An international collective of African dancers participated in the Festival of Marseille in southern France in a bid to highlight the diversity of dance across the Continent.
“For me, there is no such thing as African dance. There are many types of dance in Africa. So now, if we look at it from the point of view then we can see that between Abidjan and Accra and Lagos and Johannesburg and Luanda and Maputo and Morocco and Cairo, it’s all different. So there is no way we can uniform all of that. And that for me is what we have to try as much as possible to do: to bring people from different sensibilities and different ways of moving to come and create a kind of a shock of encounter between all of them together”, said Qudus Onineku, Nigerian choreographer and founding member of the collective.
The Afropolis Tribe collective aims to create its own platform to challenge the power of big social networks.
“Maybe we need communities more than globalization. Maybe we need intercommunal exchange: the communities of dancers in London come together with the communities of dancers in Paris and they form another kind of community. So for me that is the reason why we are creating this platform so that we can do something smaller and much more controlled”, added the Nigerian choreographer.
Around 60 artists and technicians participate in this event. For the dancers, it’s all about creating magic through rhythm.
“We have just finished a session that we call “Edon”. “Edon” in my language in Nigeria means “performance” and “magic”. So we just created magic here through using the dance styles from Lagos, that’s the street dance style from Lagos and an element, and new fusion of afro-house, from Angola and South Africa”, said Nigerian dancer Adila Omotosho.
The Afropolis Tribe collective ws founded in 2017 in Nigeria and counts more than 12,000 active members.