Ooni praises National Troupe for spectacular performance

Ooni praises National Troupe for spectacular performance

Friday, February 26, 2016 11:36 am

Ooni watching Yemoja as performed by the National Troupe  at the Cuban embassy Abuja

Ooni watching Yemoja as performed by the National Troupe at the Cuban embassy Abuja

Funsho Arogundade

The Oonirisa of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi has commended the management, staff and artistes of the National Troupe for putting up a spectacular performance in his honour at a reception organised for him recently by the Cuban Embassy in Abuja.

Oba Ogunwusi said he was thrilled by the dance drama that the Troupe put up to honour him, describing their performance as “colourful, energetic and evocative”.

“I was totally thrilled by the performance. The National Troupe should take this kind of performance everywhere. They should be on tour promoting and propagating our rich cultural heritage. I know funding is a challenge but I want to join my voice to the call for increased funding and attention for the National Troupe. They are propagators of our culture. I am impressed and we should do more to encourage the troupe and artistes generally,” the Ooni said.

The reception for the Ooni was held at the residence of the Cuban ambassador and had in attendance high net worth guests including the Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka.
During the reception, the National Troupe staged a dance drama titled ‘Yemoja’, directed by Ms. Josephine Igberease, Director in charge of Drama of the National Troupe.

A scene from the dance drama, I Love Nigeria

A scene from the dance drama, I Love Nigeria

Yemoja’ is a colourful and fast pace piece laced with chants and heavy drumming. The piece is designed as an evocative homage to Yemoja, the Yoruba goddess of the sea.

The performance of Yemoja for the Ooni typified the evocation that is usually captured in worships among the Yoruba in the America’s. The performance inculcated the spiritual ambience quite commemorative of the candomble sessions (a religion based on African beliefs which is popular in the West Indies and Brazil) common in Yoruba diasporic spiritualism.

But the performance in honour of Ooni Ogunwusi was just one of the performances that the National Troupe put up in Abuja.

The Troupe had on 14 February, St. Valentine’s Day, collaborated with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in the staging of a dance drama titled ‘Love Nigeria’.

The dance drama held at Abuja Unity Square focused on the need to promote patriotism and loyalty.

Ooni commending the artistes after their performance

Ooni commending the artistes after their performance

Akin Adejuwon, Artistic Director, National Troupe, explained that the dance drama was staged to complement NOA mobilization programme series ‘’Do the Right Thing; Fall in Love with Nigeria’, which the NOA intends to hold from state to state.

Besides, Adejuwon stated that the project also aimed at promoting the values of love and selflessness among Nigerians.

“Given the background of insurgency, regional agitations, religious and cultural proclivities which is currently affecting our national cohesion, the need to encourage citizens to use the pervasive ambience of love at Valentine to reflect on the positive achievements of our nation and to encourage members of the public to show selfless love for our country even as we show love to our fellow citizens cannot be over-emphasized,” he said.

The high point of the Troupe’s week long performance tour of Abuja was a performance at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Abuja.

The Troupe put up its touring piece ‘Murna’ at the IDP camp located in Garki and at the Games Village in Abuja. ‘Murna’ written by Mike Anyanwu and directed by Josephine Igberease was conceived by the National Troupe to be staged as part of its IDP performance project which it flagged off in December 2015 with a performance at the IDP camp in Bauchi. According to the Artistic Director, the IDP performance project is directed towards the encouragement, entertainment, reorientation and moral rearmament for the displaced persons towards returning home and educating them about the self sustaining opportunities possible through the performing arts.

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