Copyright © 2007
The Astor Johnson Repertory Dance Theatre
of Trinidad & Tobago
All rights reserved

All Colour Photos © Jeffrey Chock

LIST OF WORKS

Works available for touring

FUSION
A mixture of jazz styles and traditional African-Caribbean movements. Fusion is the company's signature piece.

Choreography: Astor Johnson
Music: Live, traditional African-Caribbean percussion, originally arranged by André Tanker.

FOR BETTER OR WORSE
A humorous dance mime satirizing an old-time country wedding.

Choreography: Astor Johnson
Music: Traditional African-Caribbean percussion

SHE
A trilogy on the black woman. Literally, a comment on her womanhood; historically, an overall tracing of her race from the beginning of time until now; morally, a lesson in courage.

She is Africa…out of her womb shall come the warriors
She is Rhythm…and cannot be resisted
She is Black…She, she alone

Choreography: Astor Johnson
Music: Traditional African-Caribbean percussion/André Tanker
Poem: Lasana Kwesi

GRAVEYARD FOR THE LIVING
An essay on human isolation, set in a jail.
1. The Initiation
2. Dream
3. Flight/Escape
4. Web
5. Madness and Escape/ Another Escape

Choreography: Astor Johnson

Music: Traditional

THE DANSE NEGRE
A medley of African-rooted folk dances

1. Manding - festive piece from the Mandingos/Ibo - brought to the West by the Ibos: the dancers simulate the movement of birds in flight, conflict and harmony;

2. Ewe-O - based more on Traditional African-Caribbean percussion neighbours consoling a bereaved woman/Broom Dance - a Traditional African-Caribbean percussion ritual is celebrated;

3. Ganga - the dancers celebrate Ogun, one of the highest "Saints" in the Yoruba hierarchy in a pre-ceremonial dance.

Choreography: Astor Johnson
Music: Traditional African-Caribbean percussion

TRIBUTE TO A KING
An essay on the ideas of the late Bob Marley, who died in 1981.
1. Prelude
2. Redemption Song
3. Sorrows
4. Get up, Stand up
5. In celebration

Choreography: Astor Johnson
Music. Bob Marley

AFRICA, AFRICA
An impressionistic piece which pays tribute to "Mother Africa"
1. Sowing the Seed - The women clean and bless the land sowing their seeds
2. The Warriors blossom - The "seeds" blossom into strong trees
3. Celebration Harvest - There is joy at harvest time.

Choreography: Astor Johnson
Music: Traditional African-Caribbean percussion

KYO
Based on the Buddhist chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, the dance explores the universe through the elements of Earth, Wind, Water and Fire. This was the last full dance that Astor Johnson choreographed before his death in 1985. It also reflected his religion, since he had become a Buddhist in the latter part of his life.

Movements
• Earth
• Wind
• Water
• Fire

Choreography: Astor Johnson
Music: Traditional African-Caribbean and African-Brazilian percussion.

CEREMONY OF THE DRUM
Based loosely on the celebration of the “Assotor” drum of Haiti, keeper of all the secrets of the ancestors.

Choreography: Astor Johnson

Music: Traditional African-Caribbean percussion

WONDERMENT
An exploration moods using the songs of Stevie Wonder

Choreography: Astor Johnson
Music: Stevie Wonder

MANTIS
The mating ritual of the praying mantis. In order to procreate, the female must kill the male after fertilization.

Choreography: Astor Johnson
Music: Henry Cowen; Traditional African-Caribbean percussion
Design: Astor Johnson

A SONG FOR YEMANJA (Dec. 1974)

Based on the mythological religious pantheon of the Gods of the Yoruba Orisa, the work celebrates “Yemanja”, goddess of the seas and waters. It is the feast of “Yemanja”, patron saint of the temple which she guards.
1. The worshippers enter and dance in the ritual of celebration.
2. The main celebrant is mystically transported by Yemanja’s horses to another realm and now she becomes Yemanja.
3. The spirit leaves and the worshippers depart.

Choreography: Astor Johnson
Music: Traditional African-Caribbean percussion

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