Nov 11, 2008

the version workshop

When Isoko boy taught Lagosians the art of dancing, choreography

By Yejide Gbenga-Ogundare

Dredvgil with a friend
Discovering the inner self and free ones creative mind is not only an important requirement in the art world but also an essential requirement for every individual that desires success in life. It is in this vein that Dredvgil, a professional art and dance organisation, organised an art workshop/ seminar titled ‘THE VERSION’ to train individuals to discover themselves and free their creativity and individualism free of charge.

The workshop was organised as a result of the Dredvgil coordinator’s passion to impart what he learnt as a professional choreographer and dancer to other dancers and those who are aspiring to go into the profession.

The organiser, Etagweyo Vincent Onorkarte, told The Lagos Magazine that the workshop is his own way of contributing to the development of Art. “This is basically my own contribution to the arts. It is just a tip off the iceberg as I look forward to doing more in the future especially in the area of collaborating with other artistes to project Arts in all its genres.

The workshop had many highlights which included talks from people in the academia. Mrs. Yeside Lawal, a lecturer from the Lagos State University (LASU) was at the workshop to talk on the essence of dance and how to merge traditional dances like bata with contemporary moves without losing the basic flavour while also tracing the origin of dance and how important it is in all aspects of the cultural life.

The event was, however, not about talks alone, the practical aspect was also exploited well. Dancing techniques and styles were taught by various professional dancers and how one can bring out individualism in dance was also looked into.

Though the programme was organised and funded by Vincent, he had the assistance of other professional dancers like Justin Ezirin, Anthony Odey, Kenneth Enebeli, Chinedu Nwanoyiri, Ndidi Okocha, Preye Yebowe and a host of other colleagues in the art world.

Because the workshop is meant to impart knowledge, the organiser does not want it to be a one time thing. It is expected that more workshops in this line will come up periodically if more funds could be generated. “This workshop is aimed at bringing out the talent in individual participant. Finding the ‘you in you’ and other things that many do not consider in dance but are quite important. We hope that after this, we could have funding or grants from individuals and organisations to help continue the programme.

Another core aim of the event is to educate youths especially those in the arts not to deviate from the tradition but to bring individualism to it to reflect creativity in a typically African fashion.

Vincent hails from Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State. He finished studying dancing in the year 2000 and went fully into dancing at the National Theatre though it was not a profession he wanted to embrace fully but because it was a way of freeing his mind, he continued and fell in love with the profession. In 2004, he decided to become a learned dancer by going to school. He was admitted to study dance and music at the diploma level in the Lagos State University, Ojo.

He has performed with various organisations like Black Marbles Academy and Body Language Klinic among others before striking out on his own. He has traveled to London, Sri Lanka and France to perform and has been engaged in various shows as dance instructor among which is the celebrity takes 2 reality shows that came up in 2007. He has just finished a three-month tour of France with renowned choreographer, Heddy Maalem and the company is presently preparing for a month tour of the United States of America.

Yejide Gbenga

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