Tales of war, tears told in ‘WAF’ dance play

Fun lovers and entertainment enthusiasts gathered together to view, the much talked about Nigerian dance show, We Almost Forgot (WAF), at the Freedom Park, Lagos, recently.

The dance show, unveiled in Nigeria after a successful showcase in Berlin, Germany, was part of the Lagos Live Arts Festival at the Freedom Park, Marina and it gave Qudus Onikeku more than the one thousand people he’d estimated would watch his show.

The dance show invoked sympathy, serenity, and depicted the anguish and pain that the society was undergoing. It was also a  non-verbal dance with so much melee (albeit bloodless) and a craze that typifies today’s society which in his creative philosophy, suggests how ‘we almost forgot’ that the world was created with sanity and mankind was meant to co-exist peacefully.

Onikeku himself takes the lead in the one-hour drama, with an actress whose narrative further provoked the thoughts of the audience.

Onikeku’s play made use of music subtle sounds and as well as high energetic movements, as it narrates stories of war, crime, starvation, abuse and weirdness where everyone is victim and villain at some point.

The underlining message is that while the unusual has become the norm, we are reminded once in a while, of the law of retributive justice.

The Lagos leg of the show was later followed by another in Abuja hosted by the National Universities Commission, just as he is planning a Paris premiere on November 3.

The project has received active support from developmental agencies such as Bank of Industry, Goethe Institut, The French Institut and the German Embassy.

This work, which is Onikeku’s latest creation, pooled its cast from Nigeria, Gabon, Morocco, Algeria, Madagascar & France.

Onikeku is a graduate of The National Higher School of Circus Arts, France. For close to two decades now, he has constantly pushed the limits of dance beyond the shores of Africa, he is part of the new generation of international creators, whose works are redefining and refining African cultures and philosophy. He is known globally, for his solo works, writings and research projects. He was awarded “Dancer of the year” by the future awards in Nigeria in 2009, while in October 2010, his solo piece titled “My Exile is in my head” won “the best solo performance” during the Africa-wide dance encounters “Danse l’Afrique danse” in Bamako – Mali, and the 2012 “New choreographic talent” in France. A TED global fellow nominee and a visiting professor to the University of California. Davis. Qudus is a fluid traveler who shares his time between borders, but presently involved in various artistic projects, teachings and collaborations in Lagos, through The QDanceCenter.