Last update: 05-Dec-2013 3:57 pm
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Healing through the arts
Citizens are hurting in T&T today and theatre-veteran Jemma Allong-Redman believes only the arts can bring some much needed healing to the emotionally wounded in our country.
Allong-Redman of San Fernando, has more than 30 years’ theatre experience and is seeking to harness the great therapeutic value found in the arts through her Centre for The Arts & Development located at Pamela’s Mall, Marabella.
In an interview last week, Allong-Redman said, her centre will encompass all facets of the arts to offer citizens an avenue to express their emotions and begin the healing process using art.
“This centre is dedicated to the celebration of the artistic expressions of spirits. A lot of people have things bottled up in them and they do not how to express. There is something called art therapy, where you are using art for therapy and it (brings) healing,” she said.
Allong-Redman said she wants her centre to be a source of comfort for people who want to use the arts for solace and healing.
She said while there are places like places like Raj Yoga Ashram and places of worship for spiritual healing, many people are craving for an outlet to express the feelings they have trapped inside and the arts offers that avenue of expression.
“There are a lot of people who are going through certain things and they do not have a place to release, to be able to express themselves for empowerment. The church is one thing, but people have to live in an everyday way of life,” she explained.
At the centre, Allong-Redman said, classes in all areas of the arts will be offered such as, drama, dance, music and singing.
Allong-Redman, who lived abroad for a number of years and worked in the New York theatre, explained that she had a yearning to return to T&T to share her wealth of experience and give back to society.
She said her vision for the centre is to help heal the wounded “soul” of T&T, its citizens.
“The centre is about development, spiritual development. It is to address your minds, your body and your spirit. It is a holistic development, anything you want to address it can found there,” she said.
Allong-Redman said through the classes at the centre attendees will “get a world view of themselves, to be able to understand and appreciate their culture and history and apply it to daily life. n Continues on Page B6
“You could you live it (your culture) and you can then become your authentic self,” she added.
At the centre, she said, classes are available in the various forms of dance including; modern dance, Latin dance, Bollywood and ballroom dance.
She said Tai Chi, Yoga, sculpting, drawing and painting would also be available.
The classes are open to all ages. For registration and information call 324-1448 or email [email protected]
About Jemma Allong-Redman
Jemma Allong-Redman has been involved in theatre for the past 30 years, both in Trinidad, New York and Central Florida. She was the artistic director for the only professional theatre company for Caribbean artists in New York for 15 years, served on the Funding panel for Queen’s Council on the Arts; directed a production for the famous Billie Holiday Theatre, which ran for three months; wrote several plays including On A Bigger Plantation and Echoes from the Diaspora, which received great reviews in the Village Voice.
She also served as special events coordinator for the largest African American community organisation in New York -The Southern Queens Park Association, NY; and as president of Faces and Voices of St Lucie County, Florida, a cultural arts organisation.
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