Intriguing African Dances and Their Fascinating Types
Most dances were accompanied by the use of musical instruments and vocal singing or chanting. There are three specific dance categories for ancient African tribes: Religious or ritual, Ceremonial, and Storytelling or Griotic. Reasons for their Dance: Religious or ritual dance combines all of the traditions of ancient African life.
The Mbira of Zimbabwe had an all-purpose type of dance performance that was done by the Shona to call up their ancestors, fight off floods or droughts, appeal to the guardians of their tribes, seek help in family or village arguments, honor the anniversaries of those that had died, and even add a new chief to the tribe.
Ritual dance acted as a method of bringing the tribe together in a kind of unification that enhanced the health, prosperity, and peace of the village. Ceremonial dances were those that were performed at important times in the existence of the village or specific individuals. Ceremonial dance was used to celebrate the welcoming of visitors, rites of passage for coming into adulthood, and even a successful hunt. These are dances that are shared by the entire village and act as a happy moment.
They each take turns jumping as high as they can while music is being played. The purpose of the dance is to demonstrate their strength and stamina. Dance and Storytelling: The storytelling or griotic dance are those that are done only by the village griot. This is the storyteller that retains all of the messages and important occurrences of the village.
The stories can relate religious, historic, or tales about their gods. Many are designed to teach children lessons about good and bad behavior, while others are strictly for the purpose of passing information down from one generation to another. The Lamban or Lamba dance was a dance that the griot performed to musical instruments that he played and often sang while the stories were told.
African dances are performed with incredible rhythm that is mutually shared by many of the village members. Musical instruments of all types are played and the dances are very sophisticated.
The dance involves the whole body and can including stamping, scuffing, shuffling and hopping, and often portray movements of nature and animals. Many of the movements can involve spiritual elements but can also involve imitating such animals as the stomping of elephants or the flight of a bird. Dance Purpose: Each village or tribe created their own specific type of dance so that it was part of their unique culture. The movements were part of their life experiences, allowing a flow of beauty and graceful rhythm.
Dance was the bond that held communities together and celebrated all of the important things that happened in their lives. Traditional African dance involves the expression of movement combined with emotions, however, there are also more reserved dances that are expressive of the village styles.
In some cases the variations from one tribe to another add more acrobatics, while others are specific to the social purpose. Training for the various dance types began early in age.
Traditional ancient African dance is thought to be the oldest in the world. Traditional African dances were very specific and had no improvisation. African dancers often wore costumes that could be made of natural elements such as leaves, wood, plant husks, or even animal skin.
Religious or ritual, Ceremonial, and Storytelling or Griotic Which African tribe are known for their leaping dance? Maasai Name two types of ceremonies where African dance would be used welcoming of visitors, rites of passage for coming into adulthood, and even a successful hunt What area of Africa will you never find couples dancing?
5 African traditional ceremonial dance styles explained
Search for: Dance Dance is a performance art form consisting of purposefully selected sequences of human movement. This movement has aesthetic and symbolic value, and is acknowledged as dance by performers and observers within a particular culture. Origins Mesolithic dancers at Bhimbetka Archaeological evidence for early dance includes 9,year-old paintings in India at the Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka, and Egyptian tomb paintings depicting dancing figures, dated c.
It has been proposed that before the invention of written languages, dance was an important part of the oral and performance methods of passing stories down from generation to generation. References to dance can be found in very early recorded history; Greek dance horos is referred to by Plato, Aristotle, Plutarch and Lucian. During the first millennium BCE in India, many texts were composed which attempted to codify aspects of daily life.
It mainly deals with drama, in which dance plays an important part in Indian culture. It categorizes dance into four types — secular, ritual, abstract, and, interpretive — and into four regional varieties. The text elaborates various hand-gestures mudras and classifies movements of the various limbs, steps and so on.
A strong continuous tradition of dance has since continued in India, through to modern times, where it continues to play a role in culture, ritual, and, notably, the Bollywood entertainment industry. Many other contemporary dance forms can likewise be traced back to historical, traditional, ceremonial, and ethnic dance. Cultural traditions Africa Ugandan youth dance at a cultural celebration of peace Dance in Africa is deeply integrated into society and major events in a community are frequently reflected in dances: dances are performed for births and funerals, weddings and wars.
These may be divided into traditional, neotraditional, and classical styles: folkloric dances of a particular society, dances created more recently in imitation of traditional styles, and dances transmitted more formally in schools or private lessons. Indian classical music provides accompaniment and dancers of nearly all the styles wear bells around their ankles to counterpoint and complement the percussion.
There are now many regional varieties of Indian classical dance. It is widely known both as a style of music and a dance. It is mostly related to ancient harvest celebrations, love, patriotism or social issues. Bhangra is not just music but a dance, a celebration of the harvest where people beat the dhol drum , sing Boliyaan lyrics and dance. It developed further with the Vaisakhi festival of the Sikhs. Their influence can be seen on the classical dances of Sri Lanka. They would include dabke, tamzara, Assyrian folk dance, Kurdish dance, Armenian dance and Turkish dance, among others.
They would make rhythmic moves with their legs and shoulders as they curve around the dance floor. The head of the dance would generally hold a cane or handkerchief. Members of the court nobility took part as performers. During the reign of Louis XIV, himself a dancer, dance became more codified. Professional dancers began to take the place of court amateurs, and ballet masters were licensed by the French government.
Shortly thereafter, the first institutionalized ballet troupe, associated with the Academy, was formed; this troupe began as an all-male ensemble but by opened to include women as well. The relationship of music to dance serves as the basis for Eurhythmics, devised by Emile Jaques-Dalcroze, which was influential to the development of Modern dance and modern ballet through artists such as Marie Rambert. Eurythmy, developed by Rudolf Steiner and Marie Steiner-von Sivers, combines formal elements reminiscent of traditional dance with the new freer style, and introduced a complex new vocabulary to dance.
In the s, important founders of the new style such as Martha Grahamand Doris Humphrey began their work. Since this time, a wide variety of dance styles have been developed. Street samba dancers perform in carnival parades and contests African American dance developed in everyday spaces, rather than in dance studios, schools or companies. Tap dance, disco, jazz dance, swing dance, hip hop dance, the lindy hop with its relationship to rock and roll music and rock and roll dance have had a global influence.
Latin America Dance is central to Latin American social life and culture. Dance occurs through purposefully selected and controlled rhythmic movements; the resulting phenomenon is recognized as dance both by the performer and the observing members of a given group.
University of Pittsburgh Pre. ISBN Copeland, Roger; Cohen, Marshall, eds. What is Dance? Readings in Theory and Criticism ed. New York: Oxford University Press. The performer-audience connection: emotion to metaphor in dance and society. University of Texas Press. Jonathan Dewald. National Museum of China. The History of Chinese Dance.
The Chinese Aesthetic Tradition. University of Hawaii Press.
Rythm of the African Jungle: Part 1
The drumbeat provides a pulsating rhythm. In response to the beating of the drums, the entire community connects, spontaneously singing and interacting with the dancers.
Why African Dance is Integral to Traditional African Culture
The impact of slavery on African dance Dance helps to strengthen bonds and preserve cultural heritage. Nowhere was this more evident arguably than at the onset of the slave trade in the 16th century.
In some regions slave owners either banned or restricted traditional dance by prohibiting slaves from lifting their feet. So the African slaves adapted accordingly. They danced in secret or changed dances slightly by shuffling their feet and adjusting the movement of the hips and body.
Dances of Africa
In this way the spirit and importance of music and dance endured. Everything we do takes inspiration from all over the African continent. This includes our live entertainment and of course, the dancing! This type of dance is performed as an act of initiation into adulthood.
5 African Indigenous Dances
This dance is performed specifically by the young dancers who practice in seclusion for months before they get to perform in front of the community. It is seen as a means to boost the confidence of the young men and women and also a means to welcome them into the new phase of life. It is also one of the ways to showcase the talent and potential of the tribe to the visitor. The Yabara performed in West Africa is an example of this dance type.
It involves throwing the shekere to different heights in the air and it is mostly performed by women. Being celebratory in nature, the performances are reserved for weddings, anniversaries and tribal rituals.