Former child dancer turned professor of dance studies, Jeleel Olasunkanmi Ojuade, will, on Thursday, November 11, deliver the 208th Inaugural Lecture of the University of Ilorin.
Ojuade, who teaches in the Performing Arts Department, Faculty of Arts, will deliver his lecture entitled ‘Dance is Life, Life is Dance: A Cyclical Nature of Man on Earth’ at the university’s auditorium.
He had in 1977 performed at the 2nd Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC’ 77) as a child dancer.
It’s a remarkable achievement for Ojuade, who has proceeded to fulfil the promise he showed back then as a child dancer by attaining the highest rank in academia.
On October 1, 2017, he became a professor and established himself as an eminent authority on dance theory and praxis.
Three days after delivering the lecture, Ojuade, who joined the University of Ilorin as Assistant Lecturer in 2001, will be installed as the Aare Alasa of Ifetedo, Osun State, on November 13.
The Olubosin of Ifetedo, Oba Akinola Oyetade Akinrera (Latiri 1), will install him at a ceremony that will be attended by family members, friends and people of goodwill.
The title affirms Ojuade’s calling as an artist and scholar. The Aare Alasa is the President General in charge of culture, arts, tourism and festivals in the kingdom.
Born on April 18, 1969, Ojuade is a researcher and dancer, specialising in Yoruba Bata and Dundun dances). He holds a PhD in Performance Studies (Dance) from the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan.
The President, Association of Dance Scholars and Practitioners of Nigeria, and a member of professional bodies including the Society of Nigerian Theatre Artists, National Association for the Promotion of Studies in Arts and Social Sciences, and Dance Guild of Nigeria began dancing with his father’s troupe aged four in the early 1970s.
He featured in local, state, national and international performances and competitions. He was the youngest member of the National Theatre of Nigeria which represented Nigeria at the XII Commonwealth Games and Warana Festival in Brisbane, Australia (1982) and a performance tour of the Federal Republic of South Korea in 1983. He has been a guest lecturer at ivy league universities in the US and elsewhere.