IN a bid to use dance as a tool for talent and community development, The QDance Centre, which is an initiative registered under the Creative Culture Support Foundation, presents Dancing Cities, a unique dance concert / dance competition that holds within the communities every trimester, moving from one neighborhood to the other. It is to be a confluence of various dance forms, whether it is hip-hop or ballet, ballroom or Afrobeat, contemporary or traditional dance styles.
According to Qudus Onikeku, founder and creative director of the centre, “the criteria for selection are, creativity and innovation in delivery.” Qudus, who is one of Nigeria’s biggest dance exports, formerly based in Paris, has returned to Lagos to develop various dance related projects, Dancing Cities is his latest brainchild.
“The objective is to engage young people in creative endeavours, to build confidence and self realisation, to create excitement and social cohesion within various communities through dance, which allows us as dancers, to be a part of the social life of the cityscape,” he stressed. In a statement made available to The Guardian, Qudus said, “we shall host three preliminary Dancing Cities every quarter in accessible spaces, within various neighborhoods where communal activities already take place, such as football fields, playing grounds, car parks, community centres etc. The debut edition will hold on March 21 in Yaba, and in June, Oshodi will host, thereafter, “it will be the turn of Festac in September.
“In each of these cities, we shall select the top three dance crews/groups, each crew/group get a financial support to perfect their choreographies, with a possibility of using our dance studio in Yaba, with an assigned mentor choreographer, in preparation for the Grand finale that will happen in December 2015, where awards and cash prizes shall be given. The following year, we follow similar pattern for another set of communities.”
Dancing Cities will equally provide a platform for local talents within these communities, to showcase their talents and be as well discovered. As part of the reward for taking part in this innovative process, nine Crews/groups will go through a well-rounded mentorship experience with renowned dance professionals, and at the end they will compete for the N2 million naira cash prize, which will be shared amongst the first, second and third winners at the grand finale. 1 male and 1 female dancer of the year shall equally enjoy scholarship, for local and international trainings the following year. This is to be an alternative educational unit set up to lead young dance stars towards professionalism.
The debut edition will hold at the popular Abete field, Iwaya. Yaba, from 2pm till 7pm.