Choreographer: Qudus Onikeku
Music Performed By: Olatunde Obajeun (guitar), Samuel Abiodun (drums), Habeeb Ayodedji (flute)
Company: The Q Dance Company
Dancer: Qudus Onikeku
Production Manager: Lucille Haddad
Lighting: Matthew Yusuf
Set: Fernando Velazquez
By following Azaro through physical reality, we may begin to investigate it afresh, magically, through the eyes of someone who is a perpetual stranger to reality
Nigerian dancer, choreographer and activist Qudus Onikeku’s Spirit Child is inspired by Azaro, the child hero in Ben Okri’s prize-winning novel The Famished Road. The narrator, Azaro, is an abiku, a spirit child, who in the Yoruba tradition of Nigeria exists between life and death. He is a restless, ‘cyclical child’, one who keeps being born, dying and coming back.
With Spirit Child, a solo piece with three musicians, Onikeku proposes an alternative reality through which he explores and investigates his own dispositions: ‘Why am I here? Why do I stay in Nigeria when I have the possibility of a less stressful artistic career in France?’
Qudus Onikeku graduated from France’s École Supérieure des Arts du Cirque in 2009, with a special interest in acro-dance. After living in France, he returned to Nigeria in 2018 to undertake the next phase of his artistic research on body and memory. His work takes its influence from the Yoruba traditional culture, combining it with other influences, such as hip hop, tai chi and capoeira to weave a certain understanding of the human condition.
Qudus Onikeku will participate in a hosted conversation as part of the Critical Consciousness series, Who Am I? on 2 July at 14:00.
Co-production MC 93 / CCN de Créteil / CCN de Roubaix / Festival Africologne