Chinazor Roseline Okpokwasili


Nigeria is a country with a lot of tribes-each of them varying in culture and tradition. Traditional or cultural dance had been a mainstay in the history of Nigeria. There are several aspects of cultural differences, most of them symbolically representing the same things but done in a completely different context and one of the major aspects of culture in Nigeria is dance. Nigerian traditional dances have a way of unifying the people in one way or the other and sometimes telling stories via accompanying music. These stories may differ from tribe to tribe and most often reflect on victory, beauty, honesty, love, wars and the like. Dance is a language which expresses the geographical locations, biological temperament, religious beliefs, political and historical experience, social practice and economic peculiarities of the people that own it. Dance in every community is appreciated for its aesthetic appeal as well as religious and communication significance. The beauty of the Nigerian dance lies in its combination of purpose and high aesthetic concern, its celebration and reflection of communal life and virtue, and its embodiment of the collective beliefs and symbols, which constitute both the structure and content of the art and its ideal frankness and intensity of expression. Based on this, this paper selected a few popular traditional or cultural dances in Nigeria, studying their origin, their techniques and styles, the costume, the instruments used (instrumentation), and the performance context.

Keywords: Nigerian Indigenous dances, Performance contexts, Cultural differences and Dance as a unifying factor

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