Candace Oxley is one of the dancers involved in Re: Position London, in Uchenna Dance’s Cultural Explosion at Rich Mix March 28th -29th. Candace previews the event, and writes about Uchenna’s founder Vicki Igbokwe:
Creativity knows no boundaries, takes courage and balances the imagination, originality and risk. My creative streak lies in creative arts writing, dance, and music so after hearing Vicki Igbokwe speak so passionately about one of these, I was itching to work with her. At the time, I was seeking ways to collaborate with dance practitioners from a journalistic perspective, documenting the dance journey from rehearsal to performance and Miss Igbokwe presented just that. Excited about the opportunity, she invited me to take a dance class to get a feel for her work and I haven’t picked up a pen since!
Founded by Vicki Igbokwe in January 2009, Uchenna Dance Company is a practical educational space for beginner to professional dance expertise. Often described as a ‘visionary melting pot of creativity’, Vicki started the company as a community group with the primary direction being choreography for the stage. Uchenna Dance prides itself in providing high quality dance experiences for all and encourages a strong sense of self and being open to discovering oneself which in tern, transmits to what the body says as a dancer.
The Uchenna style is the Uchenna style, it can not be categorised or labelled as one particular way of moving. The movement derives from African dance and includes influences of house and contemporary dance in the midst of an inspirational, enjoyable sphere. Vicki has teamed up with Deborah Baddoo, Creative Director of State of Emergency to form a training class bridging the gap between individuals who have studied dance and are now after opportunities to pursue to career in this field; this group is called Re: Position London. Vicki also offers an open class for dance enthusiasts, no criteria needed except wanting to have fun!
Amongst regular training classes, Uchenna Dance endeavours to provide as many performance opportunities as possible. From my analogies, transitioning from training to professional dancer is greatly based on performance experiences. Performance is where self discovery happens, a principally vital factor heavily embedded in the Uchenna ethos. An annual performance opportunity for the Re: Position group is at Cultural Explosion, produced and directed of Miss Uchenna herself. This performance raises a platform for upcoming and professional dancers to showcase their work on 28 – 29 March. This year, the Re: Position group are working on a piece choreographed by Alessandra Seutin, an enriching spirit, African dance extraordinaire, and creative visionary.
Miss Igbokwe continues to do an incredible job at creating a safe arena for beneficiaries to explore their own dance journey with the love, appreciation and support from other dancers, teachers and mentors. Uchenna Dance hosts a genuine sense of not only a passion for dance, but also a passion to see other dancers progress authentically too.
Come and see Uchenna Dance amongst others in action and support this flourishing branch from the Uchenna Dance tree of life.