About the production
Yuropa follows the odyssey of three young travelers who left the shores of their homes, heading to an unknown destination over the sea. In this piece for three dancers and one musician, we focus on the difficulties and troubles linked specifically to traveling Africans, specifically those who take to the roads, as a last chance to self-preservation. Yuropa hopes to say something of a world in humanitarian crises, convinced that the problem of migration is the problem of the 21st century.
QUDUS ONIKEKU is a movement artist made of diversity, he has established himself as one of the preeminent multitalented artists working today in different media; performance, installation, teaching, curating and community organizing. Founder and artistic director of YK Projects Paris and QdanceCenter Lagos, an organization that blends artistry and community, notably with his anti-disciplinary annual festival, dance GATHERING. Onikeku’s international artistic research intersects between his interest in body memory and finding new vocabularies for performance practice, embracing an artistic vision that both respects and challenges Yoruba form and contemporary dance. He has created a substantial body of critically acclaimed work that ranges from solos to group works, as well as artist-to-artist collaborations with visual artists or architects, musicians or writers. He has participated in major exhibitions and festivals in over 50 countries including the Venice Biennale, Biennial de Lyon, Festival d’Avignon, Roma Europa, TED Global, Torino Danza, Kalamata Dance Festival, Yokohama Dance Collection at TPAM, Dance Umbrella etc. Onikeku is a visiting professor of dance at the University of California, and Columbia College Chicago, USA.
From the reviews
The bodies on a journey are influenced by their environment, claim their future and uncover an uncomfortable truth, in which we are confronted with our own, true or untrue, image of migration. With choreographic stylistic means, Onikeku investigates whether we can understand each other's truths by sharing stories, music, rituals, fantasy and resistance.
Yuropa is a word made up out of a combination of “Yoruba”, a population group, language and culture of Nigeria, and “Europe” (…) Qudus Oniekeku locates Yuropa between magical realism, an odyssey and its violent disruption. What is a journey in times of humanitarian and existential crises? Four bodies reclaim the future and fill the space with the unspoken, the fallen generation pointing their fingers to the disaster of humanity happening every day.
The choreographer Qudus Onikeku makes a change of perspective: he addresses the refugee crisis from an African perspective, and for the audience, the dancers again become the others, the strangers. The dancers read the names of refugees who have drowned, starved or died in any other way. The play moves between the lawsuit and the prosecution. With a backpack, they set out on a dangerous journey.
Sandra Luzina, Der Tagespiegel