‘A Noble Cause’ To Benefit A Noble Beacon Of The Arts

Noble Douglas
Dancer, choreographer and teacher, Noble Douglas, shines as a beacon of the arts in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean region. Photo courtesy Maria Nunes.

The Arts Community Unite To Raise Funds For Medical Care For Noble Douglas

Today, On Friday May 18, 2018, the arts community will honour the inimitable dancer, choreographer and teacher, Noble Douglas, at A Noble Cause.  This fundraising production will benefit Douglas’s medical expenses associated with back surgery as well as her post-operative care. An eclectic cast of Douglas’s collaborators, friends and former students including 3canal, the Marionettes ChoraleLord RelatorDavid ‘Happy’ WilliamsRon Reid,Invaders Steel Orchestra, the Noble Douglas Dance Company (NDDC) and Lilliput Children’s Theatre (Lilliput) will offer tributes and performances from 7:00 p.m. at Queen’s Hall.   

NDDCI 2015
The dancers of the NDDC in their 2015 production, Threshold, which was a continuation to their 30th anniversary celebrations that featured new and classic choreographic works by Noble Douglas, Allan Balfour, Penelope Kalloo, Arlene Frank-Collis, Delton Frank and Megan Navarro. Photo courtesy Maria Nunes.

For more than half a century, Douglas has stood strong with an unyielding commitment to her vision to use the performing arts as a medium to stimulate young people’s creative energy and to build character, self-confidence and self-esteem. Shining as a beacon of the arts in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean region, Douglas’s iconic work has been celebrated by many. She began her dance education at a tender age in Trinidad and Tobago with the Caribbean School of Dancing and later moved to the London College of Dance and Drama and the School of Contemporary Dance in England. She furthered her dance training in the USA at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Centre. This set the stage for her professional dance career in the United States during the seventies as a member of the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. On her return home in 1974, she performed with Astor Johnson’s Repertory Dance Theatre and Derek Walcott’s Trinidad Theatre Workshop (TTW).  

As one of the oldest children’s performing arts organisation in Trinidad and Tobago, in 2015, Lilliput Children’s Theatre commemorated its 40th anniversary with the presentation, BIG. The production examined the impact of BIG issues on the lives of little people. Photo courtesy Maria Nunes.

In 1975, Douglas partnered with actor, Tony Hall, to found Lilliput. Under her steadfast direction, Lilliput has grown to become Trinidad and Tobago’s foremost children’s theatre company with its signature approach to drama instruction and thought provoking productions that challenge audiences to countenance alternative views politically, socially and culturally. In 1977, she co-founded the La Chapelle/Douglas Dance Company and in 1985, she finally established her own company, NDDC. In 2005, Douglas’s commitment to the development of the arts and culture received national recognition when Trinidad and Tobago’s second highest award, the prestigious Hummingbird Medal – Gold was bestowed upon her. She was also the recipient of the Cacique Award for best choreography in the TTW’s 2005 production of Derek Walcott’s musical, STEEL, and a Vanguard Cacique Award for her work with Lilliput. Later, the Guardian Media group named her as one of Trinidad and Tobago’s 50 Most Influential People.

3 canal
Prolific rapso trio, 3canal. From left to right: Stanton Kewley, Wendell Manwarren and Roger Roberts. Photo courtesy Maria Nunes.

Douglas continues to shape dance expression in the region as she fuses the principles of modern contemporary dance with the instinctive and familiar movements of her Caribbean landscape. Her passion for creative expression coupled with her keen desire to positively influence human development, inspired her to launch the Noble Douglas Lilliput Foundation For The Arts (NDLFA). Through Lilliput and the NDLFA, Douglas has established a tradition of philanthropy by providing scholarships to under privileged students facilitated by organisations such as the Tallman Foundation and the School for the Deaf. She has left an indelible mark on the hearts of all who have been fortunate enough to work alongside or be instructed by her. Douglas’s most notable achievement remains the social contribution that she continues to make to the lives of countless of Trinidad and Tobago’s youth.

Her decades of demanding and rigorous performance, teaching, production and direction schedules led to the need for back surgery and post-operative care including physio-therapy. A Noble Cause was conceptualised by a team of Douglas’s close friends, family, students, collaborators and peers in an effort to support and give back to the icon, who despite her physical challenges, remains dedicated to her life’s work.

Tickets cost $300.00 and are available at the Queen’s Hall box office, Crosby’s Music Centre, Paper Based Bookshop, The Big Black Box and from members of the NDDC.  For more information, join the Facebook (FB) event or connect with NDDC on FB @NDDCI. 

The glory of the Marionettes Chorale on stage at Queen’s Hall during its 2017 Christmas production, I Dream a World. Photo courtesy Butch and Allan Limchoy.

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