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This chapter focuses on the National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC), which became a prominent cultural ambassador for Jamaica after its founding in 1962, the year of the island’s independence. In response to the debasement of Caribbean cultural practices that contravened racialized colonial codes of gender and sexual propriety, the NDTC sought to create a distinctively Jamaican and Caribbean dance form. This chapter closely analyzes NDTC’s early performances and their reception on the island, within the Caribbean region, and across the North Atlantic. It argues that the company’s performances and how they were interpreted highlight the pervasive but covert way that same-gender intimacy and gender expansiveness across class and color lines were foundational to how Jamaicans understood themselves in the wake of independence. This narrative unsettles existing accounts of this period in Jamaica that emphasize the twinning of overpopulation and development discourses in the promotion of Euro-American forms of kinship.

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