Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 5th 2013 Contents Laura Dowrich-Phillips
When Seon Nurse and Juan Pablo Alba Dennis landed in Beijing,
China two years ago, they couldn't speak a word of Mandarin and
communicating in their dance classes was hard. Now back home,
they are richer for the experience, translating everything they learnt
at the Beijing Dance Academy.
On the dance calendar:
ELLE NYTT dance company
launches 'En route'
Elle NYTT will celebrate its own journey
and that of tits choreographers and dancers
in ints 2013 dance presentation entitled En
"From struggles and sadness, to moments
of hope and celebration, we can all relate on
this delicate voyage we call life," says
Lashaun Prescott, founder of Elle NYTT.
En Route will featuring works by Delton
Frank, Candice Ho Wong, Anika Marcelle,
Megan Navarro and La Shaun Prescott. The
show will be held at the Little Carib Theatre
on the following dates:
• Friday 12th July at 8 pm.
• Saturday 13th July at 8 pm.
• Sunday 14th July at 6 pm.
Tickets are $150 available at the Cascade
and Curepe Studios, or from Elle members.
For more information contact: 788-ELLE
(3553) or 391-ELLE (3553)
YTTA is an initiative of the Caribbean
Youth Think Tank, a UNDP creation aimed
at giving Caribbean youth a voice on global,
regional and national development issues
With UNDP assistance and support, the
Caribbean Youth Think Tank organised and
created an innovative outreach programme
to influence Caribbean human develop-
ment, policy formulation and the develop-
ment of communities and societies
through the Youth Talk Through Arts
(YTTA) initiative. The initiative which was
successfully launched in Barbados, St
Lucia, Dominica and St Kitts and Nevis, fa-
cilitated the promotion of new in-country
youth partnerships, use of creative innova-
tion and spaces to showcase youth talent
and arts to highlight critical youth develop-
ment issues and challenges.
The grand showcase will be held at Na-
tional Academy of the Performing Arts
(NAPA) on August 12, International Youth
Day. The event will see several high profile
attendees and will be aired live on televi-
sion. It is expected that the event would
provide youth with the opportunity to ex-
press their talent and share their stories
with Trinidad and Tobago and the world.
The showcase will feature any form of
artistic expression that stems from the
creative mind and will also provide an op-
portunity for young entrepreneurs to
showcase their products or services in a
"youth mall". UNDP will also be developing
a documentary on the Show as it will be
held across the Caribbean region, as a key
initiative of the Youth-IN programme.
Through artistic forms, such as: Dance,
Music (Song), Spoken Word and Drama,
youth nationwide would have a platform to
express their views on the societal issues
affecting them such as: HIV/AIDS; Domes-
tic Violence; Poverty; Crime; National Iden-
tity; School Violence (Bullying); Sexual
Identity; Peer Pressure; Racism; Sexual
Abuse; Women's Rights; Promiscuity;
Teenage Pregnancy; Alcoholism and Sub-
stance Abuse and Climate Change.
The show will end in a call to action and
patriotic display. There will also be a youth
mall in the foyer of the venue for young en-
trepreneurs' to showcase their goods.
For more information please contact
Teocah Arieal Ainka Dove TT CYTT Repre-
sentative - 684-4997 or Mrs Leslie Ann
Caton -- Event Coordinator at 7706979
Dennis, a student of the Caribbean
School of Dance, and Nurse, a stu-
dent of the North West Laventille
Cultural Movement, were the first re-
cipients of a scholarship to attend the
Academy for one year by the Dai Ail-
ian Foundation in Trinidad and To-
Dai Ailian was a Chinese woman
who was born in Couva, Trinidad, in
1916. She migrated to London at the
age of 14 where she studied ballet
and started her dancing career, She
committed her life to researching and
preserving Chinese ethnic dances and
in China became the premier interna-
tional dance icon. She was widely re-
garded as the mother of Chinese
ballet and dance.
She was made the first Director of
the Central Ballet Group, first Princi-
ple of the Beijing Dance School and
later served as Honorary Chairman of
the Chinese Dancers Association. She
passed away in February of 2006 in
Beijing at the age of 90 and to honour
her legacy, her nephew founded a
foundation in her honour to continue
the dance ties between T&T and
In existence for two years, the main
purpose of the foundation is to award
scholarships to local dancers to study
dance in China.
Anya Reyes is another dancer cur-
rently in China, having won the 2012
scholarship. Applications for the 2013
selections closed on June 25.
"For ten months, the dancers study
any aspect of dance they are inter-
ested in: choreography, ballet, Chinese
classical, Chinese folk and modern
dance," said Michael Roberts, Director
of the Foundation.
To qualify, dancers do not have to
be attached to any particular school
or have any qualifications. All types of
dancers are encouraged to apply for
Nurse told the Metro that he had
been dancing for eight years before
he saw the ad for the scholarship on
Facebook. He auditioned and though
only one student is chosen, the
judges had a difficult time choosing
between him and Dennis, so the pair
were both sent to China.
"It's a different world where
dancers eat, sleep and drink dance,"
'It changed my level of thinking. I
look at dance differently, I see it as a
career now," added Nurse who now
teaches at three dance schools and is
teaching his own group a Chinese
Folk Dance for the Best Village com-
While the Beijing Dance Academy
is responsible for the tuition, the Dai
Ailian Foundation coaches the
awardees on how to be ambassadors
for Trinidad and Tobago.
"We have a contract to sign which
basically ties us to a certain type of
behaviour," said Nurse, who performed for the
Chinese president during his recent visit to
Trinidad and Tobago.
The foundation also assists the students with
living expenses, which is challenging, as the
fledgling group is dependant on corporate T&T
for financial support.
Robert said it is their hope to one day facilitate
a reverse exchange between students of China
and the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT).
For more information visit:
Registration for the Youth Talk Through Arts (YTTA) closes on July
10 and after a successful launch throughout the Caribbean, all eyes
are on Trinidad and Tobago youth to sign up for an opportunity to let
their voices be heard.
Young drummer at the YTTA in St Lucia.
Friday, July 5, 2013 • Issue 95
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