• 30 Jun 2022 6:05 pm


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The annual maiden edition of the Lagos dance festival at Shodex gardens exhibited fascinating dance and motivational guests on the 18th of December 2021

Regarded as a breath of fresh air for the Lagos Dance industry amidst the long-term performance halting courtesy of the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic

Inspiring mentorship talk by Ms. Ukalina Celine Opuwari, the festival also featured performances from Theater centric, Okachama dance troupe, Footprints of David, Boogie bee entertainment,
Akuja Creative Arts, Art castle Academy, Kings and queens Dance Company and Oworo Dance Artistes, with Segun Adefila, Sarah Boulos, Peter Badejo Obe, Julius Tunde Kolade FTAN, Brendan Nsikak, Amb. Abel Utuedor, Dr Toyin Olokodana James, Hamzat Barshan and Charles Ofodum Esq (PeacePro), as special guests in attendance

In her extensive opening remarks, Ugo Obiayo Esq. (Chairman, Guild Of Nigerian Dance Practitioners) stated, “While there were losses experienced by so many during the outbreak of Covid-19, the realities of those who survived were drastically altered, and forced to accept what is, just as they are; Schools were called off, Private clients no longer needed dance services, Venues were shut down from hosting events, Leisure shows were no longer held and The world went to sleep”

“For a whole year, there was nothing but desolation, so survival became the only thought uppermost in every mind. Thus Lagos Dance Festival is  introduced as an event that would commemorate the resilient spirit of all dance practitioners, Lagosians and the dance industry for keeping on”

On government support and talents mastering their craft, the Chief Coordinator of the community-based GONDP Dance Artistes Forums and Member, Dance Council for the regulation of the Arts Forums proceeded, “As creatives, we hold the key and power to being the force behind the execution and coordination of many programmes that our government introduce on Theatre, art and fun. This is because we are custodians of creativity and if we present ourselves as knowledgeable and trained, they would be most willing to consult us on these areas of speciality”

“Seeking government support in all ramification is not often easy, however, if they can see the dedication, persistent and drive with which practitioners and the dance industry continue to pull through different programmes that have direct connections with their policies, tourism, arts and culture, which in turn have a tremendous impact on the society, they will be forced to reckon with us. The drive, therefore, is to continue to do more”

“The relevance of the Artistes Forums can never be overemphasized. As earlier stated, it is a ‘Hub’ for artistic, intellectual and communal explorations”

“Based on their work location or environment of residence, dance practitioners are encouraged to join a Forum that is most accessible to them. The Guild believes that every dancer should be able to serve the community which nurtured them while aspiring for the top. Therefore each forum must strive to ensure that dance practitioners benefit from programmes designed for capacity building, personal and community development etc”

“The best of performers are relentless in their dedication to attaining perfection. We are hereby encouraged to put in that extra effort to upgrading our crafts, to stay tops and remain relevant”

“Furthermore, practitioners must learn to co-operate, collaborate and partner with one another or with organisations outside the scope of dance. Exploring different opportunities can be a great tool in the innovation of dance and other art forms, therefore one must continue to take advantage of every experience in the furtherance of their craft

“Dance artists are unique because dance is a unique profession that has come to stay. We must continue to use it as a tool for promoting tourism, arts and culture in Lagos State and beyond, this way, we will be projecting the beauty, splendour and versatility of our dances and industry to the world”

On GONDP, the state chairman surmised, “The journey of a thousand miles they say begins with a step, so can be said about this present administration of the Guild Of Nigerian Dance Practitioners, Lagos state, which I have the honour of leading”

“I say this because it has been quite a journey laced with challenges and conflicts, trusts as well as scepticism, successes and failures, yet in the face of it all, we have continued to stay strong and dedicated to serving the Guild, and in service to the practitioners whom we owe commitment”

“The efforts to make the dance industry conducive for practice requires the involvement of everyone, and the Guild is ever ready to help champion this cause. This is could be said to have begun through its “Artists Forum” Initiative”

“The essence of the Forums is to help establish a formidable connection between the Guild and practitioners, all the way to the grassroots or communities, as the case may be. This also is to demystify the notion that the Guild, as well as its Executives and forum Coordinators, are unreachable to the practitioners. Now through the Forums, every dancer has the right and privileged of direct access to Guild’s representatives”

“The Artistes Forum Initiative which is successfully operating in Bariga, Ajegunle, Lagos Island, Surulere, Oworonshoki, Ketu-Kosofe-Mile, Badagry, was also structured to be a hub for intellectual and creative discoveries and projections, as well as a platform for unifying the creatives and the leaders towards achieving individual and community development, capacity building and more. Based on the above, we desire to ensure that the Initiative grows beyond the few communities that have been activated, and with the collective support of practitioners, other communities would be established” Ugo Obiayo Esq. Asserted

On the latter, an award of honour was presented to dedicated members of the Guild across Lagos state.


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