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Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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Introducing the Dancers who will represent Belize at the International Folkloric "Festival du Sud" this summer in Europe.

L-R (1st row): Crysel Gabourel, Shadi Gillett, Roxana Bradley
L-R (2nd row): Denese Enriquez, Ameera Marin, Emilie Gomez (San Pedro Dance Company)
L-R (3rd row): Sherett Perotte, Rosita Baltazar, Ernestine Carballo (musician), Eleanor Gillett, Stevannie Duncan
L-R (4th row): Wilford Williams, Jason Wade, Alexis Rivero (Corozal Community Dance Company) & Troy Longsworth

The Belize National Dance Company (BNDC) will participate in an international folkloric dance festival in Europe in July and August 2012. The "Festival Du Sud" brings together about 1,200 dancers and musicians from 45 companies worldwide. This year, twelve (12) folk ensembles were chosen to share and showcase their traditional dances with audiences in France and Spain during these summer months.

BNDC plans to present an even blend of music and dances from four Belizean ethnic groups - The Maya, the Creole, the Garifuna and the Mestizo - which will be performed by our well trained dance troupe and a live musical band. Performances will include stage shows, street parades and folk animations at public parks, local businesses and schools. Belize is expected to prepare and perform 90-minute presentations, which can vary depending on the size and number of folk contingents performing in each location at any given time.

Dancers include Emilie Gomez from the San Pedro Dance Company; Roxana Bradley from BNDC's Dance Centre and originally from San Pedro; Alexis Rivero from Corozal Community College Dance Company; and Troy Longworth, Expressive Arts Teacher/Dancer based in Independence, Stann Creek.

About Festival du Sud:

Festivals du sud reunite, every summer, during the months of July and August, roughly about twenty folkloric groups and national ballets of all continents around the world. These ballets are under the responsibility of Festivals du sud, and participate mainly in the principal French and Spanish festivals of arts and popular traditions.

The organization Festivals du sud elaborates every year a program of the folkloric groups, coming from all continents, so that the set of the groups is welcomed without discontinuity by the different festivals, from the arrival in Europe to the departure of Europe, according to a negotiated suitability with the concerned artists.

Click here to read the rest of the article in the Ambergris Today

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
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Dancing On A World Tour

The Belize Dance Company returned to Belize this morning - after a 2 month tour of France and Spain. The Company represented Belize at the prestigious international folkloric -Festival du Sud 2012- along with 13 other countries. This Festival brought together over 1,200 musicians and dancers from each continent to share their cultural music and dances.

Belize represented the music and dance of the Maya, Creole and Garifuna cultures of Belize in 31 different villages, towns and municipalities.

They told us more today:

Denise Enriquez - Member, Dance Company
"Well, it was exciting. I was really nice. The members of the contingent, most of the time, we were filled with pride because most of the people that we got perform for - and talk to about Belize, really appreciated our country and wanted to come and visited."

Monica Bodden
"For those who may not know, where were you guys?"

Denise Enriquez
"Well, we were in Europe for 2 months. We went to France and Spain. We spent most of our time in Spain, but we were back and forth throughout the 2+ months that we were there. We left on July 4, and we came back today, about a few hours ago. It was awesome. The crowds - there was always a lot of people at our performances, and it's the look of appreciation you see on their faces. What we found there too is that they have a strong sense of culture - the people in Europe. They, most other places in the world, are experiencing a recession, but they didn't pull back funds in reference to their culture. We asked about that; we asked why they still did the festivals. They said that if they lost their identities, they lost everything, and so they will continue to do those festivals so that they can share their culture, and other cultures can come to Europe."

Monica Bodden
"Tell me, what was your favorite part of the tour?"

Denise Enriquez
"All the parts, we went to some amazing places. I liked Barcelona; it was really nice. We had a few performances that were streamed live. One of them was streamed live, and that was the one that I liked the most because Belizeans got a chance to actually see us live there while we were performing."

Monica Bodden
"Tell us a little about the performances."

Denise Enriquez
"Well, we did stage shows. Most of our performances ran between 20 to 90 minutes. Those were stage shows. We did street performances. We did street animations. We also did a lot workshops for children and elders who wanted to learn about others. So, those were basically some of the things we did. From my stand point, I had to be involved with most of the administrative parts as well. So, one of the things that we wanted to do was not only share the dance and the music, but also knowledge about Belize. So everywhere we went, we had an information booth with the BTB logo. People would actually come to the booth, and we'd share information about the country, the tourist attractions, and what made us what we are."

Drew Gill - Member, Dance Company
"For the initial first month, they asked me to be the musical director because the other guy who was supposed to be the musical director, he didn't get to Europe until - because of our complications - after the first month. So my job was to pretty much take care of the musicians, do rehearsals over there, and make sure that our department - the musical department - was always ready when they were ready for Belize."

Monica Bodden
"Tell us a little bit about that experience."

Drew Gill
"Personally, I had a lot of fun doing it. I was the youngest person in the musical department, so it was fun them to pick me to be the musical director. Having dealt with the guys and the girls every day, it was a lot of fun. I can't complain. Sometimes, they were challenges because we were always on the move, but overall, it was good."

Monica Bodden
"Was it your first time doing something so grand - to be a part of something so huge?"

Drew Gill
"Yes, most definitely, I've played in some stuff here in Belize before, but to go abroad and to do something so grand, to me, it was an honor."

Monica Bodden
"So, to put your entire experience in a nutshell, what would you say?"

Drew Gill
"Great, it was great."

The Belize Dance Company also had a unique opportunity to introduce Belize to a wide cross-sector of European society through pre-arranged visits and gift exchange ceremonies with municipal government and tourism officials.

Channel 7

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