Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Opening Up A Can of African Dance And Culture

He Don King of African dance. Either you work with him in his annual celebration of African dance, music and culture or you'll end up fighting in dingy places à la Fight Club.  It's not that other dance artists in African culture are not actively working to bring African dance, music and culture to the US, but Chuck is actively working to bring those forces together

Africa is a large continent made up of many countries each country having its own unique diverse cultural mix. African dance is a movement expression that consists of a spectrum of many different dance forms. Each form defined by its own individual technique, style and cultural reference. It would take a lifetime and beyond to fully understand or experience the complete spectrum of African dance forms.

african dance and culture music routinely features a strong percussive element. Not only the drummers but the dancers as well form part of the rhythm by striking their feet on the ground. It often seems as if the legs are only lifted so that they can be brought down again. The dances across various African cultures are often rhythmically pulsating, driving, and pushing through the ground. Even in the Massai jumping dances, the jumps are rhytmic and involve a strong downward preparation and final landing.

Different dances originated in different parts of Africa, with some having their roots in West Africa, others in Sub-Saharan Africa and yet others in East Africa. Dancing was used to pass on the values of the society to the young ones while other dances were done to praise the gods for provision.

Dance to the African is a way of life, a true representation of a people's existence expressed through rhythm and movement. In the African cultural paradigm the relationship between rhythm and movement is one that is inseparable; one cannot exist without the other

Dance in Africa is used as a functional tool of expression and has and is used for a variety of reasons. Dance is used in ritualistic purposes, as a secular activity engaged in for recreation or entertainment, embracing such factors as physical exercise, performance of skill,aesthetic enjoyment, courtship, personal communication and cultural continuity

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