By Kariamu Welsh-Asante
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Extra info for African dance
The aesthetic qualities of the dances vary greatly from ethnic group and dances are often more than just figurative representations, often times they suggest an actual change in status or transformation from childhood to manhood or womanhood. N’Goron is an initiation dance from the Ivory Coast for young women who are about to enter adulthood. q 3/25/04 8:34 PM Page 43 West African Dances emphasizes vibrations of thoracic and abdominal muscle complexes. Rapid changes of rhythmic and step patterns from phrase to phrase, sometimes marked by punctuating pauses in the movement flow, characterize this dance.
Highlife is a social dance performed all over West Africa but especially in major cities such as Accra, Ghana; Lagos, Nigeria; and Dakar, Senegal. It is danced for pure entertainment and performed in nightclubs. Highlife is not considered a cultural or traditional dance, but traditional people in villages perform it. Both women and men dance Highlife and the popular music that it is danced to often has political, social, and ethical themes. As a social dance, Highlife changes frequently and is often influenced by local, national, and international trends and events.
Kilumi is also performed as therapy for those who are under the influence of a disease that is supposedly caused by the possession of demons (akamba) known as aimo. Kilumi is usually performed for the possessed to drive away the devils or demons that, at times, make the person have violent spells. Close relatives and friends accompany the possessed person in the dance and, in the process, some of these people are temporarily possessed by demons. The vigorous music making and dancing go on for many hours.
African dance by Kariamu Welsh-Asante