By Osita Okagbue
African Theatres & Performances seems at 4 particular functionality varieties in Africa and makes use of this to question the tendency to hire western frames of connection with research and get pleasure from theatrical functionality. The booklet examines:
- masquerade theatre in jap Nigeria
- the trance and ownership ritual theatre of the Hausa of Northern Nigeria
- the musical and oral culture of the Mandinka of Senegal
- comedy and satire of the Bamana in Mali.
Osita Okagbue describes every one functionality intimately and discusses how every one is made, who it really is made by way of and for, and considers the connection among maker and viewer and the social services of functionality and theatre in African societies. The discussions are in response to first-hand statement and interviews with performers and spectators.
African Theatres & Performances provides a desirable account of those practices, conscientiously tracing the ways that performances and theatres are detailed and expressive in their cultural context.
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Additional info for African Theatres and Performances
The masks can be anthropomorphous, theriomorphic, or therianthropic.
Anukaibie and Ochammili, the main attractions, dashed and galloped around the arena, occasionally threatening to go into the audience only to be stopped at the last minute by their restrainers from crashing into the canopies in which sat some members of the audience. The climax of this collage of moving images and bodies was the energetic dance of the two animals in which they swirled, jumped, galloped and danced while the actors inside still managed to keep to the rhythm together and suggest the movements of the respective animals.
Part of this perception, I believe, is given credence by the belief of most African peoples that everyone can perform and thus no form of training is required. Coupled to this is the fact that there has never been any pressure for people to specialize as actors, dancers, musicians, directors or designers. Certainly in Igboland, an excessive interest and involvement in performing is frowned upon because no one is expected to make a living out of it, no matter how talented or good they are. Igbo masking theatre, like all theatre, is a composite art form, which brings together a multitude of artists working in different mediums, and thus it essentially requires skills in extensive organization and management.
African Theatres and Performances by Osita Okagbue