This is an excerpt from a series of interviews from February 2018, presented in partnership with ICDF’s Network for Men in Dance.
Nnamudi Ibe (Nigeria)
Interviewer: Are there exciting opportunities in Nigeria for male dancers to showcase their work? Or is dance so embedded in your culture that it is taken for granted?
Opportunities for a male dancer? Wow, very many. Actually, there are more male dancers into the “extreme” dance practice than female dancers. Extreme dance practice like the western genres -breaking, krump, bboying etc. yes, there are females though, but males dominate.
The issue is that down here, for a dancer to get to the limelight, you must be willing to go HARD, DOUBLE HARD — and you must believe in your art.
Otherwise, you would have to depend on music artistes to call you to dance in their videos or events managers to hire you. Guess what, the payment is really poor. Except when you have made a “big name”. But, we have great male dancers that are globally recognized, though they are very few.
One of your cover pictures says, ‘i Think, i Create, i Write, i Dance.’ I like that. I like the small i, but also I relate to being a writer and a dancer. You write and you dance. But for you does writing come out of thinking or instinct? And does dancing come out of thinking or instinct?
Hahaha. Thank you for the complement on my cover photo. The idea is that there are many things that i can do. Dance is the dominating ability, the others are more minor, but i found a way to link them all up. i write my choreography, first before i dance them. Is it out of thinking or instinct? The answer is both.
Most times, i think about the choreography based on what the occasion i am meant to perform it is about. i will always ask for the theme of the event, so i can associate my performance to that. On getting that, iThink about a suitable choreography, then iCreate the choreography by first writing (iWrite) the choreography on paper. Then, iDance it. The other times, by instincts… i write and i dance by instincts as well. My writing and dancing has 60% relation to my own personality most times.
I have also written and danced alot of times, by Holy Ghost inspiration. I can’t forget to add that. I remember when i had finished a Choreo, then i felt this impulse to change it to something i didn’t rehearse. After the choreography, the preacher that day said, “You have just simplified my message”… i got to know that was God.
Men in Dance Network
Any man interested in dance can just go on Facebook, type in ‘Men in Dance Network’, and ask to join the group.
(If there are women who have questions, or are looking for pointers about working alongside men as dancers, we’ll be trying to build up suggestions and resources for that also, as Frequently Asked Questions. So address any enquiries to Andy Raine.)