Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Dance and Song
Dance and song are related to African people's most significant cultural expressions, and they reflect through physical and symbolic means the archetypal struggle of the mortal being against exterior forces. Thus, there is a deeply dramatic and narrative quality to the creation of this physical and symbolic means of expression. Dance and song are based on the fundamental aspects of African life; they are a common response to the need for social readjustment or restructuring and the reestablishment of balance and harmony. They are also linked to people's relationship with supernatural powers; they are aesthetic expressions of Africa's ontological and cosmological orientation. Dance, décor, drumming, music, song, and costumes are essential and inseparable aspects of every African dramatic or narrative, religious or secular performance. In fact, African culture and history have relied on oral forms of transmission ...