Professionals & Artist Development

Vicki Igbokwe

Vicki Igbokwe started working professionally at age 19 when she successfully auditioned for Impact Dance, lead by Artistic Director Hakeem Onibudo. Here she worked as a dancer, choreographer and youth artistic director for several years. At 23 she was appointed Youth Dance Practitioner for East London Dance (ELD), being promoted to Creative Projects Manager at 25 where she developed and managed East London Dance’s Children and Young People programme focused on informal activities that included after school clubs, the East London Dance Youth Company and Blueprint their annual showcase for emerging choreographers.

In 2009 Vicki founded Uchenna Dance, after experiencing a life-changing trip to New York in the summer of 2008.

Feeling like a fish out of water throughout her stay in New York, whilst falling in love with the underground dance scene she was introduced to club styles House, Waacking and Vogue. Vicki was in awe of the dancers and drag queens she met and everything they offered her. Emerging from that experience with a new-found confidence and feeling super empowered, entertained and educated she returned to London inspired and encouraged to support others with their journeys enabling them to be the best possible version of themselves.

Uchenna Dance gave her a platform to focus on choreography and enabled Vicki to explore the new styles House Dance, Waacking and Vogue that were redefining her as an artist. These styles alongside African and Contemporary Dance allowed her to express herself creatively in a way that she had not experienced before and was the catalyst that gave her the confidence to transition from management to being a full time creative artist.

Alongside her work as Creative Director and Choreographer of Uchenna Dance, Vicki works as an independent Choreographer, Teacher, Lecturer and Curator. Working with a range of educational institutions, people, venues and companies including Middlesex University, WAC Arts, The University of East London, Jeanefer Jean-Charles, Rafael Bonachela, Luca Silvestrini, Sadler’s Wells, The South Bank Centre, The Lowry, Pavilion Dance South West, DanceXchange, Nike UK, Ireland and Europe, Jack Morton Worldwide, Five Currents and World Wide Shows.

Career highlights include a five-year sponsorship deal with Nike, work as a Mass Movement Choreographer for the London 2012, Sochi 2014 and Glasgow 2014 Olympic, Paralympic & Commonwealth Games and The Baku 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games. Vicki is also a trustee for One Dance UK, the UK body for dance.  Using dance and movement as a tool to support others in their personal and professional development, Uchenna Dance has the following vision and mission in place;

Vision - To be the ‘go to’ company for all things dance and leadership on a global scale!
Mission - To create and tour dance shows, for people from all walks of life that empower, entertain and educate.


CURRENT TOURING PRODUCTIONS

Hansel and Gretel (2018)

Touring 2018 – 2019 – available from end of Nov 2018

Vicki’s next creative project is a remake of the tale Hansel & Gretel. She will work with writer Gbolahan Obisesan and composer Kweku Aacht to realise an imaginative new take on a favourite fairytale. Hansel and Gretel, and their father have arrived in Rural England from Africa, full of strange sights and smells. They are a displaced family facing poverty, but in the children’s imagination they are superheroes, bold adventures with super powers to meet any challenge. 

They are repeatedly separated from their father, but find their way back, following the distinctive smells from restaurants, and the colourful wares in the market. At night they become disorientated, and are taken in by a kind lady, whose home is full of the comforts they have been dreaming of - rich food, and a cosy bed. Uchenna’s Hansel & Gretel are super heroes though - they’re not taken in and escape to be reunited with their father. 

Our story celebrates children’s tenacity, as we watch Hansel & Gretel tackle situations that would have the bravest of adults shaking in their boots. 

Expect to groove in your seat in a night that will transport you to a world far from yours with some surprising similarities. This will be a family show, with a target audience of 5+.

Duration 60 mins

People on road 6 (4 performers, 1 Company Manager, 1 PM/LD)

Freight Variable, please contact directly

Wraparound Workshops will be available.

