A whirlwind of colour and rhythm from the heart of Lagos, Nigeria
To the rousing urban grooves of Lagos, the city brimming with youthful energy, Nigerian dancer and choreographer Qudus Onikeku returns to the afrobeat of the 1970s with contemporary hip-hop, dancehall and funky house. Re:INCARNATION is built around the three stages of reincarnation: birth, death, and rebirth. Carried by the group energy, the powerful personalities of the performers emerge quite clearly. Each one incorporates Fela Kuti's afrobeat roots in their own way, revisited from the dance and music styles of today. Thus, Re:INCARNATION shows the power of black culture, its uncompromising joy, and its ability to reinvent itself.
Run time 90 minutes
Location Internationaal Theater Amsterdam
Venue Grote Zaal
Afrobeat emerged from the unruly cocktail of jazz, soul-funk and traditional West African music and was introduced and 'made big' by Fela Kuti. The legendary Nigerian musician was inspired by the Black Power movement and made an important contribution to African cultural awareness with his music.
Qudus Onikeku's productions have been presented with great success at the Venice and Lyon Biennales and the Avignon Festival, among others. In Re:INCARNATION he builds a bridge to a brand new generation of Nigerian performers, who now feed their creativity through Instagram. Contemporary music dance forms from all over the world are now coming in via the smartphone. In Lagos, one of the most densely populated cities on the African continent, this has resulted in a creative explosion and an extremely vital youth culture.
In a five-year study, Qudus Onikeku asked his young dancers to look at their 'physical memory', i.e. the energy, memories and references that make them move without always being aware of it. Based on the Nigerian Yoruba culture, in which the idea of rebirth is central, the choreographer positions the physical memory of his dancers against how we in the West think about the cycle of life and death.
‘I found it interesting that these young people are re-appropriating this energy of the 1960s and 1970s, to reactivate it, to renew it, to reincarnate it in the present, consciously or unconsciously charged with past and present social struggles.’
Produced by The QDance Company
Executive Producer YK Projects (Paris)
Created and directed by Qudus Onikeku
Created with and performed by Wisdom Bethel + Addy Daniel + Patience Ebute + Esther Essien + Joshua Gabriel + Faith Okoh + Angela Okolo + Busayo Olowu + Adila Omotosho + Obiajulu Sunday Ozegbe
Live Music Victor Ademofe + Olatunde Obajeun
Lighting Design Mathew Yusuf
Costume Design Wack NG
Video Technician Isaac Lartey
Production Manager Jamaaldeen Fashola + Oluwaseyi Bakare
Production and Touring Alli Hajarat - The QDance Company
Co-produced by Biennale de la danse (Lyon) + Les Spectacles vivants - Centre Pompidou (Paris) + Les Halles de Schaerbeek (Bruxelles) Théâtre Paul-Éluard (Bezons) + Escales danse en Val-d’Oise + Théâtre national de Bretagne (Rennes)
With the support of ONDA (Paris)
Presented by La Presse
With the support of Institut Français + Consulat Général de France à Québec
In association with Place des Arts
Premiered at Centre Georges-Pompidou, Paris, on January 14, 2021