1st Edition

Dancehall In/Securities Perspectives on Caribbean Expressive Life

Edited By Patricia Noxolo, 'H' Patten, Sonjah Stanley Niaah Copyright 2022
    180 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    180 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book focuses on how in/security works in and through Jamaican dancehall, and on the insights that Jamaican dancehall offers for the global study of in/security.

    This collection draws together a multi-disciplinary range of key scholars in in/security and dancehall. Scholars from the University of the West Indies' Institute of Caribbean Studies and Reggae Studies Unit, as well as independent dancehall and dance practitioners from Kingston, and writers from the UK, US and continental Europe offer their differently situated perspectives on dancehall, its histories, spatial patterning, professional status and aesthetics.

    The study brings together critical security studies with dancehall studies and will be of great interest to students, scholars and practitioners in theatre, dance and performance studies, sociology, cultural geography, anthropology, postcolonial studies, diaspora studies, musicology and gender studies.

    Notes on contributors

    Foreword - 'pull up!': confronting dancehall in/security

    Carolyn Cooper


    Patricia Noxolo

    Notes on style


    Patricia Noxolo, ‘H’ Patten and Sonjah N. Stanley Niaah

    1. Corporeal in/securities in the dancehall space

    Patricia Noxolo

    2. Practice, vision, security

    Orville ‘Xpressionz’ Hall

    3. Me badi a fe me BMW (my body is my BMW): engaging the badi (body) to interrogate the shifting in/securities within the co-culture of daaance’all

    L’Antoinette Stines

    4. Interrogating in/securities in the recording studios of Kingston

    Dennis Howard

    5. The mask for survival: a discourse in dancehall regalia

    MoniKa Lawrence

    6. Dancehall dancing bodies: the performance of embodied in/security

    ‘H’ Patten

    7. An in/secure life in dance; thoughts on dancehall’s in/secure lives

    Patsy Rickett

    8. The warrior wine – the rotation of Caribbean masculinity

    Thomas ‘Talawa’ Prestø

    9. ‘Sounding’ out the system: noise, in/security and the politics of citizenship

    Sonjah N. Stanley Niaah



    Notes on contributors

    Carolyn Cooper

    Carolyn Cooper is Emerita Professor at the University of the West Indies. In 1992, she conceived the Reggae Studies Unit at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica. It was established in 1994 and has hosted numerous public lectures and symposiums featuring reggae/dancehall artists and other practitioners in the music industry in Jamaica and internationally. Professor Cooper founded the annual Bob Marley Lecture in 1997. The Reggae Studies Unit has also convened academic conferences, including the definitive Global Reggae Conference (2008), the plenary papers for which are collected in the award-winning Global Reggae (2012), edited by Cooper and published by the University of the West Indies Press. With Dr Eleanor Wint, Cooper co-edited Bob Marley: The Man and His Music (2003). Cooper is also internationally recognised for the seminal/ovular books Noises in the Blood: Orality, Gender and the ‘Vulgar’ Body of Jamaican Popular Culture (1993) and Sound Clash: Jamaican Dancehall Culture at Large (2004).


    Orville ‘Xpressionz’ Hall

    Orville Hall – known as the Dancehall Professor - is one of the best-known names in dance and dance hall in Jamaica. He is the artistic director for Theatre Xpressionz, which is the professional company that operates the popular dance group DANCE XPRESSIONZ and XPRESSIVE MOVES dance workshops. Orville is also the resident and chief judge for Jamaica’s premier dance program ‘Dancing Dynamite’. Orville holds an associate degree in performing arts with a double major in dance and drama. Together with Patsy Ricketts and Kenny Salmon, Orville also wrote the first institutional dancehall course in the Caribbean.Today Orville ‘Xpressionz’ Hall is one the chief choreographers of music videos and corporate functions in Jamaica.

    Dennis Howard

    Dennis Howard is a 30-year veteran of broadcasting and entertainment. He is a brilliant and highly-respected musicologist with a PhD from the University of the West Indies. Howard has a long list of stellar achievements and numerous affiliations. He is a board member of Reggae Entertainment TV Jamaica, Jamaica News Network, the Institute of Jamaica, and the Jamaica intellectual Property Office. He is an avid member of (amongst others) the Jamaica Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Jamaica Music Society and International Association for the study of Popular Music. Howard is also the author of many articles and books, including ‘The Creative Echo Chamber: Contemporary Music Production in Jamaica’ (Ian Randle, Kingston).

    MoniKa Lawrence

    Dr. MoniKa Lawrence holds a PhD in Cultural Studies from the University of the West Indies. She has also studied in the USA, South Africa, and Israel. Dr. Lawrence in an Associate Professor and Artistic Director of the Performing Arts at The University College of the Cayman Islands. She brings a wealth of experience in teaching, performing and artistry in the development and introduction of courses in dance, cultural studies, and related areas. Prior to joining University College of the Cayman Islands, Dr. Lawrence was Artistic Director for the Centre for the Performing Arts at University of Technology in Jamaica. She has also worked extensively with the Government of Jamaica in developing creative concepts, choreography, creative consultant, and costume designer and management for most major Government functions in Jamaica. Dr. Lawrence is founder and Artistic Director of The Stella Maris Dance Ensemble of Jamaica which was founded in 1994 and is renowned for its innovative presentations both internationally and locally in Jamaica.

