Adzido Pan African Dance Ensemble was founded by George Dzikunu (Artistic Director) and Emmanuel Nii Ayitey Tagoe (Musical Director) in 1984. As one of the first groups in the UK to celebrate African cultural traditions, it gained regular funding from the Arts Council in 1991 to support a large full time contract company of dancers and musicians with a remit to tour Britain and overseas. Adzido has been the UK’s only large-scale black dance company.
Nii came to the UK as principle dancer and drummer, having learned different traditions of drumming and dance across Ghana from the age of three. He was invited to work with Adzido teaching specific dances from the Northern regions for the production ‘Under African Skies’.
Many global stage, street and TV appearances later, he left the company in 1996, but returned in 2000 to help with the production of ‘Sankofa’. This was to be one of the last Adzido stage shows, as funding for the company was withdrawn.