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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Desrey Caeser-Fox honoured by New York group

Dr Jennifer Westford, second left, presents the plaque to Dr Desrey Caeser-Fox, as Ms Patricia Langford-Jordan, extreme left, and Dr Rosalind Khan look on

Dr Desrey Caesar-Fox, Coordinator of the Amerindian Research Unit (ARU) at the University of Guyana (UG), and Curator of the Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology,
was honoured recently in New York for being one in a number of outstanding Guyanese women and for her pivotal role in the preservation of Amerindian culture.

The accolade was conferred upon her by the Tri-state Alliance of North America, a group of Guyanese professionals living and working in the Tri-State area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, in conjunction with the Guyana Government, the Guyana Consulate, and the Guyana Mission.

It occurred on Saturday September 3 during the annual Guyana Folk Festival Symposium held this year at the Manhattan Community College, located just a stone’s throw from the site of the former World Trade Center.
She was presented with a plaque by Public Service Minister, Dr Jennifer Westford, who referred to her as “one of a corps of vibrant women… who had made Guyana proud,” in recognition of her many accomplishments and contributions to the advancement and preservation of Guyana’s cultural heritage. The event was witnessed by Alliance members Ms Patricia Langford-Jordan and Dr Rosalind Khan.

According to Langford-Jordan, the presentation should have been made since last year during Independence Anniversary celebrations but Caesar-Fox was unavailable.

Caesar-Fox, who is also coordinator of the various activities here in Guyana to mark Amerindian Heritage Month, usually observed in September, had earlier in the day presented a paper on ‘The Significance of Dance in the Indigenous Cultures of Guyana’, which was one of the highlights of the conference.

During her presentation, Caesar-Fox explained the importance, from a spiritual standpoint, of the specific movements and circular formations characteristic of Amerindian dance. These movements and formations, she said, are essential allusions to the cosmos, a fundamental concept in Amerindian culture.

While she was at it, she seized the opportunity to challenge choreographers and other exponents of dance to study the Amerindian variation of the art form so as to come up with something innovative yet distinctly Guyanese to add to the existing repertoire.

Pro-Chancellor of the University of Guyana, Dr Prem Misir, whose presentation was titled: ‘Exploring the Intersection of the Guyanese Word and Dance in the Post Independence Era’, supported a call made by Dr Westford for the organizers of the Guyana Folk Festival (the Guyana Cultural Association of New York) to consider bringing aspects of the event to Guyana, saying that the university had a keen interest in such activities.

The symposium also featured several other papers, discussions, and video documentaries, including presentations by renowned dancers/choreographers Malcolm Hall, Rose October-Edun, Verna Walcott-White and Andrea Douglas.

There were also performances by young dancers taught by Walcott-White and Malini Bhose-Shaw, which reflected Guyana’s multi-ethnicity. The children also presented a vivid dramatic interpretation of Wordsworth McAndrew's famous poem, ‘Ol’ Higue’.

The Symposium was coordinated by Dr Juliet Emanuel, Associate Professor at Manhattan Community College, and her colleagues at the College. She also presented a paper titled: ‘The Dance in the Oeuvre of Selected Guyanese Authors: Bacchus, Mittelholzer, Seymour and Heath’.

(Courtesy of

Posted by jebratt :: Wednesday, September 28, 2005 :: 0 comments

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