Nigerian dances and theatre: National II
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Timothy Asobele, S.J.
It must be said right from the onset that dance and music are 11111 insically related, one to the other. This is because dance and music use 11Il: medium of poetry to touch the soul of both the performer and the Aiudience. This is to say that music is poetry and dance uses poetic lnnguage. Those who are versed in the language of traditional dance and music can therefore relate positively and react to drum in dance. Rhythm I therefore central to delight of both dance and music. There are also dances in African culture that only the initiates can decode or ornmunicate. The Ekpe secret cult dance movements of the Ibibios, Efik md Bende Ibos of lmo State are shrouded in cryptic rhythmic sign movement that only members can interpret. The Igwi dance ofthe Binisato belongs to this genre, it is a poetic movement executed by dancer subjects to pledge their loyalty to the Oba of Benin. The swaying of the dance sword, left, right,up and down are loaded with cultural messages. Like when the sword goes down this means irrevocable death penalty. Music atirnes dictates the movements of dances and meanings that are culturally relevant to a trade group. For the rhythm of Kalangu Hausa music, which is the instrument of predilection for butcher; Rawan Maharba for hunters and Rawan Kidi for social. The last type of music is very rampant in the Tundun Wada and the city districts of Hausaland. Bashful Hausa spinsters pay the drummer in most cases and dictate the tune to which they want to dance through poetic rhythm. The drummers can heighten her moral by playing rhythmic oriki or praisename of the dancer. These rhythmic body movements are a ploy to use their bodies to seduce prospective lovers or satirize those that have gone out offavour.
Timothy Asobele, S.J. (2021). Nigerian dances and theatre: National II.