Memory in movement
Paris-based dancer Qudus Onikeku’s performance film trilogy Right Here, Right Now screens in a blacked-out room. Guests at the opening found the work intense or even overwhelming, but ultimately transcendent. A few days later Onikeku performed to an enchanted audience (pictured). The trilogy is presented as an investigation through dance of the workings of body memory and its connection to national consciousness. Born in Lagos in 1984, Onikeku was educated in Châlons-enChampagne, France, and cites the Yoruba culture as his primary influence, with hip hop, capoeira, and contemporary dance vocabularies also playing a part in his choreography. One of Nigeria’s most outstanding dancers, he was selected as the winter 2013 Granada artist-in-residence at the University of California Davis. Some of his dance projects include: Do We Need Coca-cola to Dance? (2007), an urban dance project in various African cities; I Must Set Forth (2009) at the Bates Dance Festival in Lewiston, Maine; My Exile is in my Head (2010) at Centquatre in Paris; and STILL/LIFE (2011) at the Festival d’avignon. Onikeku is also the founder of DANCEGATHERING Lagos, an international festival inaugurated this year that was incorporated into the Lagos@50 celebrations in March.