Bert Rose, Co-Founder of Jamaica’s National Dance Theatre Company Dies

Bert Rose, Co-Founder of Jamaica’s National Dance Theatre Company Dies

Bert Rose

by Howard Campbell

[KINGSTON, Jamaica] – Bert Rose, a co-founder of the National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC), died here April 1, the creative group announced.

It was reported in Jamaican media this week that Rose was being treated for COVID-19, but no cause of death was given.

Rose started the NDTC in 1962 with Rex Nettleford. They were the group’s main dancers and choreographers.

In a 2002 interview with the Jamaica Observer newspaper Rose said he was excited to be part of something different.

“It was important for us to have some sort of cultural identity and the National Dance Theatre Company was developing something that was Jamaican,” he said.

Rose had been a creative dancer since he was a student at Excelsior High School in Kingston. He said the early years of the NDTC were challenging.

“We had to do everything…Wash our costumes, paint the sets. It was a learning process but it was exciting,” Rose remembered.

Nettleford died in 2010 at age 76.

Rose danced with the NDTC for 20 years and contributed 13 original pieces including Edna M, dedicated to Jamaican sculptor Edna Manley, mother of the country’s fourth prime minister.

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