New Red Bull TV documentary sheds light on Nigerian dance scenes and heritage of Afro Dance.
‘(Un)credited – The Story of Afro Dance’ is a new Red Bull TV documentary that shines a light on the contributions of Nigeria’s Afro Dance scene to mainstream pop culture featuring backstories and performances from established and upcoming artists. Here is all you need to know:
– Set in Lagos, the documentary highlights the power of dance in Nigeria and how African music and its dance steps saw Afro Dance become a worldwide sensation, even though the movement’s creators were often unrecognized for their work while carving out a living.
– With Red Bull Dance Your Style Nigeria 2019 as a backdrop, Red Bull TV viewers from December 6 will be introduced to some of the dancers who competed in the event throughout the illuminating documentary.
– It features elders from the Nigerian dance scene giving their views on how dancers are treated and seeing their dances go worldwide including Yeni Kuti, the daughter of Fela Kuti – an Afrobeat pioneer.
– As artists from the global performing industry incorporate African-inspired dance movements into their videos, dancer Iziegebe Odigie describes Lagos, Nigeria as the hub of Afro Beat. “This is like New York City or L.A.,” she says, “especially with the new wave of Afro Dance that’s starting to catch wildfire on TikTok, Instagram, YouTube.”
– Kafayat Oluwatoyin Shafau, aka ‘Kaffy’, the acknowledged ‘queen’ of Nigerian dance is on a mission to elevate dancers to the same level as the music artists who have enjoyed bigger fame thanks to Afro Dance getting millions of social media views. She comments, “If you look at African culture… that is so powerful. Some of the moves that are going viral now, if you break them down to the core, it’s coming from our traditional movement.”
– There are also interviews with famous Afrobeats artist Davido – whose song ‘Skelewu’ became one of the biggest dance songs in Africa in 2013 – as well as Hermès, a dancer who blew up through a solo section he did in one of Davido’s videos but still stays and lives in the local community.
– Elsewhere, Dream Catchers Academy founder Seyi Oluyole reveals how a short dance video that she filmed with her kids – at the free educational boarding school for orphaned girls that merges education and art – went viral and inspired supermodel Naomi Campbell to visit her school.
– Red Bull Dance Your Style dancers Blayke and BJ Miah are among the 16 dancers who featured in the national final with Blayke feeling the pressure of needing to help support his large family as a clothes maker. The inspirational global dance contest has given him a platform to reignite his belief in making it as a dancer after losing motivation for dance and not competing in an event since 2017.
– Meanwhile, BJ Miah, a student of Blayke, sees Red Bull Dance Your Style as a way to aid him in changing the perspective of his parents, and everyone else, who do not see dance as a viable career for him.
– Other national finalists include P-Boi, C-Fly, Sarah Bhlac, Smack, Locking-Mike, Sage Youngsmack, Reck Empire, Charles, TomTom, Big Chinx, and Locking-Sion who showcase famous Afro dance steps, like Afro JuJu, Makosa, Swo, Galala, Azonto, Etigi, Sekem, Shaku Shaku and more. (Red Bull Via Reuters)