Tag: Lagos

Banana Island Ghost

Banana Island Ghost

I’ll start by saying that Banana Island was a good attempt at a romantic comedy especially for a Nollywood movie. Sadly, it didn’t live up to a lot of expectations but managed to leave a good taste in our mouths nonetheless.

The visuals were a breath of fresh air and a lot of thought went into the aerial shots and angles that spoke of superb cinematography. The music by Nigerian artists definitely served as major highlights and helped fill in the blanks when necessary. Some of the songs that were definitely worth hearing again were Kale Ni by Ruby Gyang and Empty by Cobhams.

 

The movie’s flaws however were mostly as a result of empty dialogue and a story with more holes than a basket. This caused the Banana Island Ghost to have pacing issues and trivialized a lot of its highlights.download-22-

The film felt more like a collection of moments than a well thought out story and the inconsistencies and lack of buildup in the film caused it to fall flat in the wrong places.

That said, the Banana Island Ghost definitely scored an ‘A’ for effort and comedy with Akah Nnani sending us into peels of laughter and proving that all it takes is skill and commitment to pull off a memorable performance.

Character-Poster-Serge

Patrick Diabuah was a sight for sore eyes and even though the movie did him little justice he still managed to give a stellar performance. Unfortunately, Chigurl’s character came off a tad bit confusing due to the various accent changes and the insincerity of her emotions during the particularly emotional scenes. It felt like she was playing multiple characters instead of one but the huge let down for me was her singing, particularly because I’ve heard her do way better.

Saheed Balogun managed to hold his end quite well and Makeeda Moka the Naija Ninja didn’t do too badly either.

Though a mesh of highs and lows, Banana Island Ghost takes credit for being a good attempt at what could’ve been an outstanding film.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Listen to

Kale Ni by Ruby Gyang http://smarturl.it/RubyGyangKaleNi

Empty by Cobhams http://tooxclusive.com.ng/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Cobhams_Asuquo_-_Empty_tooxclusive.com.ng.mp3

 

 

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The Adventures of Isys Drain: #danceGATHERING

The Adventures of Isys Drain: #danceGATHERING

 

Experiencing a day of art, outside of dance has forced me to put words to the journey that was #danceGATHERING

http:/isysdrain.wordpress.com/danceGATHERING
#danceGATHERING

I’ve always been a passionate dance enthusiast and my frustrations with the industry were deeply rooted in the myopia that ran deep in the artists, the insistence of maintaining a status quo that had obviously done more harm than good and the celebration of mediocrity hinged heavily on ignorance and the lack of exposure.

Chei, I’ve come with my grammar but it is the truth. The constant battle against this mentality relegated my interest in the dance industry to the background until I was fortunate and blessed to meet Qudus Onikeku, Nigeria’s foremost dance export and visionary. He has turned out to be more than a dancer and artist but a catalyst of change (not the Baba ‘Bu kind of change)

As I stated in a post I wrote on the ‘gram while I grappled with words to best express the impact of the festival,

‘You can’t grow a people within the four walls of your mind, you grow a people by creating a world they can see from the things they have refused to acknowledge’ – Isys Drain

Qudus has chosen to explore the growth option, using his platform and access as a spring board for the growth of the dance industry rather than self-grafitication. 

The Lagos Contemporary Dance festival, also known as #danceGATHERING, is a five day activation and celebration of dance, preceded by an intensive dance training program called danceLab which runs into the festival and lends pieces to the final dance exhibition at the end of the festival.

The festival went beyond training and opened up hotspots for artistic exchange all over Lagos through various events like CROSSINGS (a conversation between two artists with various means of expression) and dancingCities (a street dance performance by artists within the community of choice and guest performers) all of which formed the body of festival.

The road map we followed throughout the festival was enough to cause one to think outside the box. The line-up gave no room for old thoughts only possibilities.

Though the year’s theme was MO•[VE]•MENTS, I experienced it within the various kinds of human interaction and the visible effects it had on the parties involved, be it the teacher-student relationships between the guest instructors and the participants of danceLab, the somewhat silent partnerships between the artists of CROSSINGS or the message passed from performer to audience. 

Words truly do not do the festival justice. Stand out performances for me on the final days were ‘Fatou Tas Tout Fait’ by Fatoumata Bagayakou which addressed female circumcision with a haunting yet liberating appeal,  ‘Iwalewa’ a piece I had seen in snippets but was finally able to witness in its entirety and was brought to tears by (yes I’m a cry baby but it’s got to be good work to open the flood gates) and of course ‘Ijo Agba’ because the music of the piece brought back loads of memories and I found the fusion of indigenous music and urban Nigerian dance styles, rather amusing.

There’s so much to say and I honestly would like to go on but for fear of boring your socks off, I’ll stop here and say some experiences are best had in person than through the words of another, so brace yourself for #danceGATHERING 2018 so we can experience it together. For now check out danceGATHERING on Instagram, Facebook, twitter and qdancecentre.com for more details.

