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Briefly: Rex Nettleford

Rex Nettleford, who died in Washington D.C. on 2 February aged 76, was a Jamaican scholar and choreographer. Nettleford, a Rhodes scholar, co-founded the National Dance Theatre Company a month after Jamaica gained independence from Britain. He led the organisation for almost 50 years.

Nettleford, who was born in the rural Trelawny parish in February 1933, had long called for positive portrayals of Jamaica's bl ack majority. His 1969 book Mirror Mirror examined the status of black Jamaicans nearly 10 years after the island became independent.

Nettleford was vice chancellor emeritus of the University of the West Indies from 1997 to 2004 and served as cultural adviser to three prime ministers including the present incumbent Bruce Golding, who described him as, "a quintessential Caribbean man, the professor, writer, dancer, manager, orator, critic and mentor."