Roy ‘Jungle King’ Hamilton is a friend of Jeff and I, and a prominent figure in Jamaica’s culture. He has taught many students, particularly at St. Anne’s High School, how to dance and perform with grace and soul. Jungle King has choreographed and composed the music for many African dances…including the one he performed at last year’s Curry Festival. He also received many awards and recognition for his work as a dancer and instructor. See link below to watch his performance.Jungle King Video (relaxation of the Mind) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZlJf0GEpPQ
I am very grateful to have gotten the opportunity to photograph such an inspirational man while he performed. I love observing Jungle’s mannerisms as he speaks; his words are very well pronounced with a ting of Jamaican Patois now and then, his laugh is contagious, his body is always posed like the dancer he is, and he tells a story like no one else can. I learned so much about our traditional dance names, styles, and how and why these dances came about.
Jungle also mentioned that before a performance he must first cleanse himself…clear his mind of all worries and fears…simply because he dances with fire. As you can see, playing with fire could get dangerous. I enjoyed watching him perform, because the beat of the drums, the chanting, and the dance steps blended together so well, that it captivated my senses.