Ballroom dances such as, salsa, tango, ballet and so on are gradually defining contemporary dance in Nigeria courtesy of Society for Performing Arts in Nigeria (SPAN) set up shop by Lebanese-French Sarah Boulos in 2005. Its main objective is to create a world standard for performing arts education and expression in Nigeria. The not-for-profit organisation has made dozens of successful individuals who are making impact in the arts, especially in dance and drama.
Founder and chairperson of the organisation, Boulos, has embarked on what she termed ‘Beyond The Unknown.’ It has as mantra “Never Settle; Live Your Life Fully; Die With A Quiver Empty,” as she unveiled activities for the 2018-2019 season.
In explaining the theme ‘Beyond the Unknown,’ Boulos asked, “How do you know if you are on the right path? As a parent do you decide for your child’s life? How do you know if you have taken the right decision? Are you willing to explore a new journey?”
She, therefore, everyone to SPAN’s new season of the unknown to find out the known. Boulos said many people find themselves functioning in positions they are not suited for and so do not give their best. As a result, she said, everybody ends up suffering. She, however, noted that part of the activities are designed to challenge the status quo.
According to her, “From May 27 to December 9, SPAN will showcase five unparalleled and entertaining family events aimed at challenging the status quo and to educate using art as a social justice tool to inspire provocative thoughts for our youth to live fully, showcase our extraordinary display of talents, bring purpose and relevance to our society as well as create employment opportunities through our learning hub. It will also initiate career breakthroughs, partake in poverty alleviation by raising the bar with the emergence of courageous leaders to serve our community, set the pace for life-changing experiences and ignite the hearts of our youth to become more relevant to our nation.”
SPAN has also affirmed it would lead a journey of redemptive faith, with a movement to bring purpose with ignited passion in families with events that help transform character and bring good values in the community. These would be done “using the performing arts, a journey to the unknown, an exploratory journey guided by Nigerian leaders and veterans of our industry.”
Therefore on May 26, SPAN will present an adaption of the original Broadway Musical Peter Pan with students of Helen O’Grady Broadway Club. The production will take place at Orchid Hall, Eko Hotel & Suites from 6pm. On May 27 is KIDSFEST, an explore career project that gives total and purpose driven experience to Nigerian community on Children’s Day, May 27.
Boulos explained further, “Aside from entertainment, the children will experience a discovery of their talents with SPAN Explorer Career Tent (SECT). As they enter, they will join in and meet the passion of talented veterans in the Nigerian society and decide whether or not it is a career they would like to explore. Once they finish exploring the different careers, including performing arts, visual arts, science, sports, communication, missionary, law, writing and book, movie, make up, journalism, fashion, bead making, medicine, pharmaceutical, culinary, and dental care, they may choose one of the career paths to explore closely.
“After the exploration, our children will drop their name in their favourite career basket. If they are picked, they will be mentored for one year by our talented career mentors and become part of their world. It will be documented by Enhance 360, SPAN, and Ronya Man Arts.”
Another theatre production What If? is slated for Independence Day, October 1, in conjunction with the Spirit of David (SOD) to trigger questions that shake the very foundations of existence in order to build a better life. In November, SPAN will take a new production on tour of four West African countries – Ghana, Bourkina Faso, Togo and another one.
The calendar of activities will culminate in December with a children talent competition. Support for some of the activities, according to Boulos, are “7up Bottling Company, our biggest supporter and donor. Leadway Assurance, Mall for Africa, Cool FM, Eko Hotel and Suite, La Pointe, Indomie and Enhance 360 Limited.”