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Title: Performing Africa: Dance and drama in some recent Yoruba performances
Author: Igweonu, Kenechukwu Nicholas
ISNI:       0000 0004 2668 5407
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis examines fundamental issues in the study and practice of African theatre and performance in our increasingly globalised (westernised) world. It tackles pervasive problems associated with genre and identity in a contemporary performance culture that is often prejudiced in favour of western theatrical conventions in keeping with postcolonially mis/conceived notion perceiving drama as an all-encompassing performative genre that epitomises indigenous/ traditional African theatre and performance. This work is grounded in discussions on Africanness and considers factors that influence its manifestations and our intrinsic understanding of it. The thesis identifies perspectives through which contemporary African theatre and performance can be approached in order to situate it within ambit as authentically African. It is radical in its exposition of a contemporary African dance and drama that is capable of utilising. its western derived forms to embody indigenous African theatre and performance aestetic that is equally accessible to Africans and non-Africans alike. The work examines the theory and practice of contemporary African theatre and performance by applying postcolonial and performance theories to a close reading of a selection of dance and drama productions, and play-texts. It critiques the tendency to group works by blacks as essentially African, faulting this stereotypical association of blackness with Africanness. It argues that while certain works by black people can be seen to have some degree of Africanness through their treatment of content, especially the placement of identifiably African subject matters at the centre of their narrative, that this potential is often blighted by the deficit of forms that are directly traceable to any indigenous African performance aesthetic. It considers methodologies for evaluating the fundamental perception of African theatre and performance, in the process uncovering interesting perspectives and identifying references for an aesthetic that generates progressive insights in the study of contemporary African dance and drama.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available