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How to Navigate the Nigerian Performance Art Scene

Last Updated on September 1, 2023


The Nigerian performance art scene has gained considerable popularity in recent years, attracting both local and international artists.

This vibrant and dynamic scene offers a platform for creative expression, activism, and social commentary.

The Nigerian performance art scene and its growing popularity

The Nigerian performance art scene is characterised by its diversity and multidisciplinary nature.

It encompasses a wide range of artistic expressions, including dance, theatre, music, spoken word, and visual arts.

With its deep roots in Nigerian culture and history, performance art has become a powerful channel for addressing social issues and cultural identity.

To provide guidance on navigating the scene

In this blog post, we aim to provide aspiring artists, enthusiasts, and researchers with practical guidance on navigating the Nigerian performance art scene.

Whether you’re looking for performance opportunities, connecting with fellow artists, or understanding the scene’s context, we have you covered.

Join us as we delve into the vibrant world of Nigerian performance art and discover how you can make your mark within it.

Understanding the Nigerian Performance Art Scene

Define performance art and its various forms

In order to successfully navigate the Nigerian performance art scene, it is essential to have a clear understanding of what performance art is and its various forms.

Performance art is a multidisciplinary artistic practice that combines visual, theatrical, and other elements to create unique and immersive experiences.

The historical and cultural significance of performance art in Nigeria

Performance art in Nigeria has a rich historical and cultural significance.

It has been used as a powerful medium for self-expression, social activism, and cultural preservation.

Nigerian performance artists often draw inspiration from their cultural heritage, incorporating traditional music, dance, and storytelling into their performances.

Several key events, festivals, and venues play a crucial role in showcasing and promoting performance art in Nigeria.

These platforms provide artists with opportunities to present their work, connect with audiences, and collaborate with fellow artists.

Events and Festivals

  • Lagos Live Arts Festival: This annual festival brings together local and international artists to celebrate performance art and showcase innovative works.

  • Art X Lagos: While primarily focused on contemporary visual art, Art X Lagos also features live performances that push the boundaries of traditional art forms.

  • Awani Art Festival: This biennial festival showcases indigenous Nigerian art forms, including performance art, and aims to promote cultural diversity.


  • Terra Kulture: Located in Lagos, Terra Kulture is a cultural hub that hosts various artistic events, including performances by Nigerian and international artists.

  • National Arts Theatre: Situated in Lagos, this iconic venue has been a centre for performing arts in Nigeria since its establishment in 1976.

  • Fela Shrine: Named after the legendary Nigerian musician Fela Kuti, this venue in Lagos regularly features performances that blend music, dance, and activism.

By attending events and exploring venues in the Nigerian performance art scene, individuals can actively appreciate its diverse expressions.

understanding the Nigerian performance art scene is essential for anyone looking to navigate its vibrant landscape.

Defining performance art, recognising its history, culture, and spotlighting events empowers active engagement and contribution to this dynamic realm.

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Researching and Finding Performance Art Event

The Nigerian performance art scene is a vibrant and dynamic space filled with creativity and innovation.

To fully embrace and participate in this thriving community, it is essential to know how to navigate and find performance art events.

Whether you perform, love art, or seek curiosity, here’s how to actively explore Nigeria’s vibrant performance scene.

Explore Online Platforms

The internet has become a powerful tool for promoting and showcasing performance art in Nigeria.

Various websites, online platforms, and social media accounts are dedicated to curating and advertising these events.

Tips on how to stay updated about upcoming events and exhibitions

By exploring these platforms, you can gain access to a wealth of information about upcoming performances, exhibitions, and festivals.

Stay Updated:

Staying updated about performance art events is crucial if you want to immerse yourself in this vibrant scene.

Once you have identified the relevant online platforms and social media accounts, make sure to follow them diligently.

Join Artist Communities and Groups:

Connecting with other artists and performers is an excellent way to network and stay informed about performance art opportunities.

Research and join relevant artist communities and groups both online and offline.

Networking and Collaboration:

Attending performance art events and being an active participant in the community can open doors for networking and collaboration.

Actively engage with performers, organisers, and fellow attendees during these events.

Collaborative Projects:

Aside from attending performances, consider actively participating in collaborative projects, workshops, and art residencies.

