France holds 1st International Dance Day celebration in Nigeria

By Fortune Abang

Abuja – The French Embassy in Nigeria, on Tuesday in Abuja hosted the International Dance Day (IDD) celebration for the first time in Nigeria.

The French Ambassador to Nigeria, Jérôme Pasquier, in his address at the event, said that the event with the theme: “Art in Public Spaces” was designed to strengthen relations with Nigeria.

According to him, “it is part of our efforts to build and strengthen relations with actors and stakeholders within the cultural sector.”

Pasquier said, “Nigeria is a very important country in Africa and we really want to develop our cooperation in all fields, including the field of culture which is very important.

“Dance is equally very important, we have many dancers in France but there is a potential of dance field in Nigeria, which is one area we can have bilateral exchange.

“We brought the event to Nigeria for the first time, as it coincides with the birth of Jean-Georges Noverre, the Frenchman generally recognised as the creator of modern ballet.

“It is also to celebrate universality and diversity of dance as an art form and as part of the first edition of the celebration in Nigeria.

“We are hosting the event in collaboration with Jemima Angulu, Director of Krump Dance Studios, who happens to be a beneficiary of this year’s ‘Itinéraire’ Culture.”

Mr Nduwhite Ahanonu, Curator of International Institute for Creative Development, said that dance had become an important tool for communication, therefore the need for people to celebrate it.

According to him, “ we need to begin to see dance as a tool to share and engage, as a tool to transcend and even enter into spaces.”

“Contemporary dance is something I think people should have the open mind to engage in, it is just like the next level of our traditional dance.

“It is very interesting because it is a means to express million messages all at once,” Ahanonu said.

Also speaking, Ms Jemima Angulu, a contemporary dance Instructor, defined dance as highly disciplined art and also best form to articulate messages.

“People who do not know how to dance need to go for dance classes; dance classes are designed to relieve stress, be more disciplined and be more empowered to understand body language.

“Dance is very important in our society; dance performances reflect the society besides just entertainment and gets people to think, it is easy to capture one’s heart with a dance,” Angulu said.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the high point of the event was panel discussion by Wale Aleb, a contemporary dance instructor Angulu and Nduwhite Ndubisi.

Also, was the dance performance and documentary titled, “Journey with Three Choreographers from Three Countries” and pictures of contemporary dance in Africa and Dance for Change produced by Cécile Théry.

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