Campion College Dance Society to Headline Jamaica 61 Celebrations in South Florida and New York

SOUTH FLORIDA  – Campion College Dance Society, one of Jamaica’s leading high school dance troupes,  will take its critically acclaimed production ‘ROOTS’  to South Florida and New York from August 1 – 16, 2023. The production ROOTS is endorsed by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports as one of the official events of the country’s 61 independence celebration.  With tickets already on sale, rehearsals and preparations are underway in earnest as the 35-member ensemble gets ready to take the stage.

“It’s an enormous leap for the dance society and a proud moment for Campion College,” Dwright Wright, the troupe’s artistic director, said in an interview. “ As our country celebrates 61 years of independence, ROOTS brags the achievements of our country while highlighting the struggles still faced by our people.”

According to Wright, ROOTS unravels the nuances of a small but proud island nation destined for greatness. “The production was intentionally curated to bring every aspect of Jamaica to the diaspora in the United States.  The presentation is a beautiful mix of Afro-Caribbean folk form, fused with stylised modern contemporary undertones unique to Jamaica.”

In Our Lane

‘In Our Lane’ Choreographed by Renee McDonald is part of ROOTS, to be staged by Campion Dance Society
‘In Our Lane’ Choreographed by Renee McDonald is part of ROOTS, to be staged by Campion Dance Society.

Patrons will be treated to  “In Our Lane,” one of the troupe’s most treasured pieces. It highlights the country’s dominance in track and field. The work was choreographed by Renee McDonald, a Campion alumnus and resident teacher with the society.


‘Misogyny’ Choreographed by Dwright Wright - Campion College
‘Misogyny’ Choreographed by Dwright Wright

Wright’s narrative work, “Misogyny” will remind the audience of the social ills facing the country. In addition, it reaffirms the promise of Jamaica being the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business.

Wright is confident that his current group of dancers have found their footing to deliver a stellar showing in the US.  “These student dancers are committed to their craft. I am proud of this new generation of Campion dancers,” he noted. “They have kept the rich dance tradition at Campion alive and are eager to perform internationally.”

Known for its holistic development, and character-building dance environment, the troupe has an itinerary that includes guest performances through a cultural exchange programme with the Broward Centre of the Performing Arts in South Florida where ROOTS is part of the “Arts For Action: Black Voices” program.

Wright also acknowledged that financial support is a challenge for the dance society. “To stage a two-leg international tour is very expensive.” He is hopeful for more support from corporate sponsors, alumni of Campion College as well as the general public to support the troupe’s journey. “We have been receiving support from alumni groups in Florida and New York. The Consul General for South Florida, Oliver Mair, as well as the Campion College Alumni Association Northeast Chapter have been integral in coordinating the tour.”

Community Support

The tour has also received support from the Chase Fund, Sagicor, Irie Jam radio in New York, the Jamaica Observer, Tourism Enhancement Fund, Guardian Group, Victoria Mutual, Golden Krust, Mailpac and Visit Lauderdale.

He further implored the public to spread the word to their families and friends in Florida and New York as well as nearby states.  The first set of performances will be at the Parker Playhouse in Downtown, Fort Lauderdale on August 5 & 6. The group then travels north to the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts at Lehman College in the Bronx, New York. The second set of performances will be on August 12 and 13.

Tickets are available at parkerplayhouse.com and lehmancenter.org.

Campion Dance Society also stages its 11th season of Dance in Jamaica this weekend. Performances will be at the Lindo Auditorium at Campion College on July 8 and 9.

South Florida Caribbean News

The SFLCN.com Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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