EDITORIAL: Ballet brings more than just a show to The Bahamas

A REMARKABLE event took place last week – two nights of ballet to add to the Bahamian social calendar.

On Wednesday and Friday, as the sun went down at the Old Fort Bay Club, the stars came out – not just in the sky, but on the stage.

The Covent Garden Dance Company brought incredibly talented dancers from around the world to perform.

Now some readers may think such events may have little to do with most Bahamians – but the organisers are committed to ensuring that is not the case.

Already, children who are part of the Shirley Hall Bass legacy Project came to see the dress rehearsal this time around.

And it is Shirley Hall Bass herself who can serve as an indicator of why such events as these are important.

She was a Chicago-born dancer, known internationally, who fell in love with The Bahamas. She became the director of the Sammy Dyer School of the Theatre in 1960, and set up cultural exchanges that meant students in both Chicago and The Bahamas could get to sample each other’s worlds. each world was able to elevate the other, and connect in ways that had not been possible before.

The visit of Covent Garden Dance could be the first step in doing so today.

Already, one contribution that will help dancers here is that the hardwood dance floor created for the events last week will remain in The Bahamas, and be able to be used by dancers here.

The company has also pledged itself to a return next year, with more community involvement planned so that the connection goes beyond the dinner and ballet for those who buy tickets, but also enriches the cultural community here in The Bahamas.

It took hard work to get the event off the ground. Organiser Matt Brady sat in The Tribune’s offices a little under four months ago to ask if we would be a media partner to help get the word out about the event. We said yes. We were not the only ones to say yes. He also got incredible support from the British High Commissioner, Tom Hartley, who was eager to tell everyone about the event.

And praise to the government too, with the Office of the Prime Minister stepping up to help ensure the event went smoothly.

The outcome is what all concerned hope will be a regular fixture in the Bahamian cultural landscape, matched by opportunities for Bahamians to be involved, to enjoy, or to be inspired. That sounds like a win-win all round.

Friday night’s event was attended by Ann Marie Davis, the wife of the Prime Minister, and numerous other dignitaries. Perhaps more importantly – our apolo- gies to the dignitaries – it was attended by many eager fans who paid to attend and are looking forward to attending next year too.

It is often easy to be critical about things that are going on in The Bahamas – and we certainly do not shy away from calling out those things that do need to be criticised as and when the need arises. But we also need to praise those things that improve us.

In that, we wish to praise the Covent Garden Dance Company. We wish to praise all those who supported its efforts in putting on a superb show. We wish to applaud the commitment to community connections in the build-up to next year’s event. and we wish to look forward to welcoming the company back next year.

Well done, all round.


birdiestrachan 4 months ago

How very refreshing , no doom and gloom here for the good s and times we are grateful

truetruebahamian 4 months ago

What a breath of fresh air, inspiration and joy. Thank you and thank goodness for positivity.

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