While concerns of personal health and well-being are uppermost in the minds of ordinary Belizeans following last weekend’s floods, the entertainment industry appears to have lost a key cornerstone of its infrastructure. The Bliss Center for the Performing Arts, whose current incarnation was established in 2003, has undergone some water damage as a result of rains this past weekend. It has cost the Belize National Dance Company a precious week of rehearsal time and caused the postponement of their annual anniversary program. We hear more from the Company’s managing director, Denese Enriquez.
Denese Enriquez, Managing Director, Belize National Dance Company: In terms of our show which was planned here for the 7th and 8th of November, that too has been postponed because the damage is not only in this area, but the entire Bliss as well. It’s really unfortunate but like all the challenges that the dance company has faced over the 25 years we’ve been in existence, we’re taking it in strides and we’re trying to stay optimistic, continue to dance, continue to train and to continue to do the things that we’re here to do, despite the challenges and the limited resources that are available to us
The 78-member company which includes both senior and junior performers in Belize City and Ladyville had to vacate their dance studio located at the back of the Center because parts of the roof were caved in and there was water on the wooden floor. The juniors are now training at Body 2000 Gym on Coney Drive, with official training to resume next Monday, but the main company still does not have a place to train. Enriquez told us that the Company has had to become a little creative about celebrating its Silver Anniversary of foundation.
Denese Enriquez, Managing Director, Belize National Dance Company Seeing that situation now, we had to postpone the show so our show will no longer be on the 7th and the 8th Nov. And because of all the different activities that will be having between then and Dec, it will now be January. So January 30th and 31st, so we’ll open the year with a bang and have the dance concert then. But to commemorate our 25th anniversary we will be having an exhibit, an art exhibit. And it is not art, it will be dance. Everything that tells the story of the dance company for the past 25 years as well as a short performance showcase with the dances from our repatuah, we will be doing that as well. But we have not secured a location for that as yet because we cannot use here at the Bliss for the show or rehearsals. So that has really put a damper on our plans but as I said before we are optimistic. We’ve had our challenges before and we’ve overcome them.
The official anniversary show is now scheduled for the end of January. We are told that NICH has plans to renovate and repair the entire center but they have yet to be revealed. NICH President Diane Haylock was not available today for comment and both Theatre Director for the Bliss Karen Vernon and Creative Director Greg Vernon are out of country at this time. The company is seeking assistance in finding a temporary place to practice. It must have wooden floors, be spacious, properly ventilated, and have bars and mirrors in place for the dancers’ use.