little Theatre in Kingston on Tuesday, April 30, beginning at 4:00 p.m. Organized by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport and the Jamaica Association for the Deaf, Deaf Dance 2019 will showcase inspiring dance performances from the deaf community, as performers compete to take home a national title.
“Dance is a means of expressing oneself and is a universal language. For the Deaf community there are oftentimes very few opportunities for them to express themselves which is unfortunate. The Deaf Dance competition becomes a platform for expression from an early age, giving the chance to engage members of the population at large. These opportunities for our students and the wider Deaf community provides a chance for them to showcase their innate talent as dancers, choreographers, and costume designers that otherwise would have gone unnoticed,” Said Kimberley Sherlock Marriott-Blake, Executive Director of Jamaica Association for the Deaf.
Director of Marketing and Public Relations at the JCDC, Andrew Clunis said, “Deaf Dance is an annual favourite on our overall Performing Arts National Finals calendar. We expect our usual sizeable crowd this year as patrons come out to watch the performers showcase the cultural strides being made by the deaf community through dance, and enjoy wholesome family entertainment the JCDC is known for.”
Clunis also highlighted that performers were from various Deaf institutions across the island. “These performers are not only from schools in Kingston like the Lister Mair Gilby and Danny Williams schools for the Deaf; students travel from as far as the Montego Bay Caribbean Christian School for the Deaf in St. James and the St. Christopher’s School for the Deaf in St. Ann to compete at this unique competition.” Clunis said.
In addition to the invaluable experience and talent development offered by this competition, performers have the chance to win attractive prizes including cash incentives, trophies and gift packages courtesy of the CHASE Fund and the Digicel Foundation in addition to the opportunity to perform at national and celebratory events and private functions.
Tickets for Deaf Dance will be available at the gate at a cost of Adults $400 and Children $200, with a special group rate being made available.
The National Festival of the Performing Arts – National Finals is sponsored by Jamaica Association for the Deaf, CHASE Fund, Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation, Digicel Foundation, Multicare Foundation, Excelsior, Popeyes and Happy Ice.