Ebinum Brothers | The Duo Share Their Reflexions on Worldwide Issues Through The Grace of Dance



There are times when despite the flood of content in which we are drowned, our eye is caught by something different; meaningful. The choreographies of  Victory and Marvel Ebinum--21 and 18 years old brothers living in Nigeria-- feel like this breath of fresh air only created by true works of art. These dancers express the intensity of human relationships and the vital connection we have to our environment through unvarnished art. Luxiders met them for a chat.


To receive the Luxiders newsletter, sign up here.


Active on the web for only two years, the self-taught duo shares choreographies overflowing with emotion and intimacy, dealing with subjects such as racism, mental health and ecology. These are all topics reflecting the concerns of an increasingly engaged and connected generation





People relate to your art because you talk about issues that are touching many people globally, such as ecology and racism. Could you tell me why you treat these topics and how they affect your daily lives in Lagos?

We like to inspire people and use our art to express different feelings. And as you said, racism and ecology are things that we see, but for example, racism doesn't happen in Lagos; we haven’t witnessed it yet. But just because we are from Lagos doesn't mean we aren’t affected by what’s happening here. We see what is going on around the world as well, and we always try to help, inspire people and change minds any way we can. And the best way we can do that is through what we do, which is our dance. Everything we do is to inspire people and hopefully change the world.


You often talk about the challenge you face. But you managed to literally invent your own art without formal education and without that much support from your community. Yet, despite those obstacles, you did meet dance and fell in love with it. How did this happen?

It is something we always love to do, and we see this beyond techniques, and mostly as a form of expression. It is movements. We are speaking with our bodies instead of using words. So we don’t have a style, and we don’t have an actual name for it. There are no rules; it’s not “this is wrong, and this is right”.  It is just let yourself go and do it so that people feel what you feel. It is about the intention. So that is where we are standing; wanting to inspire people and share our story, to change minds around the world. Most of the stories we share are things we have experienced in the past few years and went through, so we want to share that because we know there are people in the world that are in the same situations, and we want to inspire them and light up their minds.



I think this is why people fall in love with your art because it feels so universal in this way. When you were children, did you see some people dance that inspired you to be dancers later, like on TV or in real life? And how did you start dancing? You didn’t start at the same time, but is there something that inspired you?

Marvel: I actually don’t know. As you said, Victory started before me, and he taught me so many things. But I don’t know at what point we started. It is a process from the inside, but I don’t know at what point we started!

Victory: For me as well, I don’t remember the point where we started dancing, but it just happened together.

Marvel: It was a thing that was working for us. Because when he started, he danced with a couple of people, but no one seemed to work out. When we started together, it was just perfect.


Indeed, you have wonderful energy between the two of you. Many famous duos marked the history of dance, but what is different when your partner is also your brother? Is it easier or more complicated?

Marvel: Personally, it is easier because I’ve tried dancing with other people sometimes, and there was no connection. There is a feeling I get when I dance with him that I don’t get with anyone else.


You posted your first video quite late: you started working on your choreographies much earlier. How did you feel when you decided for the first time to share your very personal art with the world and on the Internet?

We felt excited because it was something we had always wanted to do. We were so excited to share it with the world, and we couldn't wait for people to see us, get to know us and what we do. So it certainly felt exciting. And now we are able to film anytime and just share so that people can get inspired. And the response we keep receiving always motivates us to create more.


Your success came pretty fast, it’s only been two years, and you caught the attention of major fashion houses. You worked with Calvin Klein and Dazed magazine. How do you deal with this frenzy? Is it overwhelming or exciting?

It feels very exciting because we have always loved fashion. So making our videos and working for big fashion houses is fascinating for us that we always kind of wanted. Also, working with multiple creative directors and designers is really amazing for us.

It was sometimes complicated for you to show your art in your local city. Did this success change the perception people have of you and your projects?

Marvel: I believe so. The response has changed for like a year: the way people perceive us is actually different. I think people listen to us more now and pay attention.


It feels essential to have young people like you leading some new tendencies and approaches in arts; that is what makes us go forward. So, what are your ambitions for the future? Where would you like to be in a few years regarding dance?

We just have one goal, not regarding dance only but life: we want the world to feel inspired by our story. That is what we want to do, to share this with the world. We do have so many projects coming up that we haven’t started or released, and we are so excited because this is just a starting point for us, and the world will see what we have yet to bring.


*Images courtesy of Ebinum Brothers 




+  Words: Claire Roussel, Luxiders Magazine Contributor

Claire Roussel is a fashion writer dedicated to sustainability and social issues. She uses her passion for writing to tell the stories of the people fighting to make the fashion industry a more responsible one.