Mufutau Yusuf, Irish dancer of Nigerian origin: “I am a fan of science fiction thanks to the influences of my mother”



Nigerian-born Irish dancer Mufutau Yusuf began his career at the age of 16 with the Dublin Youth Dance Company and then the Irish Modern Dance Theatre. He is performing in Liz Roche Company’s Yes and Yes at the Project Arts Center from November 10-12.

BOOK: Family

I am reading the novel Kinship by Octavia Butler, one of the first black science fiction writers. It is a combination of slave memoir, fantasy and historical fiction set in the pre-war United States and incorporates time travel, while being modeled on slave narratives.

I’m a fan of science fiction thanks to my mother’s influences, and I love it, especially since it puts the black body and black narratives at the forefront of a genre that rarely considers it.​

MOVIE: Dreams

I recently watched dreams, by Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, for the umpteenth time. It’s phenomenal and probably one of my top 20 movies. Made in 1990, it is a film of magical realism made in eight vignettes and illustrating eight recurring dreams of Kurosawa.

His aesthetic is breathtaking and the way he takes on personal, cultural, philosophical and global topics and connects them so seamlessly is pure magic. It’s a movie I often come back to when I don’t know what to watch, whether for fun or for inspiration.

MUSIC: Madvillain

Madvillain is made up of two iconic hip-hop artists – rapper MF Doom and DJ and producer Madlib. their album Madvillainy consists of short tracks, impeccable and entertaining storytelling and lyricism, and fun and eclectic sampling. It’s a masterpiece. I can play it to purely enjoy it or have it in the background while working or on the road somewhere.

DANCE: Stitches

I hope to attend the dance performance Meshes by [Rwandan-British artist] Dorothée Munyaneza in mid-November in Brussels, where I am partly based. I don’t really know the show but I came across excerpts from Dorothée’s works and I was an admirer of hers.

Online, it reads, “Munyaneza interweaves the intimate journeys of six female, black, and African (of descent) artists through choral pieces and visual elements.” I can not wait to be there.

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