As we celebrate Reggae month, it is well known that a culture is born out of the experiences of the populace; usually a response to ideology or the times. The Jamaican dance form, Quadrille is rooted in the teasing mimic by the slaves of their owners' ballroom dancing. The Blues of America's southern states wailed lamentations of life's experiences, and reggae began as a protest of the economic experiences of the people, and was certianly not found acceptable as mainstream culture. History has since exonerated Reggae.
Fast forward to Dance Hall, and here I will share comments from master choerographer, Jackie Guy MBE in an open letter from London:
Finally, Finally, Finally recognition for a dance hall artist, outside the dance theatre circle/basin. I have always felt that the Bogle, Butterfly and Gully Creeper were three of Jamaica's best dance hall movements, which are echoes and spirits of our African Ancestors, emerging out of a country (Jamaica) whose soil is soaked in blood.
These three movements are gravity pulling, shape flowing and life giving. Give thanks to Ibo Cooper for this 'Act of Light' in recommending that Master 'Bogle' Gerald Levy be universally recognised for his contribution to choreography in Jamaica.
We here in the Diaspora are rejoicing. I am so grateful and honored to have seen the value of these three unique dance hall movements, and made sure it was in my choreography.
Jackie used the Bogle in his 1992 work History of the Drum which he took to southern Africa, and in 2013 he incorporated both the Gully Creeper and Butterfly in the CHASE-sponsored dance Bankra (featured in image above) for the National Dance Theatre Company, in tribute to the late Professor Rex Nettleford, its founding director.