Tour Dates 2018 – 2019
Hansel & Gretel will be premiering at The Place in December 2018.

Further touring dates will be announced soon.   


The Head Wrap Diaries (2016)

Touring 2017 to 2018 – currently on tour

“Well-crafted and beautifully done. Really enjoyed the show” Christine Ohuruogu, International Athlete

Watch the short documentary here

The Head Wrap Diaries is an immersive theatre production in three parts; an arts installation, a dance theatre show and a Head Wrap Bar.

Hair – worn long, worn short, worn wavy or in braids – is the subject of The Head Wrap Diaries, a funny and uplifting dance theatre work by London based company Uchenna Dance. It’s a show set in a hair salon about people, and their ongoing relationship with hair. Mixing dance, theatre and storytelling with a good dose of humour, the performance venue is transformed into a Be-U-Tiful hair salon, with wig stands and chairs set around a performing space. Audience members are welcomed by stylists Linda and Riyah who will take you on a hair journey that will have you laughing out loud, thinking about your own (and everyone else’s!) hair while you learn a thing or two about afro-hair, straight from the hairdresser’s chair. This exciting dance theatre experience features a fabulously produced score by Ghanaian musician Kweku Aacht who provides a sizzling soundtrack of sounds from Afro house, folk and electronic dance music to jazz and Ghana gospel.

Show Duration 60 min (no interval)

People on the road 5 (3 Performers, 1 Company Representative, 1 PM/LD)
Freight Variable, please contact directly
Staging Traditional audience Seated, with opportunity for two (or more depending on space) audience members to experience the show onstage as part of the hair salon. Full information provided in marketing and tour pack, available upon request

N.B this show has extensive rural touring experience with the Rural Touring Dance Initiative so can be set in village halls / non-traditional theatre spaces. Please include this information at the time of making an enquiry if you fall within this category.

Wraparound Option:

  • The Pre-show art installation can include a combination of the following: specially commissioned art work, poetry, hair and head wrap displays and drinkable conditioning smoothies which promote healthy hair! The installation components are determined by the spaces and equipment available in your venue - to be agreed with the company.
  • The post-show Head Wrap Bar is your opportunity to meet the company, share experiences, have a drink and learn and share different ways of tying head wraps. Bring your own piece of fabric or experiment with the ones provided. Explore your own personal style, create your own crown and learn a new skill
  • Participatory Experiences - Bespoke participatory experiences are available alongside the production.
  • Dance Workshops, Residencies & Curtain Raisers We can deliver workshops, residencies and curtain raisers creating a bespoke programme for the needs of your learners starting at 5 years+. Including (but not limited to) learning sections from the show, learning specific dance techniques, delivering a fun and empowering dance class, using the show as a stimulus to create individual or group work and developing a response to the show.
  • Empowerment Sessions These sessions are delivered through movement, conversation and head wrapping. Celebrating women and girls, creating a safe space for self-discovery and the opportunity to tap into your authentic self. We embrace the importance of head wraps to women, including religion, a bad hair day, fashion, protective styling and loss of hair. These sessions encourage participants to think Fierce, be Fabulous and live Free... building self-confidence, counteracting the trend of young girls and women developing self-esteem issues - allowing women to celebrate who they are, to see themselves positively and feel uplifted. We engage in a universal discussion, as hair and beauty affect women of all ages, races, hair types and religious backgrounds.

Please note that our participatory programme can be booked independently of the show.

What is a head wrap?A head wrap is a cloth that is used to cover, wrap or tie around your head. It can be a scarf that you would tie around your neck, material handed down in your family, a bed sheet (cut to size), a sacred cloth or a fabric leftover. Men, women and children can, and do, wear head wraps. Anyone with hair, (no matter its texture), and those without hair, can wear one. They are a universal accessory worn by many, for many different reasons.

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and partnerships with The Place, Ged Matthews , The Rural Touring Dance Initiative, The Albany and Trinity Laban.

Tour 2018
The Albany (London), 20-23 Mar
Gladstone Community Park (Peterborough), 24 Mar
Trinity Centre (Bristol), 13 Apr
The Place (London), 20 Apr
Cast (Doncaster), 24 Apr
Riley Theatre (Leeds), 26 Apr
The Courtyard (Hereford), 14 July

Critics Quotes
“Here is a work that is engaging, authentic, culturally rooted and beautifully danced with an intelligent installation and (head) wrap-around programme” Ian Abbott, Writing About Dance
“If you came prepared for a lecture, prepare to be disappointed. If you came for a party, prepare to get one” The Reviews Hub
“A standing ovation worthy performance by Uchenna Dance. A-MAZING” Gender In Dance
“The Head Wrap Diaries is a production that needs to be made with stories that need to be told” - Curlture UK

Audience Quotes
“What a show! The Head Wrap Diaries is a great show fusing dance, theatre and comedy” - Aṣọ Global @AsoGlobe
“Miss Vicki has smashed it again with The Head Wrap Diaries for Uchenna Dance - Powerful, empowering & electric” -Darragh O'Leary Movement Director on What We Wished For @crucibletheatre choreographer on Billy the Kid
The Head Wrap Diaries was INCREDIBLE. Laughter, good dancing and great energy!” - Isaac Ouro | Writer & Sub-editor @ayoungertheatre
“Fierce, witty and brilliant!”


PAST PRODUCTIONS

Our Mighty Groove (2013-2016)
★★★★The Independent

Watch the promo here

Our Mighty Groove is an immersive-interactive production set within a New York

Underground nightclub where the space is filled with dance, music and ‘divaness’. The audience is both spectator and participant as they observe and experience the individual attributes of five club goers whose personalities and amusing behaviour leave you standing on the edge of your feet!

Using Vicki Igbokwe | Uchenna Dance’s signatory blend of club styles: House, Waacking and Vogue, fused with African and Contemporary Dance, Our Mighty Groove is the theatre clubbing experience that encourages you to let go as the atmosphere and vibrations take you over.

Show Duration 60 min (no interval) with optional ‘club groove’ after performance. Times of this post show activity can be negotiated.

People on the roaD 9. (1 PM/LD, 5 Performers, 2 supporting performers, 1 Company Representative)

Freight Variable, please contact directly

Staging Non-traditional, audiences are standing in the theatre/space as if in a club. Most seating is removed with a limited amount available for those less able to stand. Full information provided in marketing and tour pack, available upon request

Critics Quotes
‘Igbokwe blurs the boundaries between spectatorship and performance (..), but also taps into some of the immense pleasures of the clubland experience….Someone who is shaking up audiences in this manner is really one to watch out for’ londondance.com
‘Igbokweʼ’s movement vocabulary is urban in its content, African in its essence and contemporary in its aesthetic’. Camdenreview.com
Our Mighty Groove is a high-energy immersive production combining infective rhythms, dance styles and attitude’ Dance Tog Blog
‘It’s pure dance theatre!’ Exeunt Magazine

Audience Quotes
‘Great structure and concept, it was fresh innovative and new. Thoroughly enjoyable to watch and I loved that the audience had interaction.’
’Loved the atmosphere and the setting, it was great that as an audience member I was not strapped into my seat, I wanted to join in and dance!’
'I wanted the Our Mighty Groove piece to continue all night, what an amazing environment'
'Very unusual setting, I loved the way the theatre was turned into a night club environment and the process from entering after the interval right through to the end, kept you on your toes the whole time. A brilliant piece and an experience I wasn't expecting!'
'Fresh, innovative, crazy and exciting! Keep it up, I'm overwhelmed.'
‘Every angle was a different scene of a nightclub and it seemed like you had a different change of environment every place you moved to watch. A very thoroughly thought out piece, I enjoyed it and would like to see more.