Caribbean Dance Company to Come to Middlebury


The Caribbean Dance Company of the Virgin Islands

will present a wonderfully diverse program at the Dance Theatre

in the Center for the Arts at Middlebury College on Wednesday,

January 22, at 8 p.m.

Under the direction of Marty Thompson, the company’s

unique repertory displays the elements from which traditional

West Indian culture has arisen-African, European, Asian, Native

American-in jewels of brilliant color, energy, rhythm and passion.

The result has electrified audiences throughout Europe, North

and Central America and the Middle East, with ovations and raves

at every appearance.

Founded in 1977 by Mr. Thompson, the Caribbean Dance

Company seeks to research, teach, perform and preserve the rich

heritage of diverse folk dance forms from throughout the West

Indies. With this mission, the company performs for thousands

of residents and visitors at home in the Caribbean each year in

major and smaller performances.

Across the Caribbean there is a long chain of islands

stretching 1,500 miles from Florida to the coast of Venezuela.

For thousands of years before Europeans arrived, many different

Native American tribes populated the many islands: the Tainos,

Igneri and Caribs. After Christopher Columbus discovered the island

of Hispaniola in 1492, many Europeans decided to settle there

and plant crops-mostly sugarcane. Because it was hard labor, they

began to “buy” people to do the work. Starting in the

late 1600s, tens of thousands of Africans, such as Mandingos,

Yorobas and Ashanti, from the continent’s western coast were caught

against their will and taken to the Caribbean to work as slaves

and in the last century, thousands of East Indians went to the

Caribbean as indentured servants. The people of the Caribbean

are descendants of the many different cultures that have lived

there. A lot of old dances from the many “folk” that

have settled there are still part of the daily life of the Caribbean


Tickets for the Concert Series performance are $9

for general admission. It is funded in part by a grant from the

New England Foundation for the Arts, with support from the National

Endowment for the Arts, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the

Vermont Council on the Arts. It is sponsored by The Middlebury

College Concert Series; the department of theatre, dance and film/video,

and the PALANA Center. Call 802-443-6433 to order tickets.