Essay on Dances in Africa

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Dances refer to the aspects of bodily movements done in a systematic artistic manner. Dances have existed for a very long time in diverse societies as they play an integral role not only for entertainment purposes but also as an instrument for preserving a community’s culture. As a result, the dance movements have aesthetic value to both the performers, the audience and the society at large. In the African, diverse dancing styles are present as underlined by the Yoruba speakers, the Asante of Ghana, Danse Beladi among the Moroccans, Mbende dance among the Zezuru of Zimbabwe. Despite the variations with regards to the styles of dancing from one community to the other, some of the aspects concerning the reasons for engaging in dancing are uniform. For instance, several cities engage in dancing as a means of earmarking a given occasion or as a way of pleasing the deities.

Morocco’s Danse Beladi

Danse Beladi among the Moroccans is a famous dance with the women. The audience for the dance is men though some women dance in seclusion. The dance involves moving the belly part of the body. Nevertheless, the dancers cover their bodies appropriately to limit the chances of revealing their bodies. The performance of the dance underscores the fact that sexual ecstasy is an integral part of marriage life. The dance is typical in social settings. Also, it highlighted the need to wait until marriage before an individual engages in sexual activities. The cultural aspects such as the prohibition of immorality play an integral role in determining the manner of dressing as it prohibits indecent dressing.   

Dance of the Yoruba and the Egungun

The people of Yoruba in Nigeria accompany the dance with singing in a bid to please the deities. The dance is performed on different platforms but is prevalent during burial instances as they believe an individual does not die. Instead, he or she gets transported to the spiritual world. The performance of the dance is considered to be responsible for opening the channels between the past and the present. Hence, the dance is a tool for preserving the people’s culture. The performance of the dance does not take into consideration the gender aspects as both the feminine and the masculine gender engage in the event. The men play the instruments such as the drum while the women participate in the dancing acts with a soloist leading the singing bit. As a result, the cultural trends of appeasing the gods with regards to life in the spiritual world affects the performance of the dance.  

The Egungun dance is believed to be a means of inviting the gods to commemorate with the people. The men engage in playing the drums which in return assume an essential role in instructing both the soloist and the dancers on the next move. In the dance, a dancer is possessed with an ancestral spirit. As a result, the dancer dresses in the garments that portray the soul itself. The societal members of the audience. All in all, the dance is performed during religious, cultural activities since it’s a pious drama. The song underlines the fact that without gods, the human race would be non-existent. The cultural aspects relating to the need for protecting the children affects the frequency of holding the festival.   

The dance of Osun

Osun is a name given to the protector of children. As a result, it is a dance that is accompanied by singing. The dance is attributable to the need to soothe and praise the protector of children. The dance is performed along the river banks as Osun is a goddess of the river. Also, the dance is attributable to the need to obtain favors. The audience for the dance include the people as well as the natural resources such as the river. Both the male and female gender individuals take part in the dance.

Ashanti court dance

            The Ashanti court dance is performed in the Ghana courts. Both the male and the female gender individuals. The dance aims at showing solidarity among the Ghanaian citizens. The performance of the dance relates to specific times as underlined by the festivals. The audience during the performance comprises of the emperor as well as the officials serving in the rulership hierarchy and the citizens. Drum beating is a common phenomenon during the festival.

In conclusion, the dances in the African continent underline diverse activities and purposes. The hops aim at preserving the people’s cultures as well as a means of praising and communicating with the deities. The performers vary depending on the communities and cultures embodied. Some dances are accompanied by songs while others are not.

August 01, 2023

Entertainment Music

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