These initiatives provide a platform to engage with other artists, learn new techniques, and showcase your own work.

Collaborative projects foster a sense of community and can lead to long-lasting connections within the Nigerian performance art scene.

Exploring the Nigerian performance art scene requires dedication, active participation, and a desire to constantly seek out new experiences.

Research and discover events, join artist communities, collaborate on projects online, immersing yourself in evolving performance art.

Embrace the journey, discover inspiring performances, and contribute to the growth of the Nigerian performance art scene.

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Attending Performance Art Events

When it comes to attending performance art events in Nigeria, there are a few important things to keep in mind.

Whether you are a seasoned attendee or a first-timer, these tips will help you make the most of your experience.

1. How To Prepare For Attending Performance Art Events

Prepare for the Event:

  • Research the event beforehand to have a good understanding of what to expect.

  • Check the date, time, and location of the performance to plan your schedule accordingly.

  • Consider the dress code, as some events may have specific attire requirements.

  • Bring any necessary materials such as notebooks, pens, or tablets to take notes or sketch.

2. Practice Proper Etiquette

  • Arrive at the venue on time to avoid disrupting the performance or missing important segments.

  • Switch off your mobile phone or set it to silent mode to prevent any distractions.

  • Avoid talking during the performance, as it can disturb both the artists and fellow attendees.

  • Refrain from taking photos or recording videos unless explicitly permitted by the artists or organizers.

3. Understand Audience Expectations

  • Respect the boundaries set by the artists and follow any instructions or guidelines given.

  • Be open-minded and receptive to different forms of artistic expression, even if they may appear unconventional.

  • Engage with the performances emotionally, intellectually, and physically, allowing yourself to be fully immersed.

  • React to the performance in a way that is appropriate and respectful, avoiding disruptive or negative behavior.

4. Engage with Artists and Fellow Attendees

  • Take advantage of any opportunities to interact with the artists before or after the performance.

  • Ask questions, provide feedback, or express your appreciation for their work in a thoughtful manner.

  • Connect with fellow attendees who share your passion for performance art, and exchange thoughts and experiences.

  • Attend post-performance discussions, workshops, or social events where you can network and learn from others.

Follow these tips to enrich your experience at Nigerian performance events and boost appreciation for this art.

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How to Navigate the Nigerian Performance Art Scene

Exploring Different Styles and Artists

When it comes to the Nigerian performance art scene, there is a rich and diverse array of styles and artists to discover.

From traditional to contemporary approaches, this section will showcase notable Nigerian performance artists and explore the themes commonly found in this vibrant art form.

Showcasing Notable Nigerian Performance Artists

  1. Jelili Atiku: Known for his politically charged performances, Atiku uses his body as a tool to explore issues of human rights and social justice.

  2. Qudus Onikeku: Onikeku combines dance and theatre in his performances to reflect on the complexities of identity, culture, and history.

  3. Ndidi Dike: Dike’s work often incorporates elements of sculpture and installation, highlighting the relationship between the body and the environment.

  4. Jelili Adebiyi: Adebiyi’s performances tackle themes of spirituality and cultural heritage, drawing on Yoruba traditions and rituals.

  5. Qudus Abiola: Abiola’s work focuses on the exploration of gender and sexuality, challenging societal norms and advocating for LGBTQ+ rights.

Different styles and themes commonly found in Nigerian performance art

Nigerian performance art showcases diverse styles and themes.

Traditional dances honour cultural heritage. Contemporary acts challenge societal norms. Theatrical pieces portray historical events vividly.

Ritualistic performances delve into spiritual connections. Political commentaries address current issues boldly.

Fusion performances merge traditional and modern elements seamlessly. Gender roles are redefined in thought-provoking ways.

Colourful costumes and intricate makeup enhance visual storytelling. Storytelling through music and movement engages audiences emotionally.

From celebratory to introspective, Nigerian performance art captivates with its dynamic range.

Exploring Different Styles and Themes

  1. The Body as a Canvas: Many Nigerian performance artists use their own bodies as a medium, exploring the boundaries and possibilities of physical expression.

  2. Ritual and Tradition: Performance art often draws inspiration from traditional Nigerian practices, incorporating rituals, ceremonies, and symbolism.

  3. Political Commentary: Artists in Nigeria often use performance art as a platform to voice their opinions on socio-political issues and advocate for change.

  4. Identity and Culture: Exploring notions of identity, performance art in Nigeria delves into the complexities of cultural heritage, nationality, and personal experiences.

  5. Social Justice and Activism: Many Nigerian performance artists are actively engaged in addressing social inequalities, calling attention to human rights abuses, and advocating for justice.

Broadening Understanding and Appreciation

To fully appreciate the Nigerian performance art scene, it is essential to explore a range of artists and styles.

By doing this, readers can gain a deeper understanding of the depth and diversity within this art form.

It is important to support emerging artists, attend performances, and engage with the local community to enhance appreciation and contribute to the growth of the scene.

The Nigerian performance art scene is a dynamic and ever-evolving landscape that reflects the country’s history, traditions, and contemporary challenges.

By exploring different styles and artists, readers can develop a holistic appreciation for this unique and powerful art form.

Experience a wealth of discoveries in the Nigerian performance art scene, from political commentary to immersive installations. Engage with thought-provoking performances.

So, step into this world of creativity, immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of Nigerian performance art, and let it expand your understanding and appreciation of this powerful form of expression.

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Supporting the Nigerian Performance Art Scene

The Importance Of Supporting Local Artists And Initiatives

  • Local artists and initiatives contribute to the cultural identity and development of Nigeria.

  • Supporting them fosters a sense of pride and appreciation for Nigerian art and culture.

  • It helps to create opportunities for local artists to showcase their talent and gain recognition.

  • Supporting local artists also strengthens the overall arts ecosystem, benefiting the entire community.

Share ideas on how to actively contribute to the growth of the performance art scene

  • Attend performances and exhibitions to show your support and encourage others to do the same.

  • Purchase artwork or tickets to performances, providing financial support to artists.

  • Spread the word about local performances and exhibitions through social media or word-of-mouth.

  • Volunteer your time or skills to assist artists or arts organisations in organising events or exhibitions.

  • Collaborate with artists by sharing ideas, resources, and knowledge to stimulate artistic growth.

  • Host or sponsor workshops, providing opportunities for artists to learn and develop their skills.

  • Donate to relevant organisations or crowdfunding campaigns that support the performance art scene.

Encourage readers to attend workshops, collaborate with artists, and contribute to relevant organisations

  • Attending workshops allows you to learn directly from experienced artists and expand your own creative abilities.

  • Collaborating with artists can lead to exciting and innovative artistic projects.

  • By contributing to relevant organisations, you directly support the growth and sustainability of the performance art scene.

  • Remember that every individual contribution, no matter how small, makes a difference.

Supporting the Nigerian performance art scene is crucial for its growth and development.

Support local artists, contribute actively, join workshops, and collaborate to nurture the vibrancy and richness of Nigerian performance art.


The main points discussed in the blog post

Navigating the Nigerian performance art scene requires a deep understanding of its dynamism and diversity.

Embracing this scene can lead to a profound exploration of Nigerian culture and identity.

Throughout this blog post, we have discussed various aspects of the Nigerian performance art scene.

We have explored the historical background, the major players, and the challenges and opportunities it presents.

The significance of the Nigerian performance art scene and its potential for growth

The significance of the Nigerian performance art scene cannot be overstated.

It serves as a powerful platform for self-expression, social commentary, and cultural preservation. It reflects the Nigerian spirit and showcases the country’s rich heritage.

Furthermore, the Nigerian performance art scene has enormous potential for growth.

It is constantly evolving and pushing boundaries, attracting international attention and collaborations.

As the scene continues to gain traction, it offers endless opportunities for artists to make their mark and contribute to the global art landscape.

The scene and explore the richness it has to offer

In light of this, we encourage readers to immerse themselves in the Nigerian performance art scene.

Attend exhibitions, performances, and workshops, engage with local artists, and explore the richness it has to offer.

By supporting and actively participating in the scene, we can contribute to its growth and ensure its continued vibrancy.

The Nigerian performance art scene is an extraordinary tapestry of creativity, culture, and innovation that should be celebrated and experienced.

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