Feb. 24, 2004 – An exhibition of artwork from the West African nation of Ghana will open with a reception on Friday evening at Walsh Metal Works Gallery and be on display for the next eight days.
The showing of original works from the Asafo Gallery, collectively titled "Sketches of Ghana," is being presented by Caribbean Dance Company.
Caribbean Dance School, the training ground for the St. Croix-based professional dance company, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Caribbean Dance founder and artistic director Monty Thompson said it is his vision "to bridge the gap that has so long existed within the arts — dance, literary, theatrics." Mounting the show of Ghanaian art represents his first attempt at doing so, he says.
"I feel that just as there is art in the fluidity of dance, there is also art in the fluidity of the paint brush of the artist, the flow of the written word of the writer, and the stage/screen presentation of the actor," he explains.
Thompson's vision in founding Caribbean Dance Company in 1977 was to research, teach, perform and preserve the rich heritage of diverse folk dance forms found throughout the West Indies. Drawing on African, European, Asian and Amerindian traditions, he has been the principal choreographer for the company, which has performed to universal acclaim throughout the Caribbean, the Americas and Europe, in Israel and at the Spoleto U.S.A. festival.
A special relationship was cemented between the West Indian company and the West African nation in 1996 and 1997, when Thompson spent time in Ghana collaborating with Nii Yartey, art director of National Dance Theatre of Ghana, in creating new material for the CDC repertoire. Yartey came to St. Croix for two weeks in 1999 to work with Thompson in completing "Keepers of the Path," a work commissioned for Caribbean Dance with funding through the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation.
The public is invited to Friday's opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. in the gallery, located in the Walsh Metal Works complex in Peters Rest.
The exhibition will hang through March 6.
For more information, call the gallery at 773-8169 or Caribbean Dance at 778-8824.
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