    Patricia Noxolo

    Patricia Noxolo is senior lecturer at University of Birmingham, UK. Her research brings together the study of international development, culture and in/security, and uses postcolonial, discursive and literary approaches to explore the spatialities of a range of Caribbean and British cultural practices. Recent work has focused on: re-theorising Caribbean in/securities; theorizations of space in Caribbean literature; Caribbean laughter and materialities; re-thinking the decolonial city; and African-Caribbean dance as embodied mapping. Patricia Noxolo is lead researcher on the Caribbean In/securities and Creativity (CARISCC) research network, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, and on Creative Approaches to Race and In/security in the Caribbean and the UK (CARICUK), funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. She is former chair of the Society for Caribbean Studies, co-editor of Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, and secretary of the RACE group of the Royal Geographical Society. She is also the author and editor of a number of books and articles, including a collection on Caribbean In/securities in Small Axe, 2018, 22, 3.

    ‘H’ Patten

    ‘H’ Patten is an experienced choreographer, filmmaker, visual artist, storyteller, performer, and University lecturer, with a PhD from Canterbury Christ Church University. Having developed an international reputation in African and Caribbean arts for over 30 years, ‘H’ has worked with the Jamaica School of Dance, the Jamaica National Dance Company (NDTC), L’Acadco, the University of Technology (UTECH) and the African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica (ACIJ). ‘H’ has choreographed for: Stella Maris Dance Ensemble (Jamaica), and the National Dance Companies of Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Malawi and Zambia, as well as UK companies: Kokuma Performing Arts, Irie! dance theatre and Adzido Pan African Dance Ensemble, in addition to high profile projects such as the Queens Silver Jubilee parade and the London 2012 Olympic Torch Ceremony in Hackney. He has published a number of book chapters, including "Feel De Riddim, Feel De Vibes: dance as a transcendent act of survival and upliftment". (2016) Adair, C. and Burt, R. (eds.) British dance: Black routes, Routledge, Oxon, New York

    Thomas ‘Talawa’ Pestø

    Since 1998 Thomas has spent his time actively carving a place for the black dancing body in Scandinavia. He has performed Caribbean and African dance for more than one quarter of Norway’s population. He reached the semi-finals of Norway got Talent, being the first time a full black group has ever advanced on Norwegian TV Shows, and performed traditional dance live. His technique is taught on five continents and he is continuing to strive to show the relevance of ancient power with a modern use.

    Sonjah Stanley Niaah

    Director of the Institute of Caribbean Studies at the University of the West Indies (UWI) at Mona, and the inaugural Rhodes Trust Rex Nettleford Fellow in Cultural Studies (2005), Director of the Institute of Caribbean Studies and Reggae Studies Unit at the University of the West Indies (UWI), and the inaugural Rhodes Trust Rex Nettleford Fellow in Cultural Studies (2005), Sonjah Stanley Niaah is a Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies at the UWI, Mona Campus. She is a leading author, teacher and researcher on Black Atlantic performance geographies, popular culture and the sacred, and Caribbean Cultural Studies more broadly. Stanley Niaah is the author of Reggae Pilgrims: Festivals and the Movement of Jah People (forthcoming Rowman and Littlefield), Dancehall: From Slave Ship to Ghetto (2010, University of Ottawa Press), and editor of Dancehall: A Reader on Jamaican Music and Culture and ‘I'm Broader than Broadway: Caribbean Perspectives on Producing Celebrity' (Wadabagei, Vol. 12: 2, 2009). Dr Stanley Niaah has served as Vice Chair of the international Association for Cultural Studies for which she coordinated the first conference held in the Global South at the UWI (2008). Stanley Niaah currently serves on the boards and editorial collectives of numerous academic associations, institutions, and journals including Cultural Studies, The Black Scholar and DanceCult.

    L'Antoinette Stines

    L’Antoinette Stines is a dancer, choreographer, actress, teacher/lecturer, administrator, author and visionary, with a PhD from University of the West Indies. Creator of L’Antech, a modern contemporary Caribbean Dance Technique, Stines continues to impact on the direction and future of Caribbean dance as founder and creative director of L'Acadco A United Caribbean Dance Force. Dr. Stines has a long and varied performing history, which ranges from classical ballet to Yoruba "Orisha" dance. Her dance career began in Jamaica with Alma Mok Yen (1961-71), continued to the Martha Graham School and finally through to Pepsi Bethel Authentic Jazz Dance Company (1975-77) and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (1977-78). Widely regarded as an expert in popular, folkloric Jamaican dance and the development of contemporary dance, Dr. Stines has lectured in Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, and North and South America. She is also the author of numerous articles and books, including ‘Soul Casings: a Journey from Classical Ballet to the CARIMOD Daaance Technique L’Antech’ (2014: Zight/L’Antoinette Stines Publishing).


    Patricia Noxolo is a senior lecturer in the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham, UK.

    ‘H’ Patten is an experienced choreographer, filmmaker, visual artist, storyteller and performer and has developed an international reputation in African and Caribbean arts for over 30 years.

    Sonjah N. Stanley Niaah is a Jamaican cultural theorist, scholar-activist, author and an international speaker based at the University of the West Indies (UWI) at Mona, where she is a senior lecturer in cultural studies at the Institute of Caribbean Studies.