Culture buffs recently enjoyed an evening of dance sessions at Alliance Française, Mike Adenuga Centre, in Ikoyi, Lagos. This was at the opening ceremony of the 2019 TRUFEST International Dance Festival which marked the event’s 10th year anniversary. Founded by Adedayo Liadi’s Ijodee Art Organisation, the festival appropriates dance as a medium of communication to break boundaries in the country and across the globe. It was created ten years ago to build a network for dance professionals across barriers to collaborate, share ideas and exchange cultural experiences. Since inception, TRUFEST has hosted creative works from Europe, Africa, South America, Canada, Australia, USA and Asia.
In a press briefing held before the opening ceremony last Thursday, Liadi said the idea of Trufest Festival came to him when he was in Uruguay in 2003 for a festival.
“I was a part of Dance Meet Danse Festival,” Liadi disclosed. “From 2006 till now, we are still pushing on and it has been free of charge for all participants including workshop, feeding and gift items. The festival is to impact knowledge and create opportunities for younger ones. With the level of participation from young dancers, I begin to have a strong hope for the future.”
This edition of the festival has, as its theme “Creating New Opportunities”, and was initially planned to tour university campuses in Port Harcourt, Oyo, Bayelsa and Lagos. “Unfortunately, I got information that schools would not be in session. So, we decided to cancel the tour of cities and focus on touring Lagos. Now the festival will move from Ikoyi to Ajegunle and Bariga.”
Out of the 50 entries received this year, 15 participating companies were featured at the festival drawn from France, South Africa, Benin, Cote D’Ivoire and Nigeria. These include Ijolomo Dance Company, Ennovate Dance House, Ijogbenro Dynamic Troupe, Mary (soloist), I Dance Network, Danzkiijo Arts Productions, Crown Troupe of Africa, Ijodee Arts, Moseg Creativities, African Ribs, Dynamic Tales Entertainment Company and Alapelaca.