A ritual for survival: questions of identity and politics in one hundred year of Nigerian dance

Journal article


Igweonu, K. 2015. A ritual for survival: questions of identity and politics in one hundred year of Nigerian dance. Dance Journal of Nigeria. 2 (1).
AuthorsIgweonu, K.
Abstract

This paper sets out to examine questions of identity and politics in one hundred years of Nigerian dance practice and scholarship. It takes off from the premise that the idea of 'Nigerian dance' came into existence with the amalgamation of the Southern Nigeria Protectorate and Northern Nigeria Protectorate to create a single Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria in 1914. In other words, prior to the British amalgamation of the two Protectorates, the notion of a Nigerian dance tradition(s) could not be said to exist in any sense of the word. It acknowledges contributions by foremost dance ethnographers like Peggy Harper in shaping the study of indigenous dance forms in Nigeria; as well as those of leading dance scholars exemplified by Chris Ugolo - with his long-held view and effort to articulate the sense of a national choreographic style for Nigeria by drawing specifically on the work of Herbert Ogunde.

Following on from Ugolo's work in this area, the paper sets out to examine some of concerns and aspirations for Nigerian dance in its one hundred years of existence. The paper uses A Ritual for Survival (1989), Peter Badejo's first dance production in the UK, as a metaphor to contend that there is a need to revisit the issue of identity and politics in Nigerian dance, a challenge that is all the more imperative considering that Nigeria, as we know from the recently concluded national conference, is a country in search of identity. Ultimately, the paper seeks to infer that the founding of ADSPON portends good news and marks the first real/considerable effort in that process of framing a consensual identity for Nigerian dance.

Year2015
JournalDance Journal of Nigeria
Journal citation2 (1)
PublisherAssociation of Dance Scholars and Practitioners of Nigeria
Publication process dates
Deposited30 Jan 2018
Accepted2015
Accepted author manuscript
Output statusUnpublished
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/8885x/a-ritual-for-survival-questions-of-identity-and-politics-in-one-hundred-year-of-nigerian-dance

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