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Qudus Onikeku: If I Had a Word, I Would not be Dancing

In the age when the idea of choosing “dance” as a career not only seemed abominable but equally forbidden, saying that Qudus Onikeku’s choice and remarkable advancement of a dance profession is laudable is definitely no small praise. Qudus Onikeku is an energetic dancer whose performances always leaves the audience yearning for more. Spectacle and beauty are two things via which he draws in his audience while fluidity and high energy are major hallmarks of his renditions. For him it is not just dance, but presenting a collage of experiences per time to his audience that reaches the depth of their soul and awakens even the tiniest of their sensibilities. It does not have to be logical, he says, because if it were, the experience might only last a day or two and be forgotten.

Onikeku is the Founder/Artistic Director of the YK Projects, Paris and the QDance Centre, Lagos. Indeed, he is a Visiting Professor of the University of California- Davis. I spoke with him about his life and art form. Enjoy.

Why do you dance, what does Dance mean to you?

Everything. When I discovered dance at the age of 13, I lost everything else. I lost interest in everything else. When I met with objections at home, the obedient part of me wanted to obey. But it is like taking the breath away. Everything I have done in my life is through dance...


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