Dance Me, Lover Showcases Local Talent
The National Theatre Arts Company was launched on November 14, 2009, at the National Academy of the Performing Arts, Queen’s Park East, Port of Spain with the theatrical performance ‘Dance Me, Lover’.
‘Tan Tan’ and ‘Saga Boy’ dance in a scene from ‘Dance Me, Lover’
Supported by the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs under the patronage of Minister Marlene McDonald and with the backing of the Office of the Prime Minister, the performance was appreciated by a full house with a seating capacity of one thousand, two hundred and forty.
Dancers perform a dance routine in the play ‘Dance Me, Lover’
Composed by playwright Ronald John, ‘Dance Me, Lover’ was meant, not only to be a visually stimulating piece, but also to incorporate a sense of history. The play, built around the backdrop of 1950’s Trinidad, was reflected by era-appropriate costuming, music and dancing and set in Prince’s Building, a popular dancehall during the period. Given that the Prince’s Building was demolished to construct the newly completed National Academy of the Performing Arts, the viewing public was privy to a taste of the history of the location.
Dancing during a scene from the play ‘Dance Me, Lover’
Featuring a slew of talented actors, dancers and musicians, ‘Dance Me, Lover’ proved to be a well-appreciated piece by those who were lucky to receive their golden tickets. The cast included actors and dancers including lead Kearn Samuel, Blair Cameron, Nicole Thomas, Evelyn Caesar Monroe, Errol “Blood” Roberts, Ralph Campbell, Keichor Gosine, Gerald E Martin and many others.
Members of the cast ballroom dance
Other members who operated behind-the-scenes were director Louis McWilliams, choreographer Eugene Joseph, costume designer Paulette Alfred Guy-James, lighting designer Curtis Bachan, sound designer Treldon Thompson and set designers Reputation Management Caribbean Limited.
Dancers dance to live music by Elvis Davis and the Divine Echoes
Actors and dancers were accompanied with live music by Elvis Davis and the Divine Echoes who did a good job in recapturing the musical mood of the 1950’s.
Tania ‘Tan Tan’ Telucksingh ponders whether she should accept Saga Boy’s
advances while Saga Boy lurks lustfully in the background
Main characters in the drama Leroy alias ‘Saga Boy’, Tania Telucksingh alias ‘Tan Tan’ and Doreen were the central protagonists. Basically the story is built around the comic tragedy of Saga Boy abandoning his girlfriend Doreen for Tan Tan during a big dance in Prince’s Building.
Doreen reacts in a fit of rage, angered by Saga Boy’s open infidelity
Audience members fully appreciated the situation mostly siding with Doreen as many could relate to former partners veering off to supposedly greener pastures.
CENTER: UDeCOTT executive chairman Calder Hart and other guests dance on the stage
Intervals during scenes were filled with ballroom dancing and musical performances and were all on point and exciting. At one point, dancers left the stage and ventured into the audience to allow patrons to become part of the act and dance with them on stage. Although Prime Minister Patrick Manning turned down the offer, UDeCOTT executive chairman Calder Hart accepted the invitation to dance, much to the delight of the audience.
Cross-section of actors and dancers from ‘Dance Me, Lover’
Featured speakers included Minister of Community, Culture and Gender Affairs and Prime Minister Patrick Manning, both of whom sang praises about the new structure for local theatrical expression.
The three main protagonists of ‘Dance Me, Lover’
LEFT: Doreen, Leroy alias ‘Saga Boy’ and Tania Telucksingh alias ‘Tan Tan’
Hopefully, we will see more performances developed by the National Theatre Arts Company and see local art blossom showcasing the talent within Trinidad and Tobago.
Event Date: November 14, 2009
Posted: December 17, 2009
Performance: “Dance Me, Lover” in pictures: