Jackie Guy Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Jackie Guy, second from left, was presented with a lifetime achievement award at Association of Dance of the African Diaspora in collaboration with IRIE! Dance Theatre

Jackie Guy, a Jamaican-born dancer, choreographer, teacher, lecturer, and performer, was honoured by the Association of Dance of the African Diaspora in collaboration with IRIE! Dance Theatre earlier in October of this year. 

The award presentation followed a Master Class hosted by Jackie at the Moonshot Centre, New Cross, south London.

In accepting the award, presented to him by Jamaica’s Deputy High Commissioner to the UK, Mrs Joan Edwards, Guy said he felt honoured to have been recognised by his peers and said that in his 30-year career, he had always hoped to produce “top class” work reflective of African and Caribbean cultural history.

Before moving to England, Guy was best know for being part of the internationally renowned National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica (NDTC), working with some of Jamaica’s best performers including the late Professor Rex Nettleford.

He came to the UK in the mid 1980s and was Artistic Director of Kokuma Dance Company in Birmingham. In 1998 he made a significant contribution to the development of IRIE! Dance Theatre’s groundbreaking Dance Diploma in African and Caribbean Dance.

Guy choreographed the hit Jamaican musical The Harder They Come, which started life at the Theatre Royal Stratford East in 2006.

The show, which originally starred Rolan Bell, continued with a successful season at the Barbican, followed by a long West End run at The Playhouse Theatre in 2008.

It then toured in Toronto, Canada and Miami Florida in 2009 before returning to the UK’s New Wimbledon Theatre in June 2010.

Guy, who was named as ‘one of the greatest black dancers of all time’ earlier this year, is currently writing a book of his life’s work and the development of his ‘Jaguydance’ technique.

I personally was priviledged to have Jackie Guy as one of my early dance teachers/choreographers while I was dancing with the UWI Dance Society and he was one of the best most inspiring teachers I ever had.

Congratulations Jackie!

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