Nigeria's Yemi Osokoya's Latest Dance Visual: Funu
Updated: Apr 24, 2022
Funu, Yemi Osokoya’s latest video is a visual delight. The cinematography, color grading and dancing captures our attention and immediately draws us into the story. We caught up with Yemi, to talk about the concept behind the video.
AFROCONEX: Yemi in the last month you have dropped a series of high calibre concept videos that pushes the boundaries of Afro dance movement. In watching your visuals, there is a theatrical element you have brought to your urban dance. Your latest visual Funu continues this theatrical aesthetic. Can you talk us through the concept behind Funu?
YEMI: Funu is more of a shared energy between the music, dance and cinematography. There really isn’t much conceptuality to the video. The emphasis is on the dance and the way the dancers embody the choreography and marry with the music. The cinematography and color also help to make the video more captivating.
AFROCONEX: This year you toured Europe as part of the live presentation-REINCARNATION. How has that experienced shaped your outlook on dance and what urban dance can be?
YEMI: This year has been a major year of transitioning for me; which I am still digesting at the moment. But yeah, the tour has been a massive insight for me, into myself in various ways. It has helped with my perception and intentionality and with the choices I make as an artist. I have also felt certain changes in my body movements and language.
AFROCONEX: You are joined by dancers @tiwa_oflagos and @iam_kingdavinci why did you chose these 2 dancers as collaborators for the video and was the choreography a collaborative effort with them?
YEMI: Tiwa and Davinci posses a lot of attributes and energy which I strongly admire. Their movement and body intelligence is massive and they’re still growing into their full potentials and that’s going to be crazy.
On the choreography, I created it on the spot when we started rehearsals. I also fed off of their energy, their connections with me and how their body accepted the moves I suggested.
AFROCONEX: Your movements seem to always be experimental; by that we mean we can see the various Afro genres that influence how you move, however you always make them your own. What are some of the Afro genres that show up in Funu?
YEMI: Yes I am always experimenting. By that I’m not trying to say I’m combining various afro genres together. But more of listening to my body and how it chooses to move. And, yes different genres come up and that’s solely based on body memory and knowledge.
The genres that showed up in Funu are like Afro Jizz, Naija Fusion, Jazze, Afrohouse and some mixture of footworks from Pantsula.
AFROCONEX: In creating a piece like Funu, how long does it usually take to determine the right mood and moves for the piece? Is there a conscious effort to incorporate moves from other styles or is the fusion happening organically ?
YEMI: Funu was an idea that I had mentally already visualize the outcome before it was shot. The music proposed the mood to me before even trying to dance. And yes nothing was planned in terms of choreographing it. I mostly choreographed on the spot; and in that moment everything happens organically.
Be sure to follow Yemi on IG @yemiosokoya
FUNU by Yemi Osokoya
Over the past month Yemi has dropped several stunning visuals. We have included them below for your reference.
ONYE NWA: Yemi Osokoya
ANIMAL: Yemi Osokoya