Sunday, April 29, 2012

EkoGOND Presents International Dance Day (IDD)

The Dance Guild of Nigeria, Lagos Chapter (aka EkoGOND) is pleased to hold this year’s celebration of the International Dance Day (IDD). As Nigerian dance practitioners, we join the rest of the world in celebrating this special day that is set aside by UNESCO and the International Dance Council (CID) for the celebration of our profession. World Dance Day is celebrated annually all over the World on the 29th of April. This 2012 edition shall be graced by the distinguished presence of the dance generalissimo himself, Sir Peter Badejo OBE.

We appreciate the Kuti family and The New Afrika Shrine for their assistance in hosting this event that comes up on Sunday, 29th of April, 2012.
Time: 1pm to 6pm
Venue: The New Afrika Shrine, Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos.

The reason for the venue is to take the art of dance out of the seemingly traditional spaces reserved for it such as the theatre where majorly, only artists and diehard art enthusiasts visit. As part of our goals in this year’s IDD’s celebration- which is to take our art to the people- we thought of a place that is accessible to the public, a place where people visit on Sundays to relax and have fun but more importantly, an unconventional space where the people can be exposed to new dance forms.

Dance guild of Nigeria is an umbrella body for dance Artistes (that cuts across all genres of dance from hip hop, Latin/ballroom to folk musicians and traditional dances) in Nigeria. The guild was established in the year 1996 to assist our parent body, the National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP) to cater for the welfare of the Nigerian dancer and to mobilize towards the realization of the overall objectives for which NANTAP was formed. The aim of the guild is to sanitize, regulate and standardize the practice of dance in Nigeria.
Presently, the Lagos state chapter of the guild (EkoGOND) operates from the artiste’ village at the National Arts Theatre.
After a successful implementation of the TAX POLICY (Powered by Lagos State) and ongoing INSURANCE POLICY powered by Aiico pension that is divided into three: the Pension Scheme, Health Scheme and the Life Insurance Scheme (for more information on this, contact the EkoGOND office.), we have a new project around the corner which requires everyone’s involvement and support from the federal government, state government, private institutions, individuals and stakeholders. We propose starting theEkoGOND DANCE ENDOWMENT FOUNDATION to create equity and justice, alleviate poverty by eliminating unemployment and aiding capacity building for the dance artist. The foundation will run packages like Bursary Awards (a back to school monetary support/scholarship), for dancers who want to further their formal education. Another arm of the foundation is the Welfare Scheme where the immediate needs of our members will be met. As a result of lack of funds and foundations or schemes like this, we have lost a number of talented artistes to emergency situations, mostly the payment of hospital emergency bills. PENSION POLICY, which is to help at some point in time when the dancer can no more dance due to age barrier, he or she will still be getting some income from this policy.

Another upcoming project under the Foundation is the CREATIVE PLATFORM (festivals, dance competitions, dance slams etc) to encourage creativity in dancers thereby keeping them functioning and relevant. Accounts will be opened to run the above policies, hence our appeal to Federal and State parasatals,  private organizations as well as the banking sector to partner with us on these projects.
We wish to cease this opportunity to express our profound gratitude to all dance patrons and especially the press for their unflinching support for the noble art of dance.
ISIOMA WILLIAMS is the current chairman of the Guild (Lagos State Chapter), coordinator of Gongbeat Productions and also the Director of Drumsview concept.
The organizers of IDD 2012  are two of the most vibrant members of the guild; Segun Adefila, leader of Crown Troupe of Africa and Adedayo Muslim Liadi of Ijodee Dance Company and Olori-Oko fame.
Contact: Gongbeat studio, National Council for Arts and Culture (N.C.A.C.), Artiste’ Village, National Theatre annex, Iganmu, Lagos.

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