Jackie Guy – Noted Jamaican Choreographer, Lecturer, Dancer and Historian
Guy is well-known and respected for his highly creative approach to community dance projects throughout Britain, as well as those he conducted as part of a British Council initiative, in Zimbabwe where dancers and students travelled from South Africa, Zambia, Mozambique, Angola, Malawi and other regions to experience his classes. His work as a Dancer, Teacher and Choreographer has taken him throughout Europe, Africa, Australia, USA, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.
Within his choreographic works, Guy fuses traditional Caribbean dance vocabulary and folklore with elements of modern/contemporary dance techniques. The result is a unique style which balances theoretical principles with a practical approach that enables dancers to experience the dance form whilst also learning its socio-cultural dynamics and nuances. His work remains inspiring grounded in a rich Caribbean cultural tradition and immensely accessible.
He has worked for the Birmingham Royal Ballet Education Department, BBC Philharmonic (Manchester) Education Department, Royal Festival Hall, Talawa Theatre, ACT Theatre Company, Sampad, Irie! Dance Theatre, Blue Mountain Theatre, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Adzido Dance Company, Sadler’s Wells Education Department and a host of Colleges and Universities throughout Britain and the United States.
Among his choreographic works on the international dance landscape are: the record breaking iconic Jamaican Musical ‘The Harder They Come,’ O Babylon, One Love, Caribbean Connection, Romeo and Juliet, Golden Mask of Agamemnon, Marat Sade, Spirit of Carnival, Repercussions, Sting, History of the Drum, Twelfth Night. On the local scene he is credited for choreographing the LTM Pantomimes: Music Boy, Johnny Reggae, Mansong, The Pirate Princess and Ginneral B.
Alma Mock Yen at a recent homecoming master class held in his honour at the Phillip Sherlock Center at the UWI to celebrate the MBE achievement recalls with pride her longstanding association with Guy and referring to him as the perfect manager attending to all the needs of the students to ensure that the show got on the road.
Dr. Nadia Williams, a Past President of UWI Dance Society reminisced that Jackie had the most uncanny ability to take the weakest dancers and make their strengths shine through. “Despite the rigours of the classes, rehearsals and performances we always enjoyed ourselves. “she said.