Barry Moncrieffe has made graduates of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, especially those who at least passed through the dance school proud. He is now the new artistic director of National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica (NDTC), replacing the late Professor Rex Nettleford who once taught creative writing to all students at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, while a lecturer there.
Then it was known as the Jamaica School of Art, and founder of OAaSIS International, Anthea McGibbon was student of both Nettleford and Moncrieffe.
At one time McGibbon who did modeling was also under the directorship of Barry Moncrieffe, who himself is a interior decorator.
The annoucement was made by Chairman of the Management Committee of the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica (NDTC), Jeffrey Cobham.
Moncrieffe has had, except for a three-year sojourn teaching at the prestigious Vassar College, New York, an unbroken record of service with the Company, starting out as a supporting dancer and continuing as a lead male dancer, artistic coordinator and associate director of the Company.
With the authority of his distinguished career as a brilliant performer with impeccable technique and knowledge of the “NDTC system” of training, he has maintained the cohesion of the dance comapny.
Moncrieffe became a full member within a year of the Company’s formation in 1962 and brought dedication and hard work as well as naturally expressive movement and technical competence to the Company’s endeavours. He became a teacher at the Jamaica School of Dance founded in 1970 by Sheila Barnett, Barbara Requa and Bert Rose under the direction of the National Dance Theatre Company.
Moncrieffe developed as a performer of distinction in many of the Company’s important works. His early training in Jamaica in the Eddy Thomas Dance Workshop and in the United States, both as a scholar with Martha Graham Contemporary School of Dance, and a dancer with the Anna Sokolow Dance Company and member of the special Commonwealth Dance Company, prepared him for the unrivaled position he commanded by the end of the 1970s as one of the NDTC’s lead dancers.
Very much a dancer’s dancer, his clean line and effortless style of moving were his great strengths. He placed a distinctive mark on such works as African Scenario , Masques of God, Lucifer Lucifer, Pocomania, Murals, Backlash, Thursday’s Child, Tribute to Cliff, Court of Jah, Ni – Woman of Destiny Caro, Switch, The Crossing, The Brothers, Back to Bach, Viva Bach, The Gospel According To, Progeny, Islands, Ancestral Echoes, and Children of Mosiah, among several other works created by every major resident and guest choreographer working with the NDTC.
Moncrieffe has taught internationally in Hong Kong, the Caribbean and the United Kingdom. A Musgrave Medallist, he is also a costume designer and choreographer and a celebrated fashion designer.
The NDTC is currently entering the fifth and final weekend of its 48th Annual Season of Dance at The Little Theatre on Tom Redcam Drive in Kingston. The Season ends this week.