Endless smoke of sage fill the air. Qudus Onikeku’s choreography and solo dance moves portraying the Yoruba’s spirit child is a journey, not a performance.
“We are going to agree to go on a journey. This is not a show. On this journey, knowledge won’t help you”.
The choreography is an out of body experience reincarnating fallen heroes of the African continent and those whose spirits were enslaved abroad, the Orient as well.
Spirit Child is a non-linear performance with no beginning and no end – like the human spirit. It comes alive over and over again through Onikeku’s movements resembling the Yoruba cosmology centred in the spirit of the living; the ancestors and the yet-to-be-born spirits.
It bears a dragging boredom which Onikeku mentions to be deliberate, descriptive of how unsettling and boring an unsettled spirit seeking a body can be.
Nigerian-born Onikeku reincarnates the spirits of Fela Kuti, Steve Biko, Winnie Nomzamo Madikizela-Mandela, Maya Angelou, Chinua Achebe, Edward Said and John Coltrane. His incredible movement of tendons and joints is light as a feather and heavy as the twins as omens in Yoruba culture.
Onikeku spans his arms. The wings of African birds reclaiming the African sky. It is an incredible body of work which moves swiftly and heavily, urging your spirit would to reincarnate with all your yesterdays.
Spirit Child is on the Main. Last show Tuesday 2cnd July at 11am.
Dancer and choregrapher: Qudus Onikeku
Music: Olatunde Obajeun (guitar), Samuel Abiodun (drums), Habeeb Ayodedji (flute)
Production manager: Lucille Haddad
Lighting: Matthew Yusuf
Set: Fernando Velazquez