Waitukubuli Dance Company celebrates 50th Anniversary
By Kenita Delsol, Dominica State College Mass Communication Internship
Dominica's Waitukubuli Dance Theatre Company (WDTC) celebrated its 50th anniversary last weekend, with a 3- day Dance production at the Old Mill Cultural Centre.
January 2021 marked 50 years since the WDTC held its first meeting as a group, and this weekend's Dance Production titled "Dancing Our Story" not only continued the group's anniversary activities but also officially kicked off Dominica's 2021 DOMFESTA Celebrations.
Raymond Lawrence, the Artistic Director for the WDTC highlighted the Company's contributions to Dominica's art and culture, during an exclusive interview this week.
Lawrence, who is also Dominica's Chief Cultural Officer, believes the group has "played a great role in the promotion of creative creole dance in the country".
The Director said the WDTC has termed its focus "Creative Creole Dance", as it draws inspiration from the traditional creative dances of Dominica, such as Flirtation, Heel and Toe and Quadrille.
According to Lawrence, the group also draws inspiration from African culture.
"A lot of the expression that the group works in can be considered Afro-Caribbean dance expression, and also can be considered Creole Expression because it's a mix of the African, French, [and] Kalinago influences in Dominica," he said.
While the group has strong traditional roots, Lawrence heralded the group's changes through advances in choreography.
"Through the years, the choreography, the movement has become grander, more complicated, and I would say more interesting and entertaining," Lawrence said.
He believes the advanced steps are more impactful on the group's audiences.
Those changes were the highlight of the WDTC 50th Anniversary "Dancing My Story" Production last weekend, which will see a return of past members of the group.
Lawrence revealed, however, that the Dance Production won't be the final activity to mark this year's celebrations.
In a fitting end to the dance company's recognition of 50 years of cultural expression, an award ceremony to recognize long-serving and outstanding members will be held in June.