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CONTEMPORARY DANCE IN NIGERIA: THE EMERGENT FORM OF ALAJOTA COMPANY

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Abstract:

It is easy to identify Nigerian traditional dance through its form, structure and style. Components of the dance such as concept, movement, music, costume and props are integrated and help to interpret one another thereby making the form easy to assess. Contemporary dance on the other hand cannot be identified as a particular form; since it fluctuates with every choreographer and with every dance created. This is why it is often difficult for contemporary dance to be appreciated and accepted by indigenes as an art form like conventional dances. In order to asses and comprehend contemporary dance, this paper investigates the emergent form of ‘Alajota Dance Company. Two dance performances by the company are analysed; these are “Yuogoslaver” and “Naked Home.” These dances are observed both on the live stage as well as on video. Evidence gathered shows that the emergent form of Alajota Dance Company is dependent on three major factors; Nigerian traditional dance themes, personal dance creativity and Western or foreign dance features. Christopher Emmanuel and Oluranti as choreographers in the Company depend highly on indigenous dance and traditional motifs to compose dances which are personal to their experiences and exposures. Western or foreign features such as exotic dance styles, synthetic music and stage technology extends further the creative will of the choreographers.

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