How African is Africa? Postnormality and Futures Assessment of Indigenous Dance Art in Nigeria

Princewill Chukwuma Abakporo*, Stanley Timeyin Ohenhen**, Stephen Ogheneruro Okpadah***

Abstract

We have entered a period of high scientific and technological advancements that is shrinking the world and upturning long-held beliefs and ideologies about our culture. Seeing these changes, one is coerced now to ask, “how African is Africa?” or “how traditional is tradition?” These drastic changes on the tripod of complexities, contradictions and chaos have formed the basis of Zygmunt Bauman’s use of the term “liquid” and Ziauddin Sardar’s “postnormal” to qualify the present epoch which indicates a drastic shift from solid cultural structures to more flexible structures. The indigenous performatives of the African culture are implicated in this change: Can the concepts of African dance serve these postnormal times? Are the canons of postnormality threatening indigenous dances towards extinction, and if so, what ideological and philosophical approach can be injected into the indigenous dances to secure sustainability? The researchers rely on critical theory and observe that if indigenous dances are to survive beyond this millennium, there is a need to rethink the concept, context and content of African dance since the aesthetic, functional and ideological platforms that birthed the pure forms are changing, if not completely eroded. Indigenous dance choreographers as a matter of urgency must begin to engage African dance creations from the points of critical syncretism which allows the choreographer to be flexible enough to align indigenous dances to the realities of contemporary society. The researchers recommend certain areas critical to this transition.

Keywords: postnormal times, futures, indigenous dance, Nigeria, Ziauddin Sadar

Introduction

It will perhaps be proper to begin with Alfonso Montuori’s and Gabrielle Donnely’s assessment that “the world is in the throes of great transformation. The complexity, pluralism, and uncertainty of life appear overwhelming . . . indeed it seems like the rate at which we take radical change and radical changes for granted is also accelerating” (355). Their use of terms such as “great transformation, complexity and uncertainties” unveils the drastic paradigm shift to a “senseless” epoch in our humanity. Senseless in the sense that we are in times “when all is uncertain, nothing is predictable” (Gardner 139) and in the middle of times where “little or nothing can be trusted or gives us confidence . . . the spirit of our age, is characterized by uncertainty, rapid change, and realignment of power, upheaval and chaotic behavior” (Sardar 435).

This epoch in human existence drives the burgeoning discourse about Futures or what we can call Futures Studies. Interrogating the outcomes and expectancies of the future, scholars in the field have identified the place of Complexity, Contradictions and Chaos (the three C’s of postnormal times) as dominant drivers of the present and the future. The rapid and speedy interactions of these three C’s have foregrounded the arguments upon which Ziauddin Sardar welcomes us to the postnormal times; a term which tries to make sense of a very complex and complicated society (“Welcome to Postnormal Times”).

In postnormal times, “everything seems to be in a state of flux, nothing can be trusted. All that we regarded as normal is being disrupted right before us. The post-normal times (PNT) theory attempts to make sense of a rapidly changing world, where uncertainty is the dominant theme” (Sardar, “What Just Happened?”). Against this backdrop, we agree with James Galbraith who simply addresses postnormality as the end of normalcy. PNT is a diagnostic and prognostic medium for assessing and predicting outcomes in studies about futures. In the times before now (the normal times), there was confidence in our values and facts, as well as in the fact that we can take time to make credible and appropriate decisions; but in the postnormal times, “the future seems like a runaway train barreling into the unknown” (“What Is Postnormal Times?”).

The ideologies of postnormality should be understood from spatial context and time; the reason being that what might seem postnormal in one place might not be in another. Generally, however, “the world is confronting a host of old, dying orthodoxies: modernity, neoliberalism, hierarchical structures of society, institutions, and organizations