Confined Freedom is a dance performance of a single migrant’s story, it captures my travails as a Nigerian artiste in the diaspora. This piece displays the depth of contemporary diasporic art while challenging the ideals of the oldest and arguably the most conservative museum in Nigeria (Esie Museum) which favours ancient and tangible artworks. I juxtaposed still and video photography of a mostly improvised movement in confined spaces (my room, toilet, bathroom, and corridor) to rethink my current situation as a Nigerian in the diaspora within the times of a global pandemic (Covid 19). This dance piece displays a black body as it endures the struggle, joy, pain, and gain of living in a white-dominated society, it presents a body in search of freedom in confinement, and a body in search of a home outside home.
To create this piece, I searched within myself, listened to my mind, and confined my body to free it from the world, from expectations, and dependence on other bodies. Motivating my movement is the Yoruba concept of Irán (spectacle) which imposes visceral body movements, artistic, acrobatic, and magical displays, as a means of securing attention and thereby influencing both the human and the divine.
My name is Samson AKANNI, born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. I did my Bachelors and my Masters in the Department of Theatre Arts, the University of Ibadan where I majored and minored in Dance and Acting. Throughout my years within the four walls of the university and the entertainment industry of Nigeria, Samson was exposed to several dance styles within and outside Nigeria, including Bàtá, Atilogwu, Koroso, African Contemporary, Salsa, Afro-pop among others. Currently, I am an Erasmus scholar travelling across Europe to study Dance Anthropology and Ethnochoreology.
Choreomundus: International Master in Dance Knowledge, Practice and History
Year of Study: 2