Investigation of global impact of Bob Marley’s music coming to FirstOntario PAC

FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre press release – FACING Home: Love & Redemption is a powerful dance piece that investigates the global impact of Bob Marley’s music — its inspiration toward love, redemption and hope — and contrasts it to the active, deep-rooted homophobia in Jamaican/West Indian culture.

This contemporary dance performance was created by Kevin A. Ormsby, Artistic Director of Toronto’s KasheDance, and Christopher Walker, a Jamaican choreographer and Associate Professor of Dance at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Two shows will be presented in Robertson Theatre at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, Thursday, March 5/2020, and Friday, March 6/2020, at 8 p.m. and a FREE movement workshop will be hosted by KasheDance on Tuesday, March 3/2020 at 3 p.m.

FACING Home: Love & Redemption draws from the many influences of reggae music and Jamaican culture and is set to covers of Bob Marley’s songs by Matisyahou of New York City, Luciano of Jamaica and Jonathon Butler of South Africa, among others.

The timing of this production lines up with the 75th birthday anniversary of Bob Marley. He would have turned 75 on February 6/2020 – and year-long celebrations begin this week with a new animated video of “Redemption Song.” According to Forbes, Marley’s legacy and global impact with be celebrated throughout the year with music, fashion, film, art and more.

Ormsby and Walker aim to engage communities in conversation about homophobia using movement, music and poetry to access ideas of liberation and highlight the blurred lines between love, survival and choice.

FACING Home highlights the paradox around the West Indian preaching of liberation we find in Marley’s music, while simultaneously oppressing the LGBTQ community’s ability to participate in family, community and culture,” says Walker.

“We’re inviting audiences to think of the global influence of Bob Marley’s music and its connection to larger social issues. We’re inviting them to ask themselves ‘when did I first hear Marley’s music?’ and ‘when did I first fall in love?’” says Ormsby, “We hope audiences fall in love all over again while thinking about love and redemption in light of the real stigmas of homosexuality, especially in the West Indian/Jamaican community.”

KasheDance echoes in a new genealogy of Afro-contemporary dance grounded in creation, research and presentation, supported by outreach initiatives in community and arts education.

KasheDance works are rooted in a technical style, grounded in human expression, poly-rhythms and technical virtuosity.

The company has performed at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa as part of the Canada Dance Festival, Dancing on the Edge Festival, Moving Inspirations Dance Festival in Winnipeg, Fleck Dance Theatre and Jamaica Dance Umbrella, CARIFESTA XIII, United Kingdom and the United States.

FACING Home: Love and Redemption will be on stage in Robertson Theatre on Thursday, March 5/2020, and Friday, March 6/2020, at 8 p.m. Click on firstontariopac.ca for tickets or visit the box office in-person at 250 St. Paul Street or call the box office: 905-688-0722.