Barely two weeks ago, the Society of the performing Arts in Nigeria (SPAN) rolled out the drums of recognition, anticipation and excitement as it kicked off the SPAN festival at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island in Lagos.
The festival witnessed an impressive opening on with ‘Battery Dance Company,’ a prestigious international dance group from New York; putting up a spectacular show ‘Autobiographica.’
To raise the tempo, the event also showcased a presentation from Nigerian students who had been trained by the dance company during the week. It was an evening to remember with a mixed audience of the corporate community, art lovers, celebrities, and the expatriate community.
Following the grand opening, there were numerous events all week including ‘Gospel & Comedy Night’ on Sunday, The African Jazz Night, Taruwa Night, I.D.O Dance Battle, and two amazing dance theatre productions ‘Love is…’ show, and ‘Wishes & Horses.’
In addition to these, there was something for everyone; lovers of art, theatre, fashion, dance, spoken word, comedy and music.
The festival eventually came to a grand close with the SPAN Awards, a glamorous night of fine dining and exquisite entertainment, honouring individuals and organisations that have made an impact in the arts.
The arts community can easily be described as one of the most under-celebrated communities, and the aim of SPAN Awards according to the organisers is to recognise and celebrate individuals and corporate bodies that have made transformational impact and commendable investment in the development of the arts in Nigeria.
A10-man jury of reputable professionals from the creative industry, including Nollywood veteran, Joke Silva, Jahman Anikulapo and Ugoma Adegoke of The Lifehouse, came together to deliberate on the awards to be given out at this inaugural event. The awards were given to 13 recipients including individuals, organizations and a lifetime achievement award.
"All the jury members and I were delighted to be part of the process of choosing winners in numerous categories for outstanding achievements and transformational investment in the creative industry in Nigeria," said Sandra Mbanefo Obiago, Head of the Jury for the SPAN Awards for Excellence.
"It is amazing to realize how many silent heroes we have in the industry, and I commend SPAN for having initiated this important award for the continued and strategic development of the performing arts in Nigeria."
Audu Maikori of Chocolate City was impressed with the show and said, “It was indeed a great honor to be asked to be one of the judges at this year's Span Awards. The panel of judges consisted of very distinguished and erudite professionals in the creative arts sector, so you can imagine how robust and lively the deliberations over nominees and categories were! Even though we didn't all agree, one thing we were agreed on, was to make our most honest input and ensure that true diligence, creativity and excellence in the performing arts is duly recognized and rewarded.”
In the Music for Performance Award category, Mr. Ben Ogbeiwi won the individual category while Nigerian Breweries clinched that for the corporate category.
For the Fine Arts Award, the winner (individual) was Nike Okundaye while Arthouse Contemporary won for the corporate category.
The Fashion Award was not left out and for this, Ituen Bassey won (for individual) while Lagos Fashion and Design Week emerged tops in the corporate category.
For the Film Award, Femi Odugbemi won the Individual category while Ultima won in the Corporate category.
Other categories and winners include those from Dance Award - Segun Adefila [Crowne Troupe] –Individual winner, Maltina Dance All for the Corporate category, Teju Karim (for the Dramatic Arts Award0 for individuals and Terra Kulture for the Corporate category.
The Lifetime Achievement Award in the Arts was earned by Prof. Bruce Onobrakpeya.
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By SAMOD BIOBAKU
By SAMOD BIOBAKU