Jamaica is the land where reggae was born. The musical rhythms of this island nation define its people; but music isn't all there is to regional culture. The island's literature, dance, and other arts are infused with something unique – something distinctly Jamaican.
Most of Jamaica's island crafts are emblazoned with Jamaica's most popular colors – red, gold, and green. These colors can be found on everything from clothes to trinkets and smaller souvenirs. Jamaica's sculptures and fine arts are also well-known. Island leaders have brought the work of local artists to the attention of the international arts community.
Another way to glimpse Jamaica's color is to see it on film. Whether you're catching the latest Hollywood blockbuster shot in Jamaica or a movie set in the streets of Kingston, there are many different ways to see Jamaica on the big – or small – screen.
Literature is also an important part of the island's arts. In fact, Ian Fleming, creator of the James Bond novels, lived on Jamaica. The best of Jamaica's literature comes from a number of sources. Those who moved to the island, like Fleming, only account for a small part of the island's literary success. Several Jamaican authors and poets have published accounts of life on the island. And Jamaica's folk stories truly capture the imagination.
Similarly, folk dances are energetic and vibrant expressions. With colorful costumes and movements that depict a wide range of experiences, from country stories to street life, the National Theater Company is just one popular way to see some of the island's best. But those looking for the latest popular dance styles can look in Kingston's dance halls. Jamaica's dances have become some of the island's most popular exports.
Theater is equally as important as dance, and many small theater companies have sprung up around the island. Whether you're looking for an afternoon's entertainment or a performance that's a bit more black tie, you're sure to find it on Jamaica.
And of course no matter where you go, you'll hear music. Jamaica is world famous for its musical diversity that reaches beyond reggae. Ska, rocksteady, mento, and the more modern dancehall and ragga are just a few musical variations you'll hear.
Get ready to catch a glimpse of something vibrant, powerful, and beautifully Jamaican. The island's culture springs forward in local arts and entertainment.
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