Freedom of expression: United Dance Production was started by Suzette Harvey in 1992 and has allowed hundreds of people the opportunity to let their minds roam freely through this art form. *Photo supplied
Freedom of expression: United Dance Production was started by Suzette Harvey in 1992 and has allowed hundreds of people the opportunity to let their minds roam freely through this art form. *Photo supplied

TUESDAY, AUGUST 14: The United Dance Productions 20th anniversary celebration this weekend promises to be a “spectacle” recalling highlight numbers from years past as well as fresh pieces.

There will be 30 dancers from past and present who have put in the work to make the show a spectacle.

It will be held at City Hall starting on Thursday under the patronage of PLP MP Lovitta Foggo.

Director Suzette Harvey said there will be dances from previous years featured in the showcase.

“Dances have been requested from supporters of UDP who have some favourite pieces that they would like to see again and so we have put together a showcase that will leave them breathless in a timely fashion.

“Our very popular Irish Reel, a tap dance choreographed by Keira Martin, has always been a show stopper and will be one of the opening acts.

Beautiful

Other pieces include ’Relations’, ‘Rhythm Vibe’ and ‘Moon Over Neptune’, which have been choreographed by international teachers who have taught at the school over the years. There will also be duets and other upbeat ensemble pieces.

Professional Eric Bean Jr, who studied his craft at UDP, will perform his new works. 

Ms Harvey said: “’Mascharade” is exciting, powerful, and beautiful and will close the show. It will be something to see.”

She said her company has always had a large amount of male dancers.

“To see them all together is breathtaking. Someone asked if they were all local, my answer, yes, all my sons.

“Every single dancer is special to me in their own way. I have been blessed by God to have their vibrations help me through my 20 year journey.

 “Sometimes it’s hard to see the fruits of hard work but my dancers are surely taking me on an emotional ride.

Impact

“I sit in silence some days and think about all the trials and tribulations of the school and how many have tried to define us and isolate us as a black school and not as a dance school, and to try to portray that we are good shakers but question if we teach ballet.

“I don’t exhaust myself in ignorance, I smile and concentrate on my breathing, and remind myself that the proof is in the pudding.”

Ms Harvey is hoping a diverse audience will turn out for the shows “because Bermuda proves itself every time to be separatist even under the umbrella of art.”

Ms Harvey said the school has “certainly changed” over the past 20 years.

“The mindset of the dancers has a tremendous impact on learning. 

“Back in 1992 their minds were free, they just wanted to dance.

“As the years went on I could tell that they had so much distraction, keeping them focused was an issue. 

“However, the school always engaged the entire dancer, not only did we teach dance, but we nurtured the dancers, we just had to do more of it.

“When a child acts out in a dance class you know something is going on — because dance is freedom — it’s a place where your mind is truly free.

“So we assist in any area that the child has a problem in. 

“If we can’t help them we seek assistance from people who can help them. 

“On a positive note the talent is just evolving — they are exposed to more and they are capable of handling highly technical choreography at an even younger age.”

The show will be held from August 16 to 18 at City Hall.

There will be a patron reception after the show to meet the dancers.