The UK premiere tour of Qudus Onikeku and The QDance Company’s dazzling Re:INCARNATION

The creative dance energy of Nigerian mega-city Lagos hits UK stages.

12 June 2024


The creative dance energy of Nigerian mega-city Lagos hits UK stages.

“This is Afrodance, young Africans talking”

UK premiere: Southbank Centre's Queen Elizabeth Hall, 18 & 19 September.

Nine-venue Dance Consortium tour runs until 19 October.
This autumn, Nigeria’s ground-breaking The QDance Company led by choreographer Qudus Onikeku makes its UK debut with Re:INCARNATION, an explosive mix of dance, colour, sound, visuals and energy. The show opens on 18 & 19 September at the Southbank Centre's Queen Elizabeth Hall before embarking on a nine-venue UK tour.

Onikeku created Re:INCARNATION in 2021 as an ode to the riches of Nigerian culture. His dance, music, fashion and visual art fusion mixes ancient Yoruba philosophy with the rhythm and spirit of the country’s hyper-vibrant youth culture – and puts Lagos on stage in a way that’s never done before.

Re:INCARNATION is the result of six years of continuous movement research around body memory with young dancers in Nigeria. Its ten young dancers are strikingly individual, each brings their own personal journey to the stage and together they embody Yoruba’s ever-turning cycle of birth, death and rebirth. Dressed in a kaleidoscopic array of colour and cloth, body paint, masks and props, they move with exuberant energy and uncompromising joy.

Two live musicians on drums and electric guitar, often joined by trance-like vocals from the dancers, bring some of the wealth and profusion of Nigerian music to the stage. The score is a vibrant blend of hip-hop, contemporary music and Afrobeats, itself an ecstatic fusion of genres including juju music, jazz, soul and highlife. 

Nigeria has the largest population of youth in the world - around 70% of the population is under 30 and 42% under the age of 15*. And by 2099 Lagos is set to be the biggest city in the world.

Qudus Onikeku says: “I am excited to introduce The QDance Company to audiences across the UK. The key thing for me is to show what dance can be in contemporary Africa, it feels like we are starting something. This is Afrodance, young Africans talking. Re:INCARNATION is about bringing Lagos on stage in a way that’s never been seen before – its groove, its history and what the city means to so many people.“

The Southbank Centre has become the latest member of Dance Consortium, a group of 19 large-scale venues with a shared mission to tour the best international contemporary dance across the UK and Ireland.