A near-magical fusion of dance and acrobatics makes Qudus Onikeku a delight to watch. Yinka Olatunbosun reports


The best advice, albeit clichéd, any compere can give to the audience waiting to watch Qudus Onikeku perform, is “Don’t try this at home.” This young Nigerian acrobatic dancer-choreographer has become a metaphor of what crude oil is to Nigeria: exported, refined and imported. That sums up his life story but not his art. His style is mystical, larger than life and magnetic. Watching him for the first time perform at his eclectic show at the 2014 edition of Ake Arts and Book Festival (AABF) in Abeokuta, Ogun State, was a delightful experience. His dance production titled, “My Exile is in My Head’’, which is drawn from Soyinka’s experience penned down in the book, The Man Died , was staged for the first time in Nigeria.

Prior to graduating from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts du Cirque (meaning National Higher School of Circus Arts), France in 2009, Onikeku had always loved dancing.

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