Bode Lawal Biography


Bode Lawal MA(emca), is hailed as one of the finest exponents of creative African dance now working in Britain. He studied dance, choreography and drama before being invited to join the Nigerian national dance troupe with whom he toured internationally, winning the Ministry of Culture’s Dancer of the Year award in 1985. After this success, he moved to Britain to form Sakoba (meaning new dawn), to celebrate the rich traditions of African dance and music and to spread the profound messages encapsulated in his choreography across Europe. 

In 1990 he was asked to choreograph Macbeth for the English Shakespeare Company, directed by Michael Bogdanov which also formed part of an exchange programme with the Santa Monica Playhouse. In 2003 Bode was invited by the Dean of Faculty of Arts and Architecture to UCLA as a visiting dance professor, teaching intercultural choreography in the World Art and Cultures department Los Angeles, California. 

Due to the great interest in his visionary work, Bode was encouraged to establish Sakoba’s sister company in Los Angeles in order to promote the understanding and appreciation of his unique choreography and technique. 


This company has received sponsorship from some renowned personalities including Jamie Lee Curtis, Christopher Guest, Sharon Stone, James Cameron and the Oprah Winfrey Foundation, allowing the Company to perform at the prestigious Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival in Massachusetts. Bode Lawal, upon completing his sabbatical, returned to the UK where he arrived with a fresh and compelling new dance language. 

He is also in great demand as a teacher and residency tutor and has won numerous National and European awards for his choreography and performances alike. In 2002 Bode Lawal was awarded The Dance Artist Fellowship “Men of Merit” Award for Outstanding Contribution to Dance. His recent choreography “Clockwork” won the ‘Performance of the Year 2006’ in The Journal Culture Awards.