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I Must Set Forth – Qudus Onikeku

September 18, 2009

“Where is your home?” … “As in, where are you based?” … “Where do you spend most of your time living?” … ‘ooooh! Facebook!’ Qudus Onikeku was born and raised in Nigeria. But where is his home? He sits, crossed legged, and speaks as if having a personal conversation. He would like to know, where is home? Maybe, he says, home is our bodies. And with that, he begins to sing a song, one that is not American.

Credit: Arthur Fink Photography

Credit: Arthur Fink Photography

Qudus’ strength is evident from the beginning. With incredible attention to detail, his torso, arms, hands, fingers, toes are all under his control. He moves quickly with his core, moving this abdomen in and out, knees bent, hovering. Rolling, crawling and reaching he moves swiftly around the stage. He places his hands at his center as if holding a ball and gyrates around it with his entire body, circling around his home. At times the movement is too fast for they eye to fully perceive. With acrobatic precision he reaches back to perform an uncountable number of back flips and the sweat that flings from his body paints the air ten feet above. The entire scrim fills with the image of Qudus dancing, with short cuts of him hopping or swinging his body around a darkened space. He stands, sweating, and takes off his shirt. This is Qudus. This is his body. This is his home.

Credit: Arthur Fink Photography

Credit: Arthur Fink Photography

What did you expect to see after the informal beginning?

Were you able to feel the intensity of his movements?

Have you seen any other dances that express how one’s body can be one’s home?

Is your body your home?

You can see what Qudus is up to at his blog:

Different Voices, August 7th, 2009
Schaeffer Theatre, Bates Dance Festival
Bates College, Lewiston, Maine

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 26, 2009 8:44 pm

    I’ve seen Qudus perform a couple of times and I seem to agree with you. This piece is short, sweet and very descriptive…

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