Bata Dance

Topics: Yoruba people, Dance, Nigeria Pages: 3 (926 words) Published: September 7, 2012
The Music and Dance of Bata is a ritual form of dance for Sango, a deity in Yoruba land. Sango was the third king of the ancient Oyo Empire. It is a communicative dance between the worshipers and the deity. The Oyo Empire, established by the Yoruba people, controlled a wide area between the Volta and Niger rivers by the mid-17th century. The capital of the state was moved here from Old Oyo (Katunga) in the 1830s, and the Alafin (leader) of Oyo still resides in the city. A typical bata dance takes the structure of a, b, c, d, e. a - is the arrival with songs and dances, b - signifies "ijuba" which means salutation and homage, which is achieved through chants and dances. C - is the section of entertainment, it is the period when a variety of dances are performed. This section takes different forms; the ABACADA rondo form can be identifiable as well as the tenancy form and various other forms. This section of the entertainment could also be programmed to include traditional acrobatics as part of the dances. The entertainment could also include a magical show in which traditional musical skills are displayed. Of course the call and response is a prominent feature of this performance, where individual nuances and dexterity are also displayed. This section is rather long and these dances, and entertainment are usually accompanied with music and songs, and punctuated with chants. These songs and chants depend on the nature of occasion. On a purely secular occasion it incorporates less of "sango" and more of the praise poems of prominent people present at the occasion. In its traditional setting however it places much emphasis on its religions origins by focusing essentially on the praise names and chants of "Sango", the Yoruba god of lightning and thunder. The last segment is the departure, which also entails thanks to the elemental force for a performance free of hitches, and so it is a variant of the "ijuba" The group then comes with a recession song and dance...
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