The Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki has sought the collaboration of dance troupes, dance teachers, creators, directors and fans of the art form as well as investors and government, to improve on the quality and packaging of the various dances in the state to boost their earning power in the domestic and international markets.
Obaseki made the call on the occasion of the International Day of Dance, celebrated on April 29, each year.
“Our colourful and royal dances in Edo State are a great source of pride to our people both at home and abroad. I salute our dance troupes and other stakeholders in the industry for their commitment to showcasing an aspect of our culture that has distinguished us as beautiful and colourful people with honour and pride,” the governor said.
He noted that the dance sector has become a big industry in the country with the growing preference for Nigerian music across the world and the accompanying Nigerian dance element.
“I urge our youths who are blessed with dancing talent and those who love dance, to leverage on the wealth creation windows in the dance industry; Choreography, dance instructorship, professional dancing, and allied areas in the entertainment industry that pay practitioners decent wages.”
He assured that the sweeping reforms of his administration will elevate dance as a social past time to a profession that will showcase the rich cultures of Edo people on the world stage, for appreciable foreign exchange.
“The royal and well-choreographed peacock and war dances of the Benin people to the awe-inspiring Igbabonelimhin dance of Esan people and the energetic dance steps of our people in the northern part of the state, allude to our vast creative energy as a people. As a government that is commitment to the socioeconomic wellbeing of our people, we will leave no stone unturned in harnessing all the opportunities around us for our collective uplift,” he added.
The governor urged financial institutions to create specialised products for investors in the dance industry to raise the domestic profile of the art form and bring the industry to to per with its counterparts in advanced and emerging economies.
He noted that the recommendations of the special session on the art sector at the maiden Alaghodaro Investment Summit are being reviewed for the creation of formidable support structures for the art sector in the state.
According to the United Nations, the “International Dance Day seeks to promote the art of dance around the world. The founding body, the International Dance Committee of the International Theatre Institute selects a special personality each year to create an International Dance Day Message to be shared around the world. Dance is practised by both amateurs and professionals and is enjoyed in theatres everywhere. This special day is all about the history of dance and the recognition of its place in society.”
The global body urged people to learn a new dance on this day.