By Elizabeth A. Hanley
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Extra resources for African Dance, 2nd Edition (World of Dance)
Dzimexe is a Togolese dance, which literally means “dance of the back,” and is primarily danced by men at socials and funerals. Takai is a royal social dance in Nigeria performed by men who wear long leopard skin and feathers; it is accompanied by drums and handclapping. Bangumanga is a Ghanaian victory dance performed by the chief ’s children and wife for him at a ceremonial occasion, while Kpanlogo, also from Ghana, is a social, urban piece that was created in 1963. Funeral Dances Funeral dances are performed throughout Africa, although some ethnic groups do not have dancing at burial rites.
It was only after the progression to rectangular homes that linear and 36 african Dance frontal dances were developed. The audience and spectator involvement in African dance is organized in a call-and-response format, which is complementary to the circle dance. In dance, the circle may be large and open or small and tightly closed, with the dancers holding hands or linking arms. Large or small, the circle represents eternity and continuity. It is integrally connected to the idea of the perpetuation of generations and their progeny.
Ijele symbolizes the ingenious mind and the social solidarity of the people who made its construction possible. The mask dramatizes the high status and achievement of the ancestors. Cloth hangings sway in rhythmic response to the dancing of Ijele, the numerous symbols that hang from the headdress seem to tilt from side to side, the decorative mirrors glint in the sun, and the openwork headdress seems to revolve in the shifting scenes of color and design. While the mask is getting ready to come out, a woman named Nne Ijele (Ijele’s mother) sings.
African Dance, 2nd Edition (World of Dance) by Elizabeth A. Hanley