By | InTheCitySudan
African dance is polycentric, which sets it apart from most other dance traditions in the world. As explained by the National Museum of African Art, this means that the dancer’s body is segmented into separate areas of movement, with each area being able to move to different rhythms within the music. Known as “isolations” in choreographic terms, these moves are quite complex and difficult to master.
Most African villages had a “dance master” who taught the members of the tribe from a very young age how to perform the various dances. It was very important that these dances be performed exactly as taught, with no room for improvisation or ornamentation until complete mastery of the form was achieved. While almost all of the dances are polycentric in some way, different areas of Africa have very different dances. The Masai and the Dinka are known for leaping high in the air, for example, while the Kalabari emphasize hip motions. In all cases, the movements are very precise, and the same dances you see today have most likely been danced the same way for centuries.
The Importance of Music in African Dance
In African dance, the drum is one way to set the mood and brings everyone together as a community. However, many other instruments are used as well, such as gourds strung with beads. Clapping, stamping feet, and most of all singing also create rhythmic music for African dance. As dancers move in an expression of their inner feelings, their movements are generally in rhythm to the music. It is the sound of the music and the rhythms that are played that provide the heartbeat of the dance. The music and dance are considered inseparable, two parts of the same activity.
African Dance has evolved like all the arts and on May 12, 2015, the French Cultural Institute Khartoum, featured an amazing contemporary African Dance show.
Derrière le Rideau:
To achieve a creation, artists go through many unimaginable phases before appearing on stage. Hence, from the first idea of a creation to the completion of the choreography, the artists go through physical, emotional, and even administrative difficulties.
The commitment and wish to drop everything, the desire and despair, the will and urge to disappear.
What secrets are hidden behind the sweat of a dancer on stage?
What are the links that bind him to his own creation?
Inspired by his own quotidian life, the Beninese choreographer Marcel Gbeffa, director of the dance company Multicorps, reveals his emotions, panics, absences, disappointments, feelings that reside in his internal artistic space.
Memory loss in the middle of a presentation – undistracted public…; sudden improvisation…; deception of the public….
Space and distance determine nothing in our relationships or our conversations, but we depend on our senses to define what we share in our relationships; we also accept what we share, including our sins, in a way of receiving the best of whatever comes… We appreciate and use the present moment in order not to leave any regrets and hope for the best for the coming times. South African choreographer Fana Tshabalala, Winner of the 2013 Award for Standard Bank “Young dancing talent” and the French Institute 2014 Visas for Creation, explores relationships and the importance of appreciating and making use of the present moment with dancer Thulani Chauke in his dance work Between Us.