Barcelona cultura

Qudus Onikeku


Mercat de les Flors - Sala Maria Aurèlia Capmany 06/07 - 07/07

The essence of present-day Africa, contemporary dance and new urban rhythms are the material used by a Nigerian dancer and choreographer to explore the wealth of african cultures, helped by a musician and ten dancers.

Birth, death, re-birth... The Yoruba people, an ethnic and linguistic group originating from an area that spans Nigeria and Benin who, due to the African diaspora, have seen their cultural influence extend to the Caribbean and Brazil, base their religious beliefs on the concept of reincarnation. So they think of time and space somewhat differently from the way they are conceptualised in the western world and they have a cyclical concept of time. This concept of reincarnation is at the centre of a new show from Qudus Onikeku, a Nigerian artist from the movement that uses different languages to explore body memory (the capacity of bodies, and not just the brain, to remember) based on elements of Yoruba culture and contemporary dance. There’s nothing unusual about that, as the body plays a notable role in Yoruba culture, which sees it as a point of connection between the physical and spiritual worlds. The African people, their cultures and the problems that come from colonialism, as well as exile and political instability, are central in the work of this artist, one of the best-known representatives of the new generation of African creators. He founded The People Centre (formerly The Qdance Center) in Lagos and promoted the DanceGathering, a multidisciplinary creation and experimentation laboratory from where, over the last few years, Qudus Onikeku has been finding the performers you will be seeing on stage. They are representatives of the new generation of artists from Lagos, marked by the Nigerian capital's chaos and without any classical or western training. They are however very well acquainted with afrobeat, a rhythm created from a mixture of jazz, soul, funk and the sounds of West Africa invented by the great Fela Kuti. That original afrobeat, however, lives on today influenced by new urban rhythms. Dancehall, afro-beat, funky house and even capoeira have been a total revelation and are today some of the elements on which Onikeku is continuing his exploration of body memory. You will see dancers in the show reclaiming the energy of 1960s and 1970s afrobeat, to bring it back to life today and connect it to the social struggles of our time. All this, using a fully contemporary choreographic vocabulary, brightly coloured costumes, images of great beauty and a philosophical approach that feeds off traditional African culture and beliefs.

We were able to meet Qudus Onikeku at the III International Performing Arts Gathering Africa Moment 2019, where he presented for the first time his first dance lecture Africaman Original at the Center for Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCCB). On this occasion, Qudus Onikeku ais coming to the city with his entire company to present the piece Re-Incarnation (July 6 and 7) and to perform Afropolis 2021, which will take place from July 10 to 18 at the Graner.

A coproduction by Biennale de la danse – Lyon, Les Spectacles vivants-Centre Pompidou – Paris, les Halles de Schaerbeek – Bruxelles, Théâtre Paul Eluard – Bezons et Théâtre National de Bretagne.

With the support of Escales danse en Val d’Oise.

Artistic card

Conception and artistic direction: Qudus Onikeku With the company dancers and collaborators: Adila Omotosho, Ambrose Tjark, Angela Okolo, Oluwabukunmi Olukitibi, Busayo Olowu, Faith Okoh, Joshua Gabriel, Sunday Ozegbe, Patience Ebute, Yemi Osokoya Live music: Olatunde Obajeun Lights design: Mathew Yusuf Costumes design: Ambrose Tjark for WACK NG Stage manager: Isaak Lartey Mask makers: Nas Magnificent, Yusuf Aina Abogunde. Production: The QDance Company – Lagos Diffusion: Anne-Sophie Dupoux. Production Nigéria: The QDance Company – Lagos (Hajarat Alli, Suliat Adams, Temitayo Oke) Production France: YK Projects, Etat d’esprit productions Booking Spain -Portugal: Africa Moment Photography: Herve Veronese (Centre Pompidou), Jean Couturier

Multimedia gallery


Discipline Dance

Dates and schedules Tuesday 6/7 - 20:00 H Wednesday 7/7 - 20:00 H

Space Mercat de les Flors

Duration 90 min

Price 25 €

Other criteria International


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