Tuesday, 26 February 2013

THE BEST OF HIM: Esteemed colleagues share fond memories of working alongside Prof. Rex Nettleford

WITH a must-see new docu-film about his remarkable life and legacy on the way, five distinguished colleagues and friends from dance, theatre and music recall the easy-going brilliance of the late great Rex Nettleford, icon and timeless inspiration. 

Maria LaYacona – Photographer, National Dance Theatre Company 
“Oh gosh. There were so many great things about him. He truly wanted to help dance grow in Jamaica, and most of the kids he worked with came from very poor areas, and after rehearsal he would ensure that they all got home safely. I worked with him from 1964, and I photographed every NDTC season for over 45 years. He was just a wonderful person to work with.” 

Barbara Requa – Legendary dancer, dance educator, choreographer 
“I had known him since the 1950s when he was studying dance with Ivy Baxter, and he was always a very fun-loving and fun-filled individual, who also had his serious moments. He was very serious about his vision. He was like a brother to me and a very strong person. I will forever cherish the friendship over the years and how he was always so supportive of others. He loved to help people, and that aspect of him never changed.”  

Bridget Spaulding – Secretary/Treasurer, National Dance Theatre Company 
“What I will cherish the most about Rex Nettleford was the fact that he always shared. He was a very giving person. Yes, he was also very demanding, but he also gave back. He had the kind of personality that made you want to do things for him. He was a great man, but he never made you feel less than.” 

Noel Dexter – Founding Artistic Director, The University Singers 
“Extraordinary. That’s the best word I’d use to describe him. He accomplished truly great things in the arts. He always displayed wonderful creativity and a brilliant mind. He worked with us for many, many years and he really helped us to elevate the creative aspect of our performances and even made suggestions on how we could improve the music. He was an extraordinary gift to us.” 

Barbara Gloudon – Playwright, lyricist, National Pantomime Company 
“Working with Rex, every day was an education. Whatever feelings I had about Jamaica and its possibilities and so on were augmented by my friendship with Rex. He had such a vision. Being a part of his circle, you had to be somebody who was conscious of where the world was, but above all, what Jamaica could contribute. One of the highlights of knowing him was when he completed the manuscript for his famous book, Mirror Mirror, I was one of the people he asked to read the manuscript and give him feedback, and that’s one of the greatest honours I’ve ever had. So for me everyday with Rex was an affirming of your faith in your country and all the wonderful possibilities.”

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