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European Quadrille dance

Transformation and Transfiguration of the European Ballroom Quadrille dance

Although the enslaved Africans mastered the European ballroom quadrille dance and danced it exquisitely, they soon realised it was too formal and expressionless to fully achieve their goals. I surmise that their inborn spiritedness of freedom and defiance would have enabled them to cunningly transform and transfigure the European dance into a livelier, more relaxing, interactive and […]

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European Quadrille dancers

Jamaican Slave Exposure to the European Quadrille dance

When the enslaved African were forbidden to engage in their cultural expressions in music, singing and dancing, I surmise they were initially forlorn. The colonialists had publicly declared their African dances inferior, uncivilised and abhorrent. The only dancing genre exposed to them at the time was the European ballroom quadrille. The colonialists and their guests […]

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JANUKA quadrille dancers

Meanings underpinning Quadrille dancing by enslaved Africans

I started my search for significant, sinister and justifiable reasons for quadrille dancing by posing a similar question to that asked by some of our critics regarding JANUKA’s effort to keep quadrille dancing alive. The question state: What did quadrille dancing really mean to our ancestors? Although I believe our ancestors defiantly danced the quadrille, […]

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Beverley januka quadrille dancer

Dancing the Quadrille – A Celebration of Triumph over Oppression

JANUKA have been happily dancing the quadrille – Jamaican style – since 2005. We thoroughly enjoy dancing and take great pride in promoting what we strongly believe is our Jamaican cultural heritage. Why do I continue to dance quadrille? On a few occasions, I have been asked – Why do I continue to dance quadrille, […]

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Sheila-King-Januka-launch

JANUKA Website Launch Event

By Cliff Purchase and Beverley Bogle It was a chilled December evening on Friday 15th December 2012, when over 100 friends of JANUKA and their family gathered in the Calabash Community Centre in Lewisham, to experience a momentous occasion in the launch of JANUKA’s Website and Logo. The atmosphere was filled with anticipation, mingled with the […]

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Gourd-with-seeds

JANUKA quadrille dance music

Background music to our quadrille dance:   The musical accompaniment to our quadrille dance is a lively mixture of traditional, contemporary and popular music with the appropriate rhythm and beat and aesthetically acceptable lyrics. This  include 20th Century mento, gospel and dance hall genres. A variety of  background music help to engage and maintain audience interest, as it highlight […]

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Victorian dress

What our African – Jamaican ancestors wore for “dressing up” on special occasions

Our African ancestors from diverse cultural backgrounds took their colourful, rich and unique dress customs to Jamaica. When opportunities arose they used their knowledge, experience and skills to dress up in artistically designed clothes with matching accessories, in order to nurture and maintain links with their homeland and maintain cultural pride in their appearance. Slave […]

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Tribute to JANUKA by Ralph Waithe

A Journey with JANUKA: I became aware of JANUKA in 2009 and the Quadrille dance quickly stirred my cultural and spiritual awareness. The dynamic drumming that precedes JANUKA performances holds my captive interest; it evokes the memory of our African slave ancestors whose adaptation of Ballroom Style to Camp Style became a medium of communication, […]

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Slaves on Jamaican sugar plantation

What our African – Jamaican ancestors wore for sugar plantation work

According to Buckeridge. S, (2004) Slave owners were legally obliged to provide clothing for their slaves annually, with a menial penalty for non-conforming. This annual issue of clothing reinforced slave dependence and subordination. The type of clothing issued was meant to be suitable and practical for plantation work; of inferior quality to maintain social distance […]

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Tribute to JANUKA by Cliff Purchase

I personally have known JANUKA for approximately 8 years. During that time, I have seen a group of women, who met in 2005 under the tutelege of “Mr Desmond Clarke” to learn quadrille, develop into a formidable group of quadrille dancers.  I can recount meeting them during those early days of rehearsal at an Antenatal Clinic […]

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