Barbados News

Tribute to Richild Springer

Richild Springer is Barbados’ first professional dancer of global excellence. She broke the mould that said you could not earn a living as a dancer. Her very being was dance. She moved like a dancer on and off the stage. She epitomized excellence in dance.

Richild was my personal inspiration to dance. As a young Girls’ Foundation student, Mollie Crowcroft from the London Contemporary Dance Theatre whet my appetite for dance. Richild Springer inspired my love of dance. I’d never seen anyone ooze dance in her every sinew like she did. I marveled at how her lines carried through to her fingertips, so I was thrilled when she asked me to join her company Dance Experience.

It was easy for me to invite her as Lead Dancer and Choreographer of the Peter Goss Dance Company in Paris to be the first dance company to perform in the new state-of-the-art Frank Collymore Hall. She was after all Barbados’ premier dancer who had made a name for herself internationally and earned respect among the world’s finest dancers and choreographers.

From an early age, Richild took classes in classical and contemporary dance through the Graham, Horton and Cunningham technique. She perfected her skills in contemporary with Peter Goss and trained in the Alexander and Feldenkrais method.

Richild Springer distinguished herself and Barbados globally as she worked with Donald Mc Kayle’s company in New York; in Europe, with the Lester Wilson company and as a dancer, she worked with Molly Molloy and taught at the London Contemporary Dance Theatre. She performed to much acclaim as featured dancer at the ” Rose Ball ” and played “Joséphine Baker at 25 ” in the last show Joséphine in Monaco in the presence of the principality and then to Paris.

Richild remained active in dance as a Master Class Teacher and Dance Examiner at the highest level in various international dance schools including Choréia in Paris and the Ballet Preljocaj. She willingly gave back to Barbados coming home several times first under the aegis of the NCF during my tenure as CEO and also later independently through her own Foundation, to share her knowledge with local dance companies given her passion to expand our local dance vocabulary.  She always imbued our dancers with the skills and attitudes necessary to achieve and maintain excellence while embracing the joys of dance as a means of cultural expression.

Richild was always a beautiful gentle soul like a flower. Her positive spirit and delightful exuberance were often captured at her goddaughter’s Crop Over celebration: ‘Dis Gotta Be Mas’. 

Her majesty as a dancer remains unmatched. I extend condolences to her family, friends and creative community.

Dr Allyson Leacock

One Reply to “Tribute to Richild Springer

  1. All that Dr. Leacock stated is a true reflection in Richild Springer’s excellence as a Dancer. I first met her in London in the mid-seventies, and from that time onward I felt that I had a treasured friendship with her until this very day. Richild in my opinion was a regal woman whom commanded your attention, and respect, and you knew that your own life had been graced with warmth, and joy that stayed with you long after you departed from her company. I am so sad that I am only just now, a year after her demise to be learning of her departure. This fact does not diminish her memory either in my heart, or my mind, she has been one of a handful of women whom I have met during my lifetime whom I have loved without necessarily being in an emotional affair. It has been the kind of Love that God blessed me with, women such as Frau.Hilda Gibson, Singer/Dancer Agnes Stanley, Jazz Singer Ernestine Anderson, and the Elegant Mme. Richild Springer. I have known Richild in Paris as well during the time she portrayed Ms. Josephine Baker at twenty five years of age in Ms. Baker’s final show at Bobino’s in Paris. I shall always recall how she uplifted me in all of my aspirations as a Singer in England, and France when she was a Star, and I was merely a struggling artiste. She welcomed me into her home in London, and introduced me to her Father, Sir. Hugh Springer, and her Mother, Lady Springer, as well as her Brother Steven, each of them showed me unforgettable kindness. The passing of Richild touches me deeply and comes very close to home, causing me to realize that we must value those whom touch our lives, and know that we truly live in a temporal world. It is my hope that God will bless me to reunite with her in the eternal realm, for meeting her here on earth was one of the major events of my lifetime. Rest in Peace my Dear Richild, and my sincere condolences to your surviving family members, and friends worldwide.

    Respectfully,
    Frank Charles Dodson.

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