Peter Badejo MA, OBEIvsm
Peter Badejo is one of Nigeria’s foremost choreographers, dancers and African performance specialists. He is in every sense of the word, a universal artist. Peter is also a storyteller, a master musician and singer and an accomplished director and actor whose impact on contemporary British arts in general, led to the award by the Queen in 2001, of the much-coveted Order of the Britain Empire (OBE) for his contribution to the development of dance in Britain.
A cultural ambassador for African arts in general, and Yorubaland in particular, Peter is concerned with the human condition, and with all the creative means of communication at its disposal for expressing the many hues and shades of that condition. He has performed, choreographed, directed and taught in Brazil, Bulgaria, Cuba, India and the United States and all over Western Europe and Africa. He is not only a practitioner of the arts, but he has also conducted valuable research into the development and influence of African performing arts in society. He is the Artistic Director of Badejo Arts, a company he founded in 1990. In addition to his own countless productions of allegorical contemporary African dance, including Elemental Passions, Peter has appeared in major dramas such as Cambridge University's Eshu's Faust, Leeds Royal Exchange Theatre’s Death and the Kings Horseman. A performer/teacher of various African arts for over 44 years, Peter is also an internationally renowned storyteller.
Dance companies throughout Africa, Europe and America have commissioned Peter Badejo’s work. Peter’s specialism in Bata dance has led to his development of the Batabade dance technique. His visit to Richmond University as a visiting Lecturer is a natural progression to expose students of dance to his unique technique in African dance and to give an understanding of the mutability of African dance expressions across continents, exploring the journey of the dance forms from Africa to Europe and the Americas. An accomplished choreographer, performer, teacher and academic, his commitment to African performance arts has also involved research conducted through the Universities of London and Ahmadu Bello University. Peter is a graduate of UCLA where he obtained his Masters degree. He was a Research Fellow at the University of Surrey (Dance Department) where he also taught African dance. He has worked in the presentation of dance performances for the Lagos Black Heritage Festival (2010 –12) where he worked with the Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka who was the Festival Consultant.
Peter coordinated the London Artistes participation in the Nigerian House presentations for the 2012 London Olympics. Peter has received numerous awards, amongst which are the Recognition Citation from the City of Los Angeles, Fellow, Dance Guild of Nigeria, ‘naai’ The Nigerian Achievers Merit Award - London (2002), Life Changers, Arts and Culture Champion Award, London (2011), ADAD LifeTime Achievement Award –London (2012). In 2001, Peter was awarded the Order of the British Empire by the Queen of England for his contribution to the development of Dance in Great Britain. Peter served as the Artistic Director of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of COJA and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Nigerian National Sports Festival 2012, EKO2012 Lagos, Nigeria.