Chei, the English it haff finish. I’m out.


danceGATHERING


danceGATHERING 
…repositioning dance in Nigeria…

http:/www.isysdrain.wordpress.com/danceGATHERING
danceGATHERING

           

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.

Press Release: danceGATHERING

Press Release: danceGATHERING

https://isysdrain.wordpress.com/danceGATHERING
#danceGATHERING

danceGATHERING : 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 to witness this year. The indefatigable 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. The laudable project had been given a major backing by the National Theatre, Institut Français, Goethe Institut and adopted by the Lagos @50 committee under the chairmanship of prof. Wole Soyinka. 

The event is designed to have a double face, a two weeks long dance lab (20 Feb. – 5 March 2017), which dissolves into a five days 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.” 

https://isysdrain.wordpress.com/qudusonikeku
Qudus Onikeku

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. ”

Within two weeks, Lagosians will witness an outpour of dance performances under DANCING CITIES and the INTERNATIONAL DANCE PLATFORM, there’ll equally be a dance and photography exhibition with the theme of MO|VE|MENTS, featuring 9 brilliant photographers from Lagos and Abuja, also in the program is CROSSINGS – an exciting creative space where 16 top Nigerian and international artist(e)s are paired to, share notes on their creative process andthought patterns before a live audience, not forgetting the MASTERCLASSES offered by the best in the field of dance, for practicing and prospective dancers.

At the danceGATHERING, there is something for everyone, and all the activities build up to the CLOSING NIGHT at the National Theatre, featuring two major works, one by the participants of the festival and another choreographed by the travelled dancer, choreographer and convener of the gathering himself, Qudus Onikeku, in collaboration with one of Nigeria’s leading theatre directors, Makinde Adeniran (of Saro, the musical).

For a Lagos Contemporary Dance Festival, where there are millions of people to be reached, danceGATHERING seeks to find new ways to be much more significant within such landscape, challenging both the local and visiting artistes to step out of bounds, provoke reactions and insist in being fully part of the city life, creating situations where a wider range of audience is stimulated and entertained, by providing for them a palette of diverse dance forms, both from the local and international dance artists. 

In that, the festival is therefore working to include dance, as part of the art forms rendering visible the multiple juxtapositions that shape daily life in Lagos. danceGATHERING is the first of its kind in Nigeria and arguable West Africa, and we invite you, a member of the fourth estate of the realm, and the people of Nigeria to be a part of this history-making event from February 20 to March 5 2017. 

My 2016: Blessing (Einsteinette)

It all started at midnight. On the 31st of December, my mother insisted that she wanted to crossover in church as she always did. We got to church and the usual Abuja Harmattan breeze was freezing. I tried to concentrate but it was not working. I had just had a tired day, in fact,  a tired year.

2015 had beat the hell out of me but it gave me rewards.  I lived on my own,  had a 6 figure monthly salary fresh out of NYSC,  learned more about the rural areas and the abject poverty people were exposed to and had learned more skills than any other year. I was still reminiscing when the pastor noticed people were sleeping and asked the choir to lead the church in Praise.

 

As the habitual yearly crossover took place,  my mind wandered to my goals. I had set them a week before December31, 2015. I was not a big fan of resolutions. I believed change was a journey not a magical wish.  I pondered on ways I had failed in 2015 but resolved to fix those shortcomings.

My thoughts were interrupted by the countdown to 1st of January2016. I joined in and by the stroke of midnight,  we were dancing and screaming. My phone buzzed with text messages, calls and the ever annoying business but deep inside my heart,  I knew there was more to 2016 than all these shenanigans. 

2016 was  the busiest,  riskiest, most adventurous year of my life. I thought 2015 was my biggest teacher but 2016 smashed 2015 like incredible hulk smashed Loki.

My key lessons of 2016 were simple but extremely relevant and guiding:

– independence comes at a price of responsibility.
-as you grow,  you will lose friends because no matter how you try 20 friends cannot play together for 20years. Don’t feel guilty when you can’t keep in touch with everyone. You don’t need the whole world to be friends with you.
– Your network is more valuable than money. Build a strong one and never joke with that network.
– Reading is important.  Knowledge is vital but without action,  you are just a decorative tree that has no fruit. Put your words and knowledge into action and demand of life what you want from it
– your determination and ability to solve people’s problems will take you places. Stop thinking about what people can do for you. Think of what you can do for people.
– social media is vital. Never underestimate its power
– Be financially responsible and work on developing skills and reinventing yourself
– Never be afraid to ask. The worst that can be said is no and it doesn’t kill. Biko follow me on Twitter and Instagram @@ms_einsteinette and I am looking to meet Chimamanda in 2017.If you have a link,  connect me. (I just asked)

-No more free service except reasonable value is in sight. If people want your service,  it means you’re good and should be well compensated financially for it.  

I learned more lessons and I am going into 2017 better than I was 365 days ago. I’d most likely share my 2017 journey with you(with Isys’ permission of course) but hey, be action driven this year.
If you are an entrepreneur my gift to you this season is: the Afropreneur.net
(you’re Welcome).
Own 2017.
Love,

Einsteinette