This is a special dance for the Dagomba people of the Dagbon traditional area in the Northern part of Ghana. It is shared that it is a dwarf’s dance and not everyone sees this special dance, though a person may have lived in the area many years. Today we are blessed to have a chance to see this dance staged through the choreographic theme of unity and diversity among the planets of the universe and having the sun in the center of the universe around which all evolve.
This social dance for youth in the Volta Region of Ghana is a community dance among the Ewes. Usually a duet for the opposite sex, the dancers use the non-verbal language of dance through flexible torso and pelvic movements. This movement flow is interjected with a sharp silence freeze. This pause is unique in its own right because that total silence is part of the Gota music and dance. The master drummer commands the entire dance piece. The music is polyrhythmic, interwoven in a fabric of sound created by many distinct and contrasting phrases played simultaneously. The basic rhythm of each instrument is carefully crafted to contribute to the power of the overall rhythm. As the parts repeat, the players reach their aesthetic goal: a beautifully integrated whole with subliminal nurturing undercurrents to elevate the mind and soul.
Bamaya is one of the popular and most commonly performed dance during public events and functions in the Northern Region.
‘Bamaya’ is a Dagbani word which literally means ‘’the river or valley is wet’’. This dance is mostly done by men who are dressed in feminine outfits.
The Bamaya ensemble comprises a lead dancer, other dancers and drummers who also double as chorus singers and sing along with the dancers.
The movements in the dance are very symbolic in meaning. The dancers move their feet very swiftly and twist their waist many times as they dance round the drummers.
Gahu means “expensive” or “jewel” in the Ewe language. It is a recreational dance. Through cultural integration among the neighbouring countries of the West Africa Sub-Region, the Gahu dance has traveled from Nigeria into the Anlo communities in Ghana. This is apparent in the costumes and also in the movements, which are Yoruba, modified by the characteristic Agbadza dance form popular with the Anlo people. Its graceful movements exhibit elegance and dignity with meaning.
Kpatsa is a dance of the Ga-Adangme people in Southern Ghana. Mythology says that
Ga-Adangme hunters first learned it from the dwarfs; beliefs about its role in Ga-Adangme
society vary. Today, kpatsa is an important teaching piece in Ghana and has also become a
popular piece for Ghanaian performers.
A dance created by Otoo Lincoln in the Sakumo Tsonshi area of Accra in the early 1960s,
“Kpanlogo dance is a youthful recreational dance form of the Ga people ,most of whom leaved in and around the capital city Accra. It is a fisher-folk dance, with most of their gestures and intricate footwork reflecting messages and depicting the fishing.
this is one of many war dances. This one in particular is performed by the Ewe and Foh people during funerals and in cultural or social events. The dance movements of Agbekor show battlefield tactics like hand combat, surprise attacks, and scouting.
This dance is performed as a thanksgiving, prayer, and celebration dance. It was first done by the Lobi people.
Fume-Fume is a traditional song/dance of the Ga people of Ghana. Originally a religious dance, it and the accompanying song were used to call down the god Futrema, hence the very vigorous and ecstatic dancing usually displayed. However, it is now performed in secular, social settings as well.
The adowa is a popular dance that is widespread among the Akan and is performed during funerals and public social events. An adowa ensemble comprises a lead singer, a chorus and percussion instruments.
Togo Atsia. A subtle and stylish women’s dance from the Ewes of Togo. This event is traditionally organized by women and is used to present their point of view on social issues to the community. Dance and music interludes are interwoven with short skits that focus on the challenges of modern life (often the issues between men & women in particular). Dancers use two horsetails for most movements.
Tokoe. A coming-of-age dance for girls among the Ga-Adangme, learned at puberty along with mothercraft. Simple but stylish movements present the newly eligible girls to the community.
Kete is commonly found in the royal courts of traditional Akan communities. It is performed in the courts of every chief whose status entitles him to be carried in a palanquin. The music therefore can be heard on state occasions and festivals. There are three parts of the performance: Drum music, pipe interludes, and vocal counterpart of the pipe tunes. At least, eight pieces are played during a performance. These pieces are identified by the general name for the type of drumming and dancing, by name of its usual context, function or general character, by name commemorative of an event, or by name indicative of the participants. Adaban also called Topre is used when the chief has to perform the ceremonial “shooting dance”. Apente is used mostly for processions.
Kundum music and dance, which is performed as part of the annual Kundum festival of the Ahanta and Nzema people of Ghana originated in a situation of famine and hunger around 1700. Although traditionally a harvest music and dance, Kundum can now be seen on all social occasions. Kundum is performed in 2/3 sections: The first is domo, a slow movement, in which dancers evoke beauty, majesty and gracefulness with stately postures of tilted bodies. The second section ewulal[ch65533] (literally meaning “pumping”), inspires fast and masculine movements. The third section edudule consists of vigorous torso to torso movements, strutting movements of the body. The act of “plucking” in the fields is dramatized in the Kundum dance.
Takai is a royal dance of the Dagbamba chiefs and princes. It is performed on festive occasions such as the annual Damba festival, political rallies, and durbar of chiefs. Danced only by men, Takai movements involve pivot turns, torso swings, and stamping to the rhythm of the lunna and gungon, the only drums that are used in this dance.
A dance performed by the Kasena Nankeni people of Paga and Navrongo in the Upper East Region of Ghana. In the olden days, it was performed at funerals but today, even though it still maintains this function, it can also be seen on most social occasions excluding marriage ceremonies. Movements in Nagla reflect the spirit of togetherness.
Sanga is one of recreational musical types of the Ashanti-Akan of Ghana. The instruments used in this ensemble and their specific rhythms suggest northern Ghana, Dagbamba origins. The dance may be called a “chase” – it is gay and flirtatious. The women dancers wear bustles to attract the men.
Wali shows work dances that are quite popular in the regions of Guinea in West Africa. It is performed in two sections, Koukou and Triba. Koukou is a Malinke dance from the Guinean highlands, and is a work dance for young men and women. Triba is shared with the Landouma of mid-Guinea; it is performed to celebrate their rice harvest.
Kuku is a popular rhythm played at all kinds of festivals, including full moon celebrations.
Sinte is a rhythm played for celebrations by Nalu people, around the Boke-region in Guinea.
Kassa is a harvest-dance. The word means granary,during harvest-time the farmers go to the fields and during the day, the drummers play Kassa to support the workers in the fields. It is said, farming cannot be done without drummer’s rhythm support. And the harvestry is shared with drummers as same as workers. At the end of the harvest, they all have a celebration in the village, called Kassalodon. (“don” means “dance” in Malinke)
Gumboot dancing was conceived by black workers in South Africa as an alternative to drumming—which authorities restricted. Another reason for gumboot dancing was for the miners in South Africa as they worked they sang. Gumboot dancing has now become a world-known dance; in schools children perform the dance. The boots were a solution to a problem of often flooded gold mines in which men otherwise stood in knee-deep water toiling at their work stations. It is also thought that the workers used the gumboots to relay messages to each other that they did not want their bosses to overhear.