>FELA ANIKULAPO KUTI -OUR GREAT NIGERIAN MUSICIAN COMES BACK ALIVE THRU BROADWAY SHOW SHOWING AT HIS AFRICAN SHRINE IN LAGOS!

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http://www.nigeriamusicmovement.com/index.php/nigerian-music-nigeria-from-broadway-to-afrika-shrine-a-feast-for-fela-in-lagos
Source: The Sun, Feb 1, 2011

Ordinarily, any public show in honour of Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti is a crowd puller. Particularly when it holds at the New Afrika Shrine where everyone believes the spirit of Fela still hovers round. And for the British Council Nigeria which played host to Fela! For the first time in the country last Sunday, the screening of the musical show was indeed a cultural feast for Afrobeat lovers.
Although a musical menu prepared and dished in the Diaspora, Fela! was well served in Lagos for his kinsmen and fans who trooped to the Shrine in celebration of the late Abami Eda. The show attracted notable Nigerians, artistes, culture workers and journalists, among whom were Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi; former National Planning Minister, Robin Gwynn; British Deputy High Commissioner, David Higgs; Country Director,British Council, Rukki Shein; Fela’s Manager at the musical show tagged Fela Event, Lanre Arogundade; former NUJ chairman in Lagos State and Fela’s children; Yeni Anikulapo – Kuti and Seun Anikulapo – Kuti.
After a brief welcome address by Yeni, the musical opened via a large screen with a number of young female dancers emerging on stage, ahead of their leader and hero-Fela. The dancers wore captivating costumes depicting the essentricity and versatility of Fela’s musical world. They took positions on stage while one of Fela’s classics; Rere Run, played rhythmically at the background. Minutes later,Fela the lead singer/dancer was ushered to the stage in a heroic manner by some male dancers. With his two hands raised, Fela stormed the stage amid a loud ovation, and saluted the crowd with the familiar refrain ‘’Everybody say Yeye’’ . And an elated crowd dominated by whitemen and women responded ‘’Ye-ye’’.
An energetic and boisterous performer, Fela soon dazed the audience with a heavy dose of his music, which he boosted with songs, dancesteps and talks that reminisce on Fela Anikulapo-Kuti’s vision and philosophy. In the same way, the other male and female dancers complemented his efforts in highly creative and elaborate choreography. At intervals, the dancers sang tunes and wriggled their waists provocatively to echo some of the features of the late Fela’s live shows. And while doing these, some of the best songs of the late musician, such as I No Be Gentleman, Break It Down (BID), Water No Get Enemy, Palava, Teacher, Don’t Teach Me Nonsense and Kerekeke Ji Keke, were creatively played and interpreted through mimes and gestures.
On another level of creativity, the hero of Fela!and the entire National Theatre, London ensemble recalled some of the issues that Fela addressed through his music. Popular subjects like Igbo(Marijuana), 419 (Advanced Free Fraud), ITT(International Thief Thief), Yansh(An euphemism for bottom power), Colonial Mentality and Lagos life were all illustrated by the artistes in the Nigerian context.
Also using the narrative technique, the lead character paused at intervals to engage the audience. His joker in this area was proved by his mastery of Fela’s stagecraft, voice modulation, dexterity on saxophone, his brandishing and inhaling of the long wrapped substance as wellas his simple Afrobeat attire of a long sleeve shirt over a pair of long James Brown (JB) trousers.
On the technical side, the Broadway and award winning show made creative use of virtually all facilities in the theatre. It explored generously the use of the round stage, the staircases, steps, cubicules, the cyclorama and ladders. The huge modern equipment on stage expectedly complemented artistes’ versatility and speed, just as lighting helped greatly in depicting moods and highlighting historical situations and events. The audience also savoured a fair dose of highlife music from which Fela discovered Afrobeat as demonstrated in several scenes that reminded of Fela’s relationship with the Koola Lobitos, James Brown, Tony Allen, Funmilayo Ransome Kuti(His mother) among many others.
At the end of the two-part show, which lasted about two hours, the audience were thrilled beyond expectation. Some of them engaged in a debate over the incredible energy and vigour with which the cast celebrated Fela and his Afrobeat in a single entertaining musical show. They also wondered how the show could have been if some of Afrobeat’s disciples in Nigeria, such as Dede Mabiaku, Kola Ogunkoya and others featured in the musical show. But the fact that it was an entirely a Broadway project seemingly ruled out the possibility of featuring Nigerians in it.
Produced and widely showcased on Broadway in London, Fela! had won three Tony awards including Best Choreography. It explores dance, music and drama to celebrate the life and times of Afrobeat legend who was better known as political activist and lover of the masses. The February 6 screening in Lagos was part of the British Council’s work in the Arts, aimed at showcasing the best of United Kingdom’s creativity overseas while at the same time, working with the best creative talents to develop innovative events and collaborations for artists and cultural institutions across the globe.
Nigerian Music Nigeria Fela Kuti

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Source: The Sun, Feb 1, 2011
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Ordinarily, any public show in honour of Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti is a crowd puller. Particularly when it holds at the New Afrika Shrine where everyone believes the spirit of Fela still hovers round. And for the British Council Nigeria which played host to Fela! For the first time in the country last Sunday, the screening of the musical show was indeed a cultural feast for Afrobeat lovers.
Although a musical menu prepared and dished in the Diaspora, Fela! was well served in Lagos for his kinsmen and fans who trooped to the Shrine in celebration of the late Abami Eda. The show attracted notable Nigerians, artistes, culture workers and journalists, among whom were Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi; former National Planning Minister, Robin Gwynn; British Deputy High Commissioner, David Higgs; Country Director,British Council, Rukki Shein; Fela’s Manager at the musical show tagged Fela Event, Lanre Arogundade; former NUJ chairman in Lagos State and Fela’s children; Yeni Anikulapo – Kuti and Seun Anikulapo – Kuti.
After a brief welcome address by Yeni, the musical opened via a large screen with a number of young female dancers emerging on stage, ahead of their leader and hero-Fela. The dancers wore captivating costumes depicting the essentricity and versatility of Fela’s musical world. They took positions on stage while one of Fela’s classics; Rere Run, played rhythmically at the background. Minutes later,Fela the lead singer/dancer was ushered to the stage in a heroic manner by some male dancers. With his two hands raised, Fela stormed the stage amid a loud ovation, and saluted the crowd with the familiar refrain ‘’Everybody say Yeye’’ . And an elated crowd dominated by whitemen and women responded ‘’Ye-ye’’.
An energetic and boisterous performer, Fela soon dazed the audience with a heavy dose of his music, which he boosted with songs, dancesteps and talks that reminisce on Fela Anikulapo-Kuti’s vision and philosophy. In the same way, the other male and female dancers complemented his efforts in highly creative and elaborate choreography. At intervals, the dancers sang tunes and wriggled their waists provocatively to echo some of the features of the late Fela’s live shows. And while doing these, some of the best songs of the late musician, such as I No Be Gentleman, Break It Down (BID), Water No Get Enemy, Palava, Teacher, Don’t Teach Me Nonsense and Kerekeke Ji Keke, were creatively played and interpreted through mimes and gestures.
On another level of creativity, the hero of Fela!and the entire National Theatre, London ensemble recalled some of the issues that Fela addressed through his music. Popular subjects like Igbo(Marijuana), 419 (Advanced Free Fraud), ITT(International Thief Thief), Yansh(An euphemism for bottom power), Colonial Mentality and Lagos life were all illustrated by the artistes in the Nigerian context.
Also using the narrative technique, the lead character paused at intervals to engage the audience. His joker in this area was proved by his mastery of Fela’s stagecraft, voice modulation, dexterity on saxophone, his brandishing and inhaling of the long wrapped substance as wellas his simple Afrobeat attire of a long sleeve shirt over a pair of long James Brown (JB) trousers.
On the technical side, the Broadway and award winning show made creative use of virtually all facilities in the theatre. It explored generously the use of the round stage, the staircases, steps, cubicules, the cyclorama and ladders. The huge modern equipment on stage expectedly complemented artistes’ versatility and speed, just as lighting helped greatly in depicting moods and highlighting historical situations and events. The audience also savoured a fair dose of highlife music from which Fela discovered Afrobeat as demonstrated in several scenes that reminded of Fela’s relationship with the Koola Lobitos, James Brown, Tony Allen, Funmilayo Ransome Kuti(His mother) among many others.
At the end of the two-part show, which lasted about two hours, the audience were thrilled beyond expectation. Some of them engaged in a debate over the incredible energy and vigour with which the cast celebrated Fela and his Afrobeat in a single entertaining musical show. They also wondered how the show could have been if some of Afrobeat’s disciples in Nigeria, such as Dede Mabiaku, Kola Ogunkoya and others featured in the musical show. But the fact that it was an entirely a Broadway project seemingly ruled out the possibility of featuring Nigerians in it.
Produced and widely showcased on Broadway in London, Fela! had won three Tony awards including Best Choreography. It explores dance, music and drama to celebrate the life and times of Afrobeat legend who was better known as political activist and lover of the masses. The February 6 screening in Lagos was part of the British Council’s work in the Arts, aimed at showcasing the best of United Kingdom’s creativity overseas while at the same time, working with the best creative talents to develop innovative events and collaborations for artists and cultural institutions across the globe.
Nigerian Music Nigeria Fela Kuti

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