Jamaican born choreographer, Mr. Jackie Guy, has been named as one of the greatest black dancers of all time by the Voice newspaper.
“I feel very humbled, but I am elated to be named among the greats as Sammy Davis Junior and Katharine Dunham. But I have worked very hard and from the many calls of congratulations that I have received, I think I deserve it,” Mr. Guy told JIS News in an interview.
Mr. Guy is the choreographer of the hit Jamaican musical, ‘The Harder They Come’, which is currently auditioning in preparation for its UK national tour, which is scheduled to start in April.
A Kingstonian, he started his professional dance career at age 19 and gives a lot of credit for his career to his first dance teacher, Ms. Alma Mock Young. “She was my first teacher, my mentor and an inspiration to me,” he said.
Mr. Guy performed with the National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC) for 15 years and was the artistic director and chief choreographer for the University of the West Indies Dance Society for 17 years.
He moved to the United Kingdom in the 1980’s and earned an international reputation as a choreographer and teacher. He has worked with a range of agencies and organizations, including the BBC. He has regularly choreographed special works for the Independence Service of Praise and Thanksgiving, hosted by the Jamaican High Commission in London .
Mr. Jackie Guy
Mr. Guy has passed on his love and knowledge of Jamaican and Caribbean dance to the younger generation, as he regularly teaches in schools and hosts workshops for young people. He also works with the High Commission on its annual Jamaica Cultural programme for schools .
He received the Prudential Award in 1990 for excellence in creativity and was named Black Dancer of the Year for choreography and production in 1980.
Mr. Guy, who attended the Windward Road All Age School and the College of Arts, Science and Technology (now the University of Technology) also worked for seven years as an accountant with Radio Jamaica.