Entertainment of Thursday, 29 January 2015
Dance has been an integral part of the world’s arts and entertainment industry and it is only natural that we uphold it in any capacity possible wherever we may be. One of such personalities promoting Ghana dance in the Diaspora is Lawrence Otoo, the 1994 Ghana Dance Champion from Embassy Pleasure.
Currently plying his profession in Germany, he has returned to his homeland to pursue some activities including donation to selected children’s homes as well as his Spirit of Dance event.
He made this known in an interview with GlammyNews.com’s Yaw Sarpon when he chronicled how he rose to be a dance champion in Ghana, his exploits in Germany and what the future holds for him.
The skilled dancer made it known that before rising to become a dance icon most especially in the 1990s, he worked with the legendary dancer and choreographer Adjetey Sowah as well as the then Dance Director of the National Theatre, Mr. Francis Nii Yartey.
“I drew much inspiration most especially from these two (2) and many others during my time with them because they in their respective capacities taught me how to make it in life through dance even before, during and after winning the championship,” he stated.
Asked what he was doing after the championship he said he “travelled to countries like Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Benin, Togo and Nigeria with my Show Time Dancers before leaving Ghana for Germany.”
The man who is currently teaching in schools in Germany as a dance teacher and fitness trainer is also a co-Founder of an NGO called Love From Africa, Germany.
In terms of how he sees how dance is faring in Africa [Ghana for that matter] and Europe, he tipped the latter ahead of the former as one having a brighter future in view of the fact that dance in Europe has been entrenched to form part of sports but was quick to add that there is hope for his home country.
“In Europe dance has a brighter future because there are dancing schools everywhere and it is taken as part of sports. Music and dance are always fused in all entertainment activities up there which is very key. Though I’m yet to see a dancing school around yet, there’s hope,” he stated.
Otoo together with the NGO he has co-founded with wife Stella Webber will on Friday, January 30 make a donation at the Universal Street Academy and Osu Children’s Home in Accra worth thousands of US dollars. This will be followed with a flash mob performance on the streets of Accra Central [Central Post Office area to be precise] before the ‘Spirit of Dance’ (Otujaafro) takes place at the Art Centre on Saturday.
The man who stated that “without music and dance in the world, the world is dead” also advised dancers to keep embracing their God-given talent and tell the world their story.
“Dancers must not give up once they are alive – they must keep the doing what they are doing and the world will see and hear their untold stories in the very near future,” he advised.
Based in Germany, Lawrence Otoo has been upholding the flag of Ghana across Europe for years now and has visited some entertainment companies like Flash Mob Ghana Limited to discuss his vision.