…repositioning dance in Nigeria…
Lagos is set to play host to dancers and choreographers from Lagos, Ibadan, Abuja, Kaduna, Bamako, Tunis, Maputo, Washington and Paris, in a major dance gathering the country is yet to witness this year.
The QDanceCenter, a brainchild of Nigeria’s foremost dance export, Qudus Onikeku, is back this year with the debut edition of danceGATHERING | Lagos Contemporary Dance Festival. This mammoth project has garnered the support of the National Theatre, Institut Français, Goethe Institut and has been adopted by the Lagos @50 committee under the chairmanship of Prof. Wole Soyinka.
The danceGATHERING is a two-phased project with a two-week long dance lab (20 Feb. – 5 March 2017) followed by a five day dance festival (1 – 5 March 2017) in various venues around Lagos.
The artistic director of the festival, Onikeku, made it known through a statement that “the artistic directorial style of danceGATHERING 2017 proposes MOVEMENT as a major character, not solely a thing to be watched, but something that allows our audience to be jostled, activating different hotspots for dance in the breathtaking city of Lagos, making a deliberate action of turning the entire city into our play area.”
He further noted that “Because the city (of Lagos) is already noisy and fast and surreal, and dramatic with constant movements, I have curated a program, which rotates between 10 venues around Lagos, both in conventional spaces as well as improvised spaces. In a span of five days, we shall create an opportunity for our audience to step out of their comfort zones and move with the flow, going against traffic from Ikoyi (QDanceCenter, Omenka gallery, BogoBiri, JazzHole), to Iwaya, back to Lagos island (City Hall Rooftop), then Victoria Island (Revolving Art Incubator, Silverbird Galleria), to a stop in Bariga (Crown troupe, Mbari Mbayo arts center) and Surulere (Corporate Dance World), before culminating at the National Theatre Iganmu. ”
Lagosians will witness an outpour of dance performances, exhibitions, international creative collaborations and exchanges including DANCING CITIES and CROSSINGS, amongst others. The gathering also aims to provide an array of opportunities for dancers across the country.
The festival will close at the National Theatre, with works by Onikeku himself along side a host of others, in collaboration with one of Nigeria’s leading theatre directors, Makinde Adeniran (of Saro, the musical).
danceGATHERING is the first of its kind in Nigeria and arguably West Africa, and we invite YOU to be part of this history-making event from February 20th to March 5th, 2017.