Ralston Milton "Rex" Nettleford (February 3, 1933-February 2, 2010) was a Jamaican scholar, social critic, choreographer, the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, and most recently, he was a professor of Extra Mural Studies at the University of the West Indies and also head of the Trade Union Education Institution. He was born in Falmouth, Trelawney (Jamaica).
He graduated from the University of the West Indies with honors in History and was a recipient of the 1957 Rhodes Scholarship to Oriel College at Oxford University where he completed postgraduate studies in Politics, and then returned to Jamaica in the early 1960s to take up a position at the University of the West Indies (UWI). At the UWI he first came to attention as a co-author (with M.G. Smith and Roy Augier) of a groundbreaking study of the Rastafari movement in 1961.
In 1963 he was the founder, artistic director and principal choreographer of the internationally acclaimed National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica which incorporates traditional Jamaican music and dance into a formal balletic repertoire. He was a brilliant dancer and outstanding organizer of the company, and has left his mark of excellence on the cultural life of the Caribbean.
For over twenty years, Nettleford was also the artistic director for the University Singers of the University of the West Indies, Mona campus in Jamaica, and with his work as artistic director and with the work of Noel Dexter as musical director, the University Singers seen the creation of what is referred to as "choral theatre".
He was the cultural adviser to the Prime Minister, member of the Inter-American Committee on Culture, founding governor of the Canada-based International Development Research Centre, and had acted as expert/consultant to the government of Ghana, the Second World African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC), the Caribbean Festival of Creative Arts (CARIFESTA) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)...