Download African dance by Kariamu Welsh-Asante PDF

By Kariamu Welsh-Asante

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Extra info for African dance

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The dances range from detailed footwork all the way to a swing of the hips. The aesthetic qualities of the dances vary greatly from ethnic group and dances are often more than just figurative representations, often times they suggest an actual change in status or transformation from childhood to manhood or womanhood. N’Goron is an initiation dance from the Ivory Coast for young women who are about to enter adulthood. q 3/25/04 8:34 PM Page 43 West African Dances emphasizes vibrations of thoracic and abdominal muscle complexes.

Zou (Zouw) is a harvest dance of the Gio people of Northeastern Liberia. This dance is performed during the last week of the harvest season. Odabra is an Idoma (Nigeria) word meaning “yams in abundance,” and it is part of the “New Yam” festival. q 3/25/04 8:34 PM Page 52 52 AFRICAN DANCE steps express the hunger that the villagers have experienced and the joy for the sun and rain that has brought a bountiful harvest. Young boys 10 to 16 years old perform this dance. Su, a fishing dance, commemorates annual fishing festivals.

Rhythm emanates from both the performer’s and the observer’s worldview thereby contrasting and affirming the entire community’s perception of the event. q 3/25/04 8:27 PM Page 34 34 AFRICAN DANCE GENDER ISSUES Women use dance to convey modesty, grace, and demureness— often to express gender identity. In addition, all through Africa, a woman’s ability to bear children is central to her identity and this is reflected through the numerous initiation dances throughout Africa that usher her into adulthood.

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