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Yemi Akinyemi Dele is a celebrated choreographer, director, performer, correspondent, and artist. Born in Liberec to a Nigerian father and a Czech mother, his unique multicultural background has driven him to explore and successfully incorporate a vast variety of cultures from different regions of the world into his own art. His performances have been well received in Paris, London, Barcelona, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Shanghai, Bombay, among many more cities. In 2010, hip-hop superstar Kanye West invited Yemi to choreograph all the performances for the “Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” album and global tour. West first worked with him for “Runaway”, a short film he shot for his album, for which Yemi choreographed a ballet inspired sequence. Working again with West, Yemi directed the choreography for what was later described the greatest live act in the history of Saturday Night Live. He also worked with West for his 2010 MTV Video Music Awards performance. .
Kanye West “Runaway” from GOOD COMPANY on Vimeo.
Soon after, Charlie Straight, a Czech indie-rock band, asked Dele to direct their music video for “School Beauty Queen” which was then awarded the Music Video of the Year in 2011 by MTV Czech
Yemi constantly strives to inspire others to develop and nurture their own natural talents as well. He has founded Dance Academy Prague / www.danceacademy.cz, JAD Dance Company / www.jadcompany.cz, JAD Productions, and “The Dancer of the Year”, a Czech/Slovak internationally televised dance contest.
As a performer, Yemi has acted in several different productions: Chronicles of Narnia II - Prince Caspian, Red tails, “Uflaithful Klara” (Italy, 2009), and the Czech series, „Ordinace V Růžové Zahradě“. Yemi was also the first Czech correspondent for MTV Europe and became the host of a popular Czech TV show, ESO. As a dancer, he performed in a principal role in the original Czech musical, Monte Cristo for two years.
With his interest in art, Yemi completed a degree at the Central European Advertising Art Institute, focusing on Art Directing & Copywriting. His devotion to dance was sparked during a trip to LA where Yemi attended a MGFT street dance summer school and got his first taste of modern street dance and other various dance styles. He continued to attend MGFT the following consecutive years, obtained a license to teach street dance, and in 1999 after he returned to the Prague, established JAD Dance Company. Through JAD, he was able to share the unique dance styles which weren’t previously available in post-communistic Czech Republic and its dancers. Since its inception, it has attracted accomplished dancers from all over the Czech Republic with its reputation for representing a truly unique and high caliber of dance techniques. Since 2007, the JAD Dance Company gives an original performance annually in the Czech National Building in Manhattan.
Being able to showcase modern dance choreography worldwide that reflects current global affairs has long been a driving vision in Yemi’s career. He strives to use dance expression to represent human connection with a fusion of cultures and societies. He hopes to motivate young people to develop their talents and to be unafraid of searching for their individual authenticity and explore their roots.
Yemi is an inspiration to many, not only through his artistic visions, but also through his spirit. It is evident that his desire to cultivate budding talent, create beautiful and authentic art, while connecting people across the globe, are true passions of his and he is devoted to developing his craft and collaborating with people who share in his visions.
by Cathleen Cher (Art Production Manager, Los Angeles)
KANYE WEST – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
2010Full Length Film
- “Runaway” Saturday Night Live
– “Runaway” & “Power” MTV Video Music Awards
- closing act2011Coachella Festival (Indio, CA)Mawazine Festival (Morocco)Splendour In The Grass Festival (Australia)European Festival Tour (Lisbon, Portugal / Herdforshire, UK / Bergen, Norway / Oslo, Norway / Copenhagen, Denmark / Gothenburg, Sweden / Helsinki, Finland / Krakow, Poland)XBOX Modern Warfare 3 Convention (Los Angeles, CA)Essence Festival (New Orleans, LA)SummerFest Festival (Milwaukee, WI)2012Big Day Out Australian Tour (Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne)
direction & production
Internet Viral Campaign
- for NIC.CZMusic Video Ben Cristovao
– “Give Me Some More”Music Video Charlie Straight
– “School Beauty Queen”Music Video for MISTA
– “Never Hide”Music Video Kanye West
– “Lost In The World”
awardsBest Media CampaignBest usage of social networks & viral marketing in the country by PIAF - campaign “Doublers”Best Music Video MTV CzechCharlie Straight – “School Beauty Queen” (2011)24 Most Influential People in Czech Republicvoted by MF Dnes, most respected Czech Daily Press
(2010)Saturday Night Livebest live act in history of the SNL TV show – claimed by SNL senior producerRolling Stone Magazine
cited “Runaway” the best piece of the year (2010)