Talking to Jamaican Dancer and Choreographer, L’Antoinette Stines

In 1978, Jamaican dancer/choreographer, L’Antoinette Stines, founded Miami’s first, primarily black dance company, L’Acadco. Returning to Jamaica in 1982 she continued to grow with her company and together they have become dynamic ambassadors for Jamaican culture. L’Acadco’s mission is to present the rhythms of the Caribbean people on the world stage.

Next week, L’Acadco – A United Caribbean Dance Force has a diverse membership which includes Satta matka dancers, drummers, stilt walkers, and fire blowers from across the Caribbean. week L’Acadco will be hosting PASSION:fruits, a celebration of timeless L’Acadco works. This show will be held at the Philip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts, U.W.I Mona from Thursday April 30th 2009 to Saturday March 2nd 2009.

We talk to the company founder and artistic director L’Antoinette Stines…

YE: Why are you an artist/dancer and when did you first become one?

L’Antoinette: I regard myself as both having danced with many dance companies. I am a choreographer, creator of L’Antech the first Anglo Caribbean Modern Contemporary Technique and I sometimes perform with the company, so I guess I am an artist.

YE: How would you describe your work?

L’Antoinette: Innovative and eclectic, an exciting blend of Jamaica, Caribbean and Europe which is the reality of Caribbean culture.

YE: What type of dance do you do?

L’Antoinette: Jazz, classical ballet, traditional, contemporary and African dance.

YE: How did L’Acadco get started and what was your vision for the company?

L’Antoinette: L’Acadco had two beginnings. The first was in Miami, Florida. The vision was to bring together the tri-ethnic communities of Spanish, African-American and Caucasian. The second was in Jamaica with a totally different intention to present contemporary dance with a new voice, fresh and valid interpretations of the Jamaican landscape.

YE: What artists/dancers have influenced you and how?

L’Antoinette: The Cuban Contemporanea and Eduardo Rivero have had the most impact on my artistic identity today. Through their work I came to realize that we can perform contemporary dance remembering who we are as a people so that when the curtain opens there is no confusion that we are Jamaican.

YE: What other interests do you have outside of dance?

L’Antoinette: I am an avid reader as a PhD candidate at the University of the West Indies in Cultural Studies. My interest is doing intense research on the cultures of people especially the Caribbean.

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