Tantoloun Productions wishes to share ‘Just Me’, a solo dance piece by Esther Essien, which features bass guitar sounds, chants, Yoruba poetry and percussion.
‘Just Me’ is a dance piece conceived by Esther Essien at a point in her life when she had to take drastic decisions on the direction her life should go, having grown up in an unfavorable environment where everything happening around her is the direct opposite of the kind of life she wants for herself as a young girl with big dreams and aspirations.
‘Just me’ won the award of ‘PRIX YONGONLON OU MEILLEUR ESPOIR’ at the ‘Africa, Simply the best’ contest 2019 organized by ANKATA in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. The piece which is still undergoing creative process has gone through several stages and is fast becoming a full fleshed piece.
The theme of this piece is a universal story that resonates with most individuals, including the youths and women across the world. The message of ‘Just me’ is quite useful and needed in this pandemic period, as it deals with the ability to invent real time solutions in difficult situations; how to proffer solutions from searching from within; looking for solace inwards instead of looking outwards for solutions.
Thriving businesses and organisations in this present time have been able to reinvent and create new models to enable them thrive with the difficulties presented by the pandemic. And this is what just me is all about.
The god-like instincts embedded in us ensures that we always survive. The human race has gone through a lot of trying times and tragedies including wars and pandemic, yet we always come out triumphant. This piece shows hope, intrinsic strength and ability to triumph in all situations. We are gods, therefore we create, we heal, we thrive, we grow and we invent new solutions to new challenges. This too will pass as all before it.
‘JUST ME’: The BACKGROUND
As a child, we all had our aspirations and desires of greatness, which could have made a genius out of us, but as we grow, we were taught by our parents, the society and the four walls of the school to play safe and avoid taking risks. The kind of risks our dreams and aspirations demands, because of the fear of the unknown. But we all now know that our greatness lies in taking these kinds of risks. Even now that we are grown and independent enough to do whatever we want, all of the risk averse lessons learnt from childhood have subliminally crept into our adulthood, enough to deflate our determination to accomplish our childhood cravings and aspirations.
‘JUST ME’ :The DESCRIPTION: is a solo dance piece that highlights the lonesomeness of human; how we go through life’s challenges, pains, struggles, dominance, success and triumph; how we experience the stages of life and grow in grace, despite the stumbling blocks from the society; how we build encouragement and strength from within to grow out of the present challenges (economic, silent wars, unemployment, pandemic etc.).
SYNOPSIS: ‘using a live bassist on set as a reference to the conversations in my head, I show the tussle I go through in my head to reawaken my childhood goals of greatness regardless of how lonesome or tougher the journey gets. Though I have people around me, the loneliness nevertheless remains in my head, spurring me on to reach that place of solace and triumph where true independence of thoughts, imaginations and manifestations can be experienced. It is a lonely journey and it is just me on this road.’
As you anticipate this dance piece, kindly have a sneak peek of the process here: https://youtu.be/ljYd_hk1Q00
Keep Staying safe.
‘Just Me’ is performed by Esther Essien
The music is created and performed by Oyebisi Tosin Akinboye.
Voice/Yoruba Poetry by Kayefi (Lawal Deborah Olufunmilayo) and Lucrece Athcade sidoine
Percussions by Goodluck Babatunde Olorunjedalo
Esther Essien is a prolific Performer: a Dancer, Choreographer, Drummer, Singer, Actor, and a Researcher. She is the co-artistic director of Tantoloun Productions. She is one of the organisers of As’tele Hangout and ‘ViewPoint With’. In her works, she is very keen about new ways of moving and experimenting. She is always eager to explore different cultures, do projects across borders and as well, create unconventional performances.
TANTOLOUN Productions is a performing arts company domiciled in Lagos, Nigeria. The company focuses on human, cultural and socioeconomic development. Tantoloun Productions aggressively engage in artistic creations aimed at promoting cultural heritage that promotes the peaceful coexistence of humanity and the environment. We conceive and execute projects that strike a balance between cultural and socioeconomic development of youths in the creative space and artists in general.