QDance Company makes its UK debut with Re:INCARNATION

QDance Company makes its UK debut with Re:INCARNATION

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. This marks a new partnership between the Southbank Centre and Dance Consortium, sharing a mission to present the best international contemporary dance to as wide an audience as possible.

Qudus 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. 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.

The multi-sensorial 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. 

Born in Lagos in 1984, Qudus Onikeku works internationally across the artforms, mixing traditional African dance with hip-hop, acrobatics, music, video, literature and architecture. He moved to France in 2004, trained at the National Centre for Circus Arts and set up his own Paris-based company YK Projects in 2009. In 2014, he brought his company to Lagos. Back home, he set up his social enterprise the QDance Center as a resource, training and talent-development organisation for dance, unique in Nigeria.
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.“

Dance Consortium’s Executive Director Joe Bates says: We are thrilled to be bringing Qudus Onikeku and The QDance Company to the UK this autumn with the fantastic Re:INCARNATION. The show has gained Qudus international attention and growing audiences across the world. I first saw the work with representatives from some of our Dance Consortium venues a couple of years ago whilst it was touring festivals across Europe. We were enthralled by its sheer joy and the celebration of Nigerian culture. Audiences will definitely be energised by the excitement, humour, colours and rhythms seen on stage.”


The QDance Company Re;INCARNATION ©herve veronese