African Drama and Performance (Research in African by John Conteh-Morgan, Tejumola Olaniyan

By John Conteh-Morgan, Tejumola Olaniyan

African Drama and function is a suite of leading edge and wide-ranging essays that deliver conceptually clean views, from either well known and rising voices, to the learn of drama, theatre, and function in Africa. themes diversity from stories of significant dramatic authors and formal literary dramas to improvisational theatre and renowned video movies. South Africa's fact and Reconciliation Commissions are analyzed as one of those social functionality, and elements of African functionality within the diaspora also are thought of. This dynamic quantity underscores theatre's position in postcolonial society and politics and reexamines functionality as a sort of excessive paintings and daily social ritual.Contributors are Akin Adesokan, Daniel Avorgbedor, Karin Barber, Nicholas Brown, Catherine Cole, John Conteh-Morgan, Johannes Fabian, Joachim Fiebach, Marie-Jos? Hourantier, Loren Kruger, Pius Ngandu Nkashama, Isidore Okpewho, Tejumola Olaniyan, Ato Quayson, Sandra L. Richards, Wole Soyinka, Dominic Thomas, and Bob W. White.

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Three griots were playing on their music instruments. All of a sudden, a warrior stormed into the circle with a sword in his hand. He moved to the general, stretched his arm toward the earth, and then started to jump and yell, as the general put it, moving his sword about as if he were attacking and then defending himself. Other warriors stood up and followed suit. Their movements (presentations) developed into a wild dance accompanied by music and illuminated by a big ¤re. The griots came and challenged the chief, who then took his ri®e and began to dance.

The history of South African liberation struggle made this all the more credible, indeed, inevitable. The most recent test of such a summons now challenges the collective will of the continent, in the shape of the increasingly fascistic eruption of King Baabu of Zimbabwe, and all that is left to us is a sad bewilderment at the lackadaisical approach to the death throes of the black führer playing the race card that South Africa herself has recognized is no answer to the internal dichotomies that lie within the class structuring of society and the perpetuation of indignities against the African peoples.

It is, however, from the egungun masquerade that a professional, mostly comic, fun-making theatre originated. Death, or more precisely the dancing spirit of the dead, is a sensuous phenomenon and a source of sensuous pleasure as well. Even those egungun who dance at funerals, awesome and dreadful guards of the deceased, terrifying manifestations of death (and the most powerful ancestors), are fun-makers. Egungun are very much open to Dimensions of Theatricality in Africa 35 change. They are curious about new things and embrace fragments from foreign cultures rapidly and avidly without giving up their original essential characteristics.

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