By Mary Nnah
Starting from November 11 to 17, the Society for Performing Arts of Nigeria (SPAN), will be kicking off its 2019/2020 season with a weeklong showcase of music and dance workshops and performances where it will be celebrating the successes of the people it has impacted on over the years.
This season’s theme, “Your Success Is My Victory”, SPAN Chairperson, Mrs. Sarah Boulos, said, “Is inspired by how victorious we feel whenever we see the success stories of the people we have impacted through our academies, workshops, performances, productions, collaborations, partnerships, sponsorships and community outreach.”
“We are fulfilled every time we are able to educate and empower the youth in our society. This season, we have set out to inspire the victorious among us, those who helped others succeed. Our message projects with showcasing different sides to the story of victory and success, and how this can drive a sense of togetherness, growth and unity”, Boulos said of the theme.
The events for this season will take place at the Lagoon Restaurant, Ozumba Mbadiwe, Victoria Island while the workshops will hold at the SPAN Community Centre, Lagos Island.
SPAN is also excited to share the stage with the Nigeria Afrolatin Festival, which will present the West African Afro Latin Festival live during this period.
SPAN, through its founder, Mrs. Sarah Boulos, has helped artistes of diverse ages and fields to realise their dreams. Over years, SPAN has acquired considerable expertise in the performing arts through the presentation of several shows, empowering more than 500 artists and over 10,000 children in its community.
One of such is Emmanuel Ugochukwu, who through the expertise acquired at SPAN recently got himself a scholarship for a three-year course in Prague, Czech Republic.
In a like manner, a student of SPAN Academy of Jazz and Contemporary Music, Joseph Emmanuel Chidiebere also got a full time scholarship to the Idaho State University in America to continue his study as a top drummer, with endorsement deals for drums, cymbals and sticks.
When Joseph walked into the academy to enrol for a one year course, his mind-set, skill set and orientation was worked on. After the one year course he graduated top flight. The academy has always been about excellence in pedagogy and musicianship.
Speaking on the rationale behind this season’s theme, “Your Success Is My Victory”, Boulos further said, “I have realised that some of the barrier to our individual victory does not necessarily mean our direct effort at something, but the effort at ensuring the other person succeeds. Victory should now be attributed to more than just our wins but also helping the other person win and our winning together.”
In addition to this, she said, “Focusing on helping someone succeed, can also assure your victory, and poverty alleviation will be one of our emphases, using empowerment community programmes and performing arts as a tool, starting from November 11, 2019.”
This season programme includes an interesting line up of partnerships and community outreaches starting with the Film Makers Workshops, Dance and Music Workshops, the “West African Afro Latin Congress” along with dance performances like “Black Out”.
The starting point will be in Lagos with four days of thrilling performances, encapsulated in a four-day empowerment and presentation programme featuring six international music and dance facilitators teaching about 400 students and building their professional skills and helping them to set up their studios. With initiatives such as this and the many more to come, SPAN promises to offer an all-encompassing experience touching on key aspects of life through the Performing Arts.
Also speaking about the West African Latin Dance Festival, the convener of the festival, Buddy Agedah added that this festival will be the fifth edition and they are expecting professional Latin Dancers from Europe, and over six West African Countries like Benin, Cameroun, Togo, Ghana and many more. Several workshops and master classes will hold throughout these days including special evenings with spectacular performance to crown each day’s activity.
SPAN is a registered non-governmental organisation founded in 2004 with the Helen O’Grady franchise in schools. It offers different classes of training which ranges from Music to Ballet, Tap, Hip Hop, Jazz, Creative Combo, Drama, Contemporary African, fitness, Naija Craze, Salsa and Latin Ballroom dance for beginners, intermediate and professionals.