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JonKunnu Dance Workshop

JonKunnu Dance Workshop

Once popular in Bodden Town, JonKunnu is the focus of a three week workshop hosted by Cayman National Cultural Foundation in association with Pirates Week National Festival. The workshop is a dance workshop conducted by dancer and choreographer Howard Daly. The workshop teaches the steps and style of JonKunnu/Masquerade common to Jamaica, Guyana and the wider Caribbean. The workshop takes place at the Harquail Studio Theatre beginning October 20 culminating with a performance on November 8 during the pre-landing entertainment for Pirates Week. The cost is $100 but scholarships are available for deserving applicants. Only 15 dancers will be accepted.

The workshop consists of nine to fifteen three hour sessions over the three week period. The workshop will be conducted to and with the highest possible artistic and creative discipline. The participants will gain theoretical and practical knowledge of the origins of Caribbean JonKunnu; knowledge of JonKunnu music and costuming; the ability to demonstrate JonKunnu/Masquerade steps and have an understanding of the physical and mental disciplines necessary for creative work. By the conclusion of the workshop, a new dance will have been created that will be performed by participants and Howard Daly on the afternoon of November 8 for the Pirates Week Landing on the waterfront in George Town.

Howard Daly studied dance at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. He went on to become a dancer, choreographer and rehearsal director with the internationally acclaimed L'ACADCO - a dance company well known for its dynamic use of L'Antech, a modern dance technique combining elements of classical ballet, modern dance, Caribbean Folk and Jamaican Dancehall. His performances with the company spanned two decades and saw him touring extensively to countries such as England, Spain, Holland, Lithuania, Japan, Ghana and Mexico. He has also toured with Father Holung and Friends, choreographing for productions in Canada and the USA.

Mr. Daly is on the panel of trainers and adjudicators for the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission Festival of Dance; he is an external examiner for the Jamaica School of Dance at Edna Manley College and has previously conducted workshops for young people in Cayman. His latest work, "Where Everybody Running Going" premiered at the Jamaica School of Dance Students Concert in April.

Scholarships are available for five deserving workshop participants. In order to be considered for a scholarship, an applicant must show that he/she cannot afford the $100 cost of the workshop and must have outstanding talent, discipline and dance experience with a recognised dance company. To register for the workshop and apply for a scholarship call the Cayman National Cultural Foundation at 949-5477 or send an email to