One of Nigeria’s renowned dance theatre companies, Crown Troupe of Africa, has announced plans to celebrate its silver jubilee with the 2021 edition of the Eko Theatre Carnival (ETC).
In a statement signed by Segun Adefila, the ETC Festival Producer/Director, on Wednesday, the carnival will hold from 2-8 August at the Crown Art Factory in Bariga and Beeriga, situated at the Bariga Boat Jetty.
The carnival, which debuted in 2016, was instituted to celebrate the diverse artistic offerings of Nigerian culture and art, as well as using creative elements to advance the good of society.
Speaking on the importance of the event, Adefila said this year’s carnival will parade a rich collection of resourceful performers, scholars and exhibitors who will deploy their talents, skills and wares in the service of the community.
“The objective is to use the instrumentality of the arts in all of its dimensions to mobilise the community towards collective goals of unifying the diverse peoples and cultures for communal sharing and social, economic and environmental advancements,” he said.
The organisers disclosed that the carnival will have some standout events throughout the seven-day period such as seminars, dance and theatre performances, film screening, and fashion and music concerts.
The seminar is expected to attract practitioners and non-practitioners from the theatre community, who will have an opportunity to provide in-depth insight on some of the gaps in Nigerian theatre criticisms/theory which seem to have been on pause since the era of Herbert Ogunde and explore the transitions in dance-drama to the contemporary era, viz-a-viz Crown Troupe’s contribution to that transition.
The keynote speakers for the seminar are Professor Duro Oni, a Theatre Technician and a former deputy vice-chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG); and Professor Tunji Azeez, a dramatist, director and Theatre lecturer at the Lagos State University (LASU).
The dance and theatre performances will feature displays from the Crown Troupe and other guest companies and artistes, presenting a mixed menu of some of the best artistic feasts.
There would also be a screening of some selected films which dwell on art and culture such as All that is Golden Glitters by Fiona Whytte, Bariga Boy by Femi Odugbemi and Edunjobi by Q Dance Centre. Also to be exhibited are photographs of performances by the Crown Troupe of Africa, as well as the installation of junks, inspired by the works of the famed and legendary artist, Professor Junkman.
A fashion parade, inspired by a pacesetter in the art fashion industry, Modela, will speak to the topic of waste and climate change, and the carnival will be closed by a music concert featuring renowned Nigerian music band, BANTU; as well as other acts.
Adefila stated that the carnival would be a “PHYGITAL” one, a mixture of physical and digital presentations in line with COVID preventive measures; adding that all health and safety precautions shall be observed by the performers and few guests and physically present at the event venues.