The professional life of Adedayo Liadi (IJODEE)


AdedayoLiadi is an indigene of Ogun State but he was born and bred in Lagos, he visits his home town once in a while. He is only obliged to discuss how he started dance professionally as a dance artiste and declines to talk about his primary and secondary school days as time will be spent discussing about that part of his life.

He started dancing when he was in primary school but entered the dance industry professionally in 1988, at that time he was with Lagos Education District (LED) and so he was shuffling between National Theatre and LED. In LED they learnt traditional African dances, theatre, drama and music and at that time he was trained by Mr. Wale Odule popularly known as Shambolic andUncleKolesam Sam. When he got to the national theatre he was discovered by Dr. Sola Fosudo who is presently the Head of Theatre Department Lagos state university (LASU). DayoLiadi worked with him between 1992 and early 1994, while working with Sola Fosudoas a dancer, actor and singer under Centre Stage productions, he had the opportunity to work choreographers like Mr.Debo Alexandra, Mr. Eric (a Ghanaian) and Mr. Amechi (a top member of NTN) at center stage productions and worked with numerous directors at center stage productions.

Around 1994 he met Mr.MuyiwaOshinaike (Baba Nee) and they both worked for a very long time as Dayo was adjourn the longest ever dancer to have ever worked with MuyiwaOshinake. While working with him , DayoLiadi was also working with the Lagos State Council for Arts and Culture between 1996/1997, He worked with Lagos state council for arts and culture as a dancer and interim choreographer and he was able to learn a lot by becoming the choreographer and changing the face of dance at that time, upgrading the traditional dance forms to more modernized forms, He led the contingent of both Lagos state council for Arts and culture to represent Nigeria at the Olympic in Atlanta in 1996 as  choreographer with the cultural troupe to entertain the team Nigerian at the games. At the games he stayed in the same hotel with the Nigeria football team; likes of KanuNwakwo, Austin Okocha, Taribo West etc.

After the contingent returned to Nigeria he started working with Mr. Felix Okolo in 1996 with ArukuShanka as a choreographer. Okolo had seen Dayo in a couple of productions with Muyiwa Oshinaike and thought that he would be able to handle such a huge project as ArukuShanka. The production toured the whole country in the 90’s.

When he returned from the tour of ArukuShanka, he and a couple of his friends Abel Utuedor, GboyegaAdetona, Oladipupo Adele and AdedayoLiadi came together to form a group called African Roots and they toured Nigeria with their energetic dance pieces and also toured Europe and the world and they were at the world cup In France 1998, DayoLiadi was the leading choreographer in African Roots and he was assisted by Abel Utuedor.

After the world cup tour with African roots, he thought about having his own dance company, while thinking about that he was picked up by some French choreographers who made huge impact In his career in person of Claude Braumachaun and Benjamin Lamache. He started working with Braumachaun in late 1994 and fortunately for him he was picked among great dancers to travel to France where he was given a French scholarship to study dance and also work with Claude Braumachaun and Benjamin Lamache, this went on for some time working in Nigeria and going to France to study between 1995/98.

In 1998 he choreographed his own piece from Nigerian international workshop. Before then he had been given another scholarship to study dance in Echo des Sable (international school of dance and choreography), it is a French government scholarship to study in the biggest dance school in Africa and latter obtained his diploma degree in dance. After he graduated from the international school of dance and choreography, he returned to Nigeria in 2000 and started his workshopbecause he really wanted to unleash what he had learnt over the years from his masters in Europe while he was touring. This led to his first ever dance workshop in Nigeria in 2000 which was sponsored by the French cultural center in Lagos, it was a huge success as the first Nigeria contemporary dance workshop in Nigeria and a lot dancers and choreographer were discovered such as Victor Phullu, QudusOnikeku, Vincent, Ayola Soyinka, IbroZulezu, Josephine Okonji etc. They were tutored by DayoLiadi in the techniques that he learnt abroad.

A year after, he decided to create his first contemporary dance piece titled “IDO’OLOFIN” which means station of the Satan and it was 45 minutes dance piece, Ido’Olofin toured Nigeria and also toured four countries in Africa like Benin Republic, Togo, Ghana and Madagasca.

In 2002 it was time for another international contemporary dance workshop and it was still sponsored the workshop because no individual of corporate company would want to sponsor a a dance workshop and at that time it was only the French cultural center that gave the dancers and the dance community the opportunity to flourish in the area of contemporary Nigeria dance. During the second workshop a lot of young and very good dancers and choreographers turned out, dancers like Maxwell, Tony Offiong, UcheOnah, PreereYebowa, AliuOlatunji, MaryOamen, NnekaUmeigboTony Offiong (TinTallTony) etc. most of those dancers are flourishing in the world of dance internationally as we speak.

Ori was created in 2003 after the workshop whereby he had all these great dancers at his disposal, he thought he needed to create a piece when he saw the turnouts and caliber of dancers and picked from them to create the piece ORI which means destiny. What you have been destined to become is what you will become. In Ori we had dancers like Frank Kowea, UcheOnah, Tony Offiong, Josephine Okonji, Nneka Umeigbo and Adedayo Liadi. Ori was the major breakthrough for Dayo Liadi as a choreographer internationally, before then Dayo had traveled round the world with choreographers like H Partern, Claude Braumachaum, Benjamine Lamache, Eddy Mallem, Germaine Acogny, Susane Linke etc. In 2003 he started his own idea of a contemporary dance with “Ori”. After the creation of Ori , the piece went to Madagascar to represent Nigeria and compete for the best choreography and best dance in Africa and won the first position in the entire Africa, in 2004 Ori emerged as the number one best choreography in Africa.

Between 2002 and 2006, DayoLiadi was amongst those that started the Dance meet Dance festival which was sponsored by the French government, the French cultural center and the French embassy. He was invited by the then director of French cultural center with a couple of friends and they gave birth to DANCE MEET DANSE FESTIVAL and DayoLiadi worked for the festival between 2002/2006 because he had nurtured his own idea of a dance festival, while working with the team for dance, he worked as consultant and helping in bringing international dance companies and also the workshop coordinator for the entire festival.

While Ori was still touring 15 African countries, 10 countries in Europe, simultaneously a dance workshop was alsogoing on in 15 countries.

After the tour of Ori, Dayo had it in mind to create a new piece which he called “Why Not” and it was created between 2004/2005. Adedayo was the artistic director of strength of our mind a project of Eddy Joe Dance Company in 2005, the piece Ori was called again to tour Africa and Europe going to another 10 countries.

In 2005 he created a new piece called the new age transition dance choreography which toured Nigeria after which he created ‘ITS ME’ a female solo dance piece which he choreographed for Inna Erizia, also in 2005 he choreographed the African television commercial called the Top of the world smile in Johannesburg south Africa for Malta Guinness, that particular work led to the Malta Guinness street dance which he traveled with to Ghana, South Africa and London.

The Imagination was created in 2006, it is a solo dance piece which he did for himself and it’s a 45 minutes piece. In 2006 he started IJODEE DANCE CENTER which was different from Ijodee Dance Company which he had started in 2000, Ijodee dance center started in 2006 mainly because of his dance festival TRUFESTA international dance festival as a producer and artistic director and the festival is still on till date.

David quotes was choreographed by DayoLiadi and sponsored by the Catholic church in 2008, in the same year he was the choreographer of AlanteTatakumi which was directed by MakindeAdeniran and produced by the National Troupe of Nigeria, also in 2008 DayoLiadi toured with the piece ‘We Think Alike’  which was well received and highly successful. Later that same year he began teaching at the society for performing arts in Nigeria (SPAN) dance workshop as their teacher and choreographer that was when he discovered Mrs. Sarah Boulous. Towards the end of that same year he toured with the piece ‘Encounter’ a project jointly choreographed by Lillian Loot from Durban, South Africa.

In 2009 he choreographed the popular television commercial in South Africa called Check Check. The project was for Always sanitary pad in Africa which was everywhere; he was also in Cape Town again to choreograph another television commercial titled ‘Good to Go’ also for Always sanitary pad.

In 2010 he created a dance called the ‘Real dance’, it is a combination of Nigerian Dances and European contemporary which is full of entertainment. And in 2011 DayoLiadi created ‘Molejo’ which is a musical dance piece, also in 2011 he created another dance piece ‘Moyege’ which means victory, he created and choreographed the ‘Best’ for BestLubOil Company in Nigeria.

IntenT/Sion choreography was in 2012, it was collaboration with three other choreographers from South Korea as he got a scholarship to study Language inKyongHeeunivasity in South Korea and he was given the opportunity to create new works and tour with other choreographers and also showcase his works as a solo performer and intention/intension (IntenT/Sion).

In 2012 he choreographed the ‘Winner’ dance piece which was  sponsored by the Nigerian breweries and it was a total theater dance form in Nigeria, also in that same year he created another piece titled ‘8220’ in South Korea, the reason for the numbers as the title was that they were 8 choreographers working on the piece and the total hours of work being put in was eight thousand two hundred and twenty hours of working together and so they all decided that since they have worked for this amount of hours, they called the piece 8220, the piece toured Korea. He returned to South Africa in that same year and created ‘Aye Asan’ which means Vanity and it was created for the South African dancers which was very successful and toured the South Africa states and Cameroon.

In 2011he worked with other choreographers to achieve the Nigerian dance cartoon documentary, a project brought by the Federal Government to save the traditional dances in Nigeria from going into extinction by means of documentation, if the dances are not been done by the people we do not lose the initial idea and original motive of the dances was the main objective of the documentary.

In 2013 he choreographed the ‘Magical experience of the opposites’ for close up freeze dance project, in 2014 he was invited as one of the 12 choreographers for the biggest multimedia dance piece in Nigeria for the centenary celebration of Nigeria with dancers been assembled from all parts of Nigeria (about 700 dancers), he was also the choreographer of ‘LankOmu’ the Palm Wine Drinkard, a traditional opera produced by TundeKilani, directed by Dr. TundeAwosanmi. Also he created another multimedia dance piece for the World economic forum for Africa that same year in Abuja. Also in 2013 the UN gave him ambassadorial title; UN peace ambassador.    

AdedayoLiadi in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 was in Maida international dance festival in Benin Republic, in 2015, 2016 and 2017 attended Agodo Dance festival as a choreographer and teacher, he was also the chief choreographer for the Africa music awards AFRIMA 2016, 2017 and 2018, in 2017 he created a piece titled ‘Possession’ as a Director/choreographer sponsored by SPAN and Muson Center. He represented Africa at the 2018 NRW world dance choreographers meeting and tour in Germany. He has been selected to represent west Africa at the top African choreographers meeting at Ecole des Sable school of dance, organized by Jant-Bi in Senegal.   

AdedayoLiadi is at the moment is working on a piece and going and international training tour of Nigeria, Benin Republic and Togo, his newest project being worked on is in collaboration with different internal choreographers from Europe and South American countries, .

He is also the creative director/consultant/project coordinator of the Ogun state cultural dance festival/dance competition.

Since September 2016 he has been serving as the National president of the Guild of Nigerian Dancers (GOND) generally he has been to 67 countries both in Africa, Asia, South America, Middle East, America and Europe.

The professional life of Adedayo Liadi (IJODEE)

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