Barbadian dance icon Gene Cumberbatch Lynch passes

Barbados’ cultural community is today mourning the loss of one of its dancing icons.

News of the passing of Gene Carson Cumberbatch Lynch was shared via the National Cultural Foundation’s social media pages with a tribute.

Cumberbatch Lynch is considered the godfather of dance in Barbados. He started dancing with the Barbados Dance Theatre Company in 1974 and shared his expertise as teacher, choreographer and artistic director to the organisation.

The full tribute follows:

The National Cultural Foundation is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of dance icon Gene Carson Cumberbatch Lynch.

Considered the “Godfather” of Dance in Barbados, Gene, started dancing in 1974 with The Barbados Dance Theatre Company, where he served as teacher, choreographer and artistic director.

A graduate of dance at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts and the State University of New York, College at Brockport where he completed his Diploma, Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts degrees in Dance and Choreography, Gene went on to develop the syllabus for the Associate Degree of Dance programme at the Barbados Community College.

He toured Britain, North and South America, and the Caribbean with the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica and the Barbados Dance Theatre Company. His tutelage and choreographies were mounted by various dance companies such as the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica, L’Acadco and Movements Dance Companies of Jamaica, The Barbados Dance Theatre Company, Dancin’ Africa, Pinelands Creative Workshop, numerous NCF programmes and many more.

He created the original Barbadian dance technique; The Gene Carson Landship Technique, which is a fusion of the Barbados Landship manoeuvres, other elements and his dance training in his over 50-year career.
A staple on the NIFCA stage, Gene achieved all of the major top awards of the festival, including the Governor General’s Award of Excellence, The Prime Minister’s Award for Originality and several Madam Ifill Awards of Excellence. He was also a NIFCA judge.

During the 2022 NIFCA season, the NCF honoured his work with the production of documentaries: “Metamorphosis: A Tribute to Gene Carson” and Mastery of Movement: The Gene Carson Journey”.

More recently, during the 50th Anniversary of NIFCA in 2023, the Gene Carson Award of Excellence was established in his honour cementing him as a Dance Icon in Barbados.

The Chairman and Board of Directors, Chief Executive Officer, Management and Staff of the NCF extend sincere condolences to his family, loved ones and the cultural fraternity. May he rest in eternal peace.

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