Friends of the Liberian Dance Troupe

Pyretic Productions is a supporter of the Liberian Dance Troupe.

The Liberian Dance Troupe (LDT), a non-profit, non-sectarian and non-tribal community-based group, was formed as a means to help address some of the challenges experienced by children and youth. The LDT develops projects whereby young Liberians gain knowledge and skills pertaining to their traditional culture. Professional trainers share their expertise with the youth participants who then deliver performances entrenched with social messages about HIV/AIDS, teen pregnancy and drug abuse for youth and community members. The LDT helps to instill a sense of national pride and self-esteem within its young participants, while also increasing awareness about Liberia`s rich cultural heritage. The LDT also encourages the development of “hard skills” among its participants, and provides payment of school fees and computer training for numerous youth participants. These are important because government alone cannot solve the insurmountable problems of post-war Liberia.

Travelling to the Buduburam Liberian Refugee camp in Ghana in 2007, Playwright Matthew Mackenzie and fellow National Theatre School playwriting grad were fortunate enough to meet this remarkable group. Made up of young artists ranging in age from 5 to 18, the Liberian Dance Troupe performed Dance Theatre in the Buduburam Camp where they were based, their performances addressing issues facing their community such as Drug Abuse, Teen Pregnancy, and HIV Aids.

For over seven years, a group of Canadian aritsts led by Charlotte Corbeil-Coleman, Matthew MacKenzie and Sandra Lefrançois have been involved in supporting the Liberian Dance Troupe's vital work of raising awareness about AIDS, teen pregnancy and domestic violence through theatre and dance. Charlotte and Matt first met the troupe in 2007 in the Buduburam Refugee Camp (Ghana), and in 2011 Matt and Sandra worked with them in Monrovia's Point Four (Liberia).

On August 6, 2014, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf declared a State of Emergency in Liberia, closing all schools and most markets, and strongly encouraging Liberians to remain in their homes to curb the spread of the Ebola virus. This request poses a significant challenge for the residents of Monrovia's Point Four slum as, like many impoverished people, they must leave their homes daily in search of food. On August 20, 2014, authorities declared a city-wide curfew from 6:00PM to 9:00AM. The situation for Liberia's most vulnerable has become desperate.

The Liberian Dance Troupe is made up of youth from the Point Four community; they are some of those most at risk of contracting the Ebola virus. In an effort to combat the spread of Ebola and allow LDT members, instructors, and their families to effectively isolate themselves, the troupe has issued an appeal for emergency funds. The Friends of the Liberian Dance Troupe successfully raised $6412.00 through an Indie Gogo campain, money which will go directly and exclusively toward the purchase of hand washing buckets, sanitation materials, water purifying supplies, rice (the Liberian staple) and cooking oil. These basic items will make Ebola prevention measures possible.

To learn more about the Liberian Dance Troupe, and how you can help, visit their website