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British Council Nigeria promotes social inclusion and intercultural understanding in a thrilling Dis Fix project featuring disabled and non-disabled dancers GBENGA OGUNDARE for two days on the trot last week , The Muri Okunola Park on Victoria Island hosted a uniquely gifted dancers who thrilled their audience to a spectacular dance and drama that explored diverse social issues across cultures.

A culmination of several months of collaboration between three dance companies from Nigeria and the United Kingdom,the show featured performances by three participating companies–the UK’s leading physically integrated dance company, Candoco; leading Nigerian dance company, QDance Center which is led by eclectic choreographer, Qudus Onikeku; as well as Ijodee Dance, another leading Nigerian dance company led by Dayo Liadi.

The performance by QDance Center titled ‘Iwalewa’ explores the different concepts of beauty and engages diverse social issues through the eyes of the disabled dancers.
The performance featured four disabled dancers and six non-disabled counterparts.

The performance by the UK’s Candoco Dance Company titled “Studies to C”, was a duet, performed by one disabled and one non-disabled dancers. It depicts a couple trapped in a stagnating relationship, unable to escape the domestic world they inhabit because their reliance on each other has become so strong.

The last performance of the night was by Ijodee dance company, featuring two disabled and one non-disabled dancers, who displayed an infectious energy through their performance of the piece “Ni’Sonilojo’ which explores the theme of co-existence.

For the crowd of human rights advocates in Nigeria, the British Council Nigeria initiative is spectacular for apparent reason. If not for anything, at least the fact that it offers persons living with disabilities in the society who are often stigmatized and marginalized the platform to showcase their talents despite their physical challenges. So in a way, the British Council Nigeria has succeeded in stepping up the advocacy campaigns for social inclusion of disabled persons in the society once again.

Ojoma Ochai, Arts Director at the British Council Nigeria said: “Dis Fix is a brilliant showcase of Nigerian and British creativity. These performances are the culmination of a hugely innovative project that has promoted inclusivity and excellence across the arts…’

‘…we are glad that the performances lived up to expectations and more importantly, very glad that people came out to see the performances.”

The thrilling dance fiesta was also accentuated by great music performances from musicians Keziah Jones and Debie.

UK/Nigeria 201516 is a major season of arts in Nigeria aimed at building new audiences, creating new collaborations and strengthening relationships between the UK and Nigeria.
Designed in association with a host of partners, it features more than 30 projects and more than 80 events in art, fashion, design, theatre, dance, music, literature and film throughout Nigeria and includes showcases of Nigerian arts and creative industries in the UK.

UK/Nigeria 201516 has a focus on creating access to art, new digital work, innovation, art in public spaces and working with young people.

Partnerships between Nigerian and British artists, institutions and organisations will be at the heart of the season which aims to develop skills and capacity across the creative industries.

The programme will run until April 2016, creating new connections in arts, education, innovation, trade and investment.

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