Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 21st 2013 Contents A34
"The art of movement is the very essence of my life.
Dance has been my therapy, my love, my sorrow, my joy, my
anger, my friend and my revelation. In fact, to imagine a life
without dance is to imagine an existence void and barren. I
intend to travel the world dancing." These were the words of
Kobik Gordon, is the Artistic Director of the Itai Doshin
Dance Project in Tobago.
As she explained "The dance project was established in early
2013 to provide a range of dance in Tobago targeting youths to
cultivate an appreciation or positive reception for this art form.
This project aims to discover and expose young dancers and
choreographers to both traditional, modern and post modern
dance techniques. Presently, the group works with seven
dancers and has had three appearances to its credit."
Gordon holds a first degree in Dance from the Hunter College,
NYC. She has recently been accepted to continue her studies in
the art form by pursuing a Masters Degree in Choreography at
the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London.
As a result, Gordon has decided to host a fundraising concert in
an effort to raise money to help cover her tuition and accom-
modation expenses while in London.
The event will be held on the 1st of September from 6pm at
the Botanical Gardens in Scarborough, and will showcase cho-
reographed pieces by Gordon.
"The idea for this show is to fuse elements of the performing
arts using instruments of music; a violinist (Caryll Warner) and
a panist (Gerard Balfour) and visual art elements with dance"
Gordon disclosed. "Three dance pieces will be performed ap-
proximately 10 minutes each. One will be done with spoken
word as its accompaniment. There will be a duet with the violin-
ist and a dancer. Reggae sensation, Franz Job, will also guest
perform. During the evening there will be interplays with the
artists at different intervals. Also during the show there will be
a painter working based on inspirations of the performances."
The show promises to be well worth it. Gordon has been
dancing since the age of three in her father's folk dancing com-
pany. "At the age of eight I was introduced to ballet and other
genres of dance at the Tobago Academy of the performing arts
under the directorship of Mrs. Annette Alfred," Gordon related.
"Dance has created many opportunities and avenues through-
out my life."
Gordon, who has also performed and choreographed in the
Tobago Heritage festival many times added, "Although I pro-
foundly enjoy the performance aspect of this art form, nothing
gives me more pleasure or a greater sense of pride than expe-
riencing my work being enjoyed and appreciated by an eager
audience. I feel an overwhelming sense of accomplishment
which warms my being completely. I find inspiration in the
most unusual places and this thrills me when I start creating a
piece. This creativity is so imbued in me that I often wake up
having dreamed the direction my masterpiece should take."
Asked how her students respond to dance, Gordon, who is
also a teacher at Mason Hall Secondary said "Sometimes I feel
like it's a lost art when I come in front a class and they are clue-
less about their dance heritage. There are the few that enjoy it
tremendously (those I can count on my hands); the general
consensus is that it's a chore something tedious that they
must do. That is why I felt it imperative to start the Itai Doshin
Dance Project because I feel dance as our cultural heritage is
slowly disintegrating amongst the majority of our youths. I
think this is primarily because students are being socialized to
believe and think that dance or the arts are not a viable career
option. A lot of people look at dance as an extracurricular activ-
ity which it is not. The arts are imperative for a child's develop-
ment because the discipline they develop while doing the arts
is one that transcends every aspect of their lives."
Gordon's dance project aims to discover and expose young
dancers and choreographers to both traditional, modern and
post modern dance techniques. "As the founder of this project
the vision is to inject new ideas into dance raising the bar for
other youth. The project encourages the youth to explore the
economic options of the art form, so that dance could be seen
as a valid opportunity for employment in a new developing cul-
tural arena," Gordon insisted.
Asked if the dance project is only for Tobagonians, the dance
teacher stressed "Dance or rather the arts is a universal lan-
guage and so this is for anyone who is interested. There is no
barrier to nationality or culture. This is a newly established ini-
tiative and of course the grounding must take place on home
soil, even though the world is considered home. The slogan for
the project is fittingly 'Many in body one in mind'."
To the youths of this nation the positive thinker sent out
this bit of advice: "Be courageous and never be defeated."
Is enough being done in this country to encourage those in-
terested in dance? To this question, Gordon's response was: "I
don't think so; there are not enough institutions for funding
dance in this country, most importantly for funding dance edu-
cation - It has become evident during this time while I'm trying
to find scholarships or funding to get to London. The majority
of the scholarship sites I have visited that exist for Trinbagoni-
ans do not include a category for the arts."
So what are Gordon's future plans? She disclosed: "Upon
completing my masters it is my desire to return home and
make this project really come alive. I want to establish a dance
school and create avenues for my students to have the oppor-
tunity to pursue careers in dance. I want it to be a place where
students have information readily available on every aspect of
the dance world. Additionally, I plan to later get my PhD in
dance, because I want to be an archetype of the successful
dancer. I would once and for all like to suppress this notion of
the struggling artiste, because I want to inspire change in my
students to pursue a career that they love or one that they are
passionate about, like I did."
Tickets for the Itai Doshin Dance Project's show can be pur-
chased from all company members: Lisa Mc Sween, and
Shade Alfred , Keisha Davidson, Ameika Louis , Dominique
Carrington or Kobik Gordon (752-5411).
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