National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica



Sun Island Jamaica Culcha – writer would now like to take a moment to reflect on one of Jamaica’s national treasures.

This is the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica, (NDTC), founded in 1962, by Rex Nettleford, who was also known for his study of the Rastafari movement, and Eddy Thomas, who was once a member of the Martha Graham dance company in New York City. Martha Graham, herself was a patron of the NDTC of Jamaica.

The company draws on African-Caribbean folk traditions and modern dance, such as the Martha Graham technique for its themes and style of dancing. There is a story-telling element, which is drawn from Jamaican folklore and rituals, see the Kumina NTDC signature piece mentioned later on in this article.

Photo from Jamaica Gleaner 2013


As it is difficult to describe intricate movement in words, here is a link to the NDTC of Jamaica performing in Toronto (, where you can see a more Martha Graham type technique, which is based on contractions and extensions that ripple out from the central core of the body into the limbs.

A traditional African-Caribbean style can be found in the NDTC signature piece Kumina, which you can find on YouTube here (

For dance practice Sun Island Jamaica Culcha might humbly suggest our yoga pants (here, teamed up with a colorful spandex racer-back tank here (

Life is Dance

The National Dance Theatre Company is made up of volunteer dancers, singers, musicians and creative technicians. For more information about the Company you might want to click over to Dance Mogul Magazine, March 2015 edition here (

Or the NDTC Facebook page here (, where you will find stunning photos of NDTC dancers in action.

On a lighter note, a friend of Sun Island Jamaica Culcha recently confessed that she had once had the choice as a teenager of taking classes with the NDTC or taking up judo. She says that she has regretted all her life that she took up the martial arts rather than the dancers’ art, because she notes, “Judo has its ups and downs, but dancing is living and all life is dance.”

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