Nigeria’s frontline advocate for arts and creativity, Trufest International Dance Festival has continued to attract participation by younger generation dance companies from within and outside the country.
The dance buffs and contemporary dance enthusiasts were treated to an evening of entertaining dance sessions at Alliance Francaise Mike Adenugba Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos, for the 10th editon in Lagos. It was the opening ceremony of this year’s edition of the festival, which marked its 10th anniversary in Lagos. No fewer than 12 dance troupes will be on stage all through the duration of the festival, which will run till October 6.
Founded by Adedayo Liadi’s Ijodee Art Organisation, the festival uses dance as a medium of communication and breaking boundaries in the country, on the continent and the world at large.
Liadi said the idea of Trufest Festival came to him while he was in Uruguay in 2003 during a festival. “Then, I was part of Dance Meet Dance Festival. From 2006 till now, we are still pushing on and it has been free of charge for all participants including workshop, feeding and gift items. Importantly, the festival is to impact knowledge and create opportunities for younger ones. With the level of participation from young dancers, I begin to have a strong hope for the future,” he said.
He noted that this year’s festival, which has as theme Creating new opportunities festival was to tour university campuses in Port Harcourt, Oyo, Bayelsa and Lagos. “Unfortunately, I got information that schools would not be in session. So, we decided to cancel the tour of cities and focus on touring Lagos. Now, the festival will move from Ikoyi to Ajegunle and Bariga,” he added.
On selection of final participants for the festival, he said: “We sent out call for entries and we got about 50. And 15 entries were selected out of 50 received. But, we made sure the entries contain messages that the audience will take home.”
Participating companies featuring at the festival are from France, South Africa, Benin, Cote D’ Ivoire and Nigeria and they include Ijolomo Dance Company, Ennovate Dance House, Ijogbenro Dynamic Troupe, Mary (Soloist), I Dance Network, Danzkiijo Arts Productions, Crown Troupe of Africa, Ijodee Arts, Moseg Creativities, African Ribs, Dynamic Tales Entertainment Company and Alapelaca Inc.
The festival promotes artistes, the dance companies and also contributes to the socio-cultural and economic development of Nigeria. It accommodates solos, duets, trios and group dance performances.
Trufesta festival focuses on new and old dance creations from different parts of the world and creates opportunities for emerging creative talents (dance artistes and choreographers) of different backgrounds to collaborate, share ideas, work together, exchange experiences, network and perform together.
Since 2006 the festival has hosted creative works from Europe, Africa, South America, Canada, Australia, USA and Asia.
The festival creates positive energy, unity amongst artistes, good atmosphere to learn, improve and showcases great performances at various levels. It also promotes conventional and unconventional works, dance classes, workshops, discussions and seminar. Over the years, the platform has become the meeting point for the town and gown to deliberate and work as one big family in the same space for the progress of dance.