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Foluke Ogundare & Olubunmi Ogundare Jnr.

Nigeria Dance Theater “Alujo”. The history of an African talking drum. Exhibition: Dancing and drumming in Africa.

Foluke Ogundare & Olubunmi Ogundare Jnr. (Nigeria)¨ Nigeria Dance Theater “Alujo”. The history of an African talking drum. Exhibition: Dancing and drumming in Africa", 15th International Congress on Dance Research, Ioannina, Greece, 7-11/11, 2001.

This exhibition and dance theatre will depict and symbolise the expression of historical and spiritual drum in Yoruba, Southwest, Nigeria. The sound of this drum, when beating hypnotise opposing force warriors to dance a dangerous dance of death that made them easy captive! Via “Alujo drum” this theaterical demonstration draws primitive mysteries and tradition to create a moving expressioon of Ibadan opposing warriors experience during the popular "Kiriji war"

Theater in dance

This presentation: a fifteen minutes explanatory theatre dance expresses the historical and spiritual three-faced drum called “Alujo” used during “Kiriji war” in Yorubaland, Southwest, Nigeria, in 1828 AD.

Storyline Introduction

African dances take place in many ways to celebrate different occasions like weddings, chieftancy, birthdays, festival and funeral ceremony. Dancing steps or movement is in response to traditional music and musical instruments: most especially african talking drum. Movements range from the graceful arm movements and swaying hips of women, to body contortions and staccado earthshaking footbeats of men, and from the gentle but precise footwork of the kanuri, the Itsekiri and the Ijaw to the Vigorous rhythmic dance of the Igbo and the Tiv.

Alujo Storyline

In 1828 AD, at Yoruba land in Southwest Nigeria, there was a popular war that aroused between villagers, communities and tribes, which was tagged “Kiriji War”. The war became a testing ground for villages, warriors and kings, in demonstration of traditional beliefs and spiritual charms against the opponents.

On the fateful day, the opposing warriors called the Ibadans equipped themselves with their popular Dane guns, charms and many traditional medicines to fight their opponents the Ekitis. The war atmosphere was so intense and powerful with the smell of war, and the Ibadan giants were seen at all angles! War songs suddenly began and the whole villages were in a state of confusion!! The opponents were in high spirit because they believe so much in their drum and the eventual dance whenever the sound of the drum was heard.

War finally began and the Ekitis brought out their “Alujo drum” having made lots of incantation and spiritual sacrifices to gear up the spirit of the drum! On seeing the Ibadan warriors, heaven were let loose and the drum was beating with some underground songs!!!! The sound of Alujo hypnotised their opponents and they began to dance unknowingly to them a dangerous dance of death! All their charms, guns and others were dropped and the Ekiti’s warriors made them easy captives.

The artistic movement expression of Ibadan warriors developed to a particular style of dance among hunters in Yorubaland, popularly called "Ijala" most especially during their popular festival called “Ogun Festival”.

Dance Theater presented by

Ms. Foluke Ogundare

 

Olubunmi Ogundare Jnr.

 

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