african dance

Topics: Dance, Africa, Atlantic slave trade Pages: 6 (1989 words) Published: November 22, 2013
African Dance Types
Africa is a vast continent, consisting of many countries and hugely diverse cultures. African dance mainly refers to the collective dance type of the Sub-Saharan Africa, which is the African tribal dance. There are many aspects that affect the African dance types. Here are some glimpses of African dance types...

African dance types are distinct from each other because of the diversity, of the nomadic groups and the indigenous tribes, that practice them. The African dances symbolize social structure and traditional values of the people related to them. These dance types help the African people to praise, criticize and even work with each other. African dances heavily rely upon the African music, which is a very interesting form of music, despite the fact that in many African tribal languages, there is no particular word for 'music'.

African Dance Characteristics

In most African countries, music is an essential part of people's daily life. The two basic and very important musical components in African culture are human voice and the drums. It is also true that many African tribal dance forms, such as the Masai, don't use the African drums. In native language African drums, known as Djembe symbolize people's day-to-day life. The drum beats explain the mood of the tribal people and evokes the deepest emotions.

African dances tend to explain the lives and feelings of an African individual, a couple or an entire community. The African dances are classified on the basis of gender and deeply reinforce certain community structures like age, status, context and kinship. In African dance, men usually expend jumps and leaps while women dancers perform crooked knee positions and bent body postures. The most recognized dancing method is a group of dancers dancing in a circle with a drummer in the middle.

The African attitude towards music is said to be "two dimensional", the tribal Africans supposedly follow the "three against the two" beats of the drum. Drums always accompany them at every occasion in their life. African dance includes cross-rhythms of the musical instruments along with total body movements. Different body parts are highlighted in different tribal groups. To be more precise, subtle movement of the hips is emphasized in the Kalabari dance form of Nigeria, whereas upper body movements are essential part in the dance form of Ghana, named Anlo-Ewe.

African dance is mainly a sort of public event, where there are lesser number of spectators and more of performers. So, in dance forms like Yoruba, people touching each other while dancing was not so appreciated. Their main dancers and master drummers are very particular about the correctness of the dancing postures. There are not many lyrics but there are nonverbal clues and the lyrics are explained through the beats of the drums and intense humming and other such type of sounds.

African Dance Types

African tribal dance or African folk dance is performed on almost all the occasions in the people's everyday life. The African folk dance is nothing but a cultural activity that is followed sincerely, almost as a ritual. African people dance on all the occasions like childbirth, various festivals, marriages, recalling certain experiences in the past, funerals and also to worship Gods.

Welcome Dance
These dances are performed to please the visitors and show them the happiness that the tribe is feeling on their arrival. The other reason to perform welcome dance is to show the guests, how versatile and talented the villagers are.

Celebration or Love Dance
These dances are performed on certain festive and really very happy occasions like weddings, various tribal festivals and anniversaries.

Coming of Age Dance
This dance is performed to celebrate 'coming of age' of the young men and women. It is a rite of passage that many tribes follow and celebrate. The dancers perform in front of all the tribal members, which gives them immense...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • West African Music Assessment Essay
  • Syllabus for African Dance Essay
  • Dance Essay
  • Dance Essay
  • Dance Concert Essay
  • Dance Essay
  • Essay on Latin American Dance Music
  • Dance of Life Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free
Ready to Take a Chance Again | 新三國志手機版-光榮特庫摩授權 | Writing Persuasive or Argumentative Essays