By Patrick McNaughton
In 1978, Patrick McNaughton witnessed a poultry dance masquerade within the small city of Dogoduman. He used to be so laid low with this functionality that its brilliant inventive strength hasn't ever left him. As he revisits that very particular night in A chook Dance close to Saturday urban, McNaughton conscientiously considers the elements of the functionality, its speed, the performers, and what the full event potential for understandings of Bamana and West African aesthetics and tradition. The functionality of virtuoso dancer Sidi Ballo turns into McNaughton's car for figuring out the facility of people in African paintings and the facility of aesthetics as a cultural phenomenon. themes resembling what makes artwork powerful, what makes it "good," how creation is wrapped in person virtuosity, and what person artistry indicates approximately society demonstrate how contributors interact to create the indelible adventure of awesome functionality. This exuberant and fascinating e-book will impression perspectives of society, tradition, artwork, historical past, and their makers in West Africa for years to come.
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Extra resources for A Bird Dance Near Saturday City: Sidi Ballo and the Art of West African Masquerade (African Expressive Cultures)
Sangaré joins them. Kònò Is Back: The bird returns and greets the drummers. He sways and moves slowly but seems tremendously agitated. He squawks at the senior singer Mayimuna, and anticipatory tension fi lls the air. Kònò Turns Over and Dances Upside Down: In an exquisite sequence of carefully executed moves, the bird “falls” to the ground on its side and then turns completely upside down in a material reconfiguration onethird the height it has been all evening. Compressed inside, the master masquerader proceeds to slowly dance about the arena, feet not touching ground but rather the cloth top of the masquerade.
And there are several elder lady singers, featuring Mayimuna Nyaarè (see plate 5). The drummers tune their drums by placing them near a small fire to change the tension on the drum heads. They casually practice some of their rhythms and solo riffs, and as the performance approaches, they play increasingly longer segments of songs. The women singers also warm up. They sing bits and pieces of the songs they will perform, preparing their voices and psyching themselves for the hours ahead. Meanwhile, Sidi Ballo is a few streets away from the crowd, preparing himself and his bird masquerade with the help of his apprentice, Sibiri Camara (see plate 6).
These youth association performers were whistled on and off the arena by the master of ceremonies, the young man in a deck-of-cards shirt. The sequence did vary, but it was essentially unmasked dancers, masked dancers, and then Sidi and his apprentice. Occasionally even younger children had a brief interlude on the dance arena. Once most of the youth association danced, and near the end most of Dogoduman came out onto the arena. Dogoduman’s youth association drum orchestra performed whenever anyone was dancing or singing.