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Tuesday 20 November 2018
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Dance great Molly Ahye dies

Molly Ahye
Molly Ahye

MOLLY AHYE, dancer and teacher, has died.

Ahye died peacefully on Thursday, aged 84, at a nursing home in Petit Valley, her daughter Gabrielle Roth said in a phone interview with Newsday

Her funeral scheduled for Wednesday at 10.30 am at Clark and Battoo, Tragarete Road. She will be cremated at 1pm.

A biographical piece about her online at the Best of Trinidad and Tobago said, “From 1952 to 1965, Ahye was a principal dancer with The Little Carib Company which was founded by Beryl McBurnie. She later became a dance teacher and physical culturist, and lectured in African and Caribbean culture throughout the Caribbean. In 1968, she founded the New Dance Group, Oyakairi. In 1978, she wrote the book Golden Heritage: The Dance in Trinidad and Tobago, and in 1983, she wrote about her famous dance teacher, Beryl McBurnie, in the book Cradle of Caribbean Dance: Beryl McBurnie and the Little Carib Theatre.”

Ahye was also a leading Orisha priestess, the Iyalorisha. Her mother had been an Orisha worshipper.

Roth said some of her favourite memories of her mother start from childhood.

“We did so many lovely dance productions. I was part of her group and we travelled a lot. She was always just a great teacher. So many people came to her and learned from her.”

Roth said Ahye had the first fitness centre in TT from which many women benefited.

“She was a pioneer, really. A lot of the experiences came through her, all the different groups she took part in and headed, I beneftted from everything. She was a great mother and one of a kind.”

At 68, Ahye obtained her PhD from New York University. She had earned her MA in performing arts (dance) from the American University, Washington DC.

“That was special. She really went through a lot growing up, not having that kind of opportunity educationally. She persevered and she got it done at 68 and that was admirable.”

The National Dance Association, on its Facebook page, extended condolences to Ahye’s family saying, “Her contribution to the cultural landscape of TT will not be forgotten. May she rest in peace.”

Ahye leaves to mourn Roth and her two sons, David and Richard, as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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