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March 13-14, 2020 • 7:30 p.m.
Spirit Child is inspired by the main character in Nigerian author Ben Okri’s Booker Prize winning novel, The Famished Road. The spirit child, Azaro, is restless, caught between life and death, Earth-bound reality and an idyllic spirit world. Onikeku, along with Uruguayan artist Fernando Velazquez and musicians, has created an atmosphere of transition between the enchanted world of dreams and spirits and the world of the living. Spirit Child offers the audience a meditative journey into dreamscapes, creating a poetry that brings a new kind of truth, or an old truth that we stopped paying attention to.
Nigerian movement artist Qudus Onikeku was a practitioner-in-residence at Columbia in the fall of 2018 and divides his time between France and Nigeria. He is the founder and artistic director of YK Projects Paris and QDanceCenter Lagos. His artistic research intersects his interest in body memory and finding new vocabularies for performance, embracing an artistic vision that both respects and challenges Yoruba culture and contemporary dance. Onikeku has participated in major exhibitions and festivals across 56 countries including the Venice Biennale, Biennale de Lyon, Festival d’Avignon, TEDGlobal, and Dance Umbrella (London). His practice centers on the body’s capacity to store memories and inherited traumas—and to restore and heal both the dancer and the audience.
Post-Performance Conversation: Friday, March 13 and Saturday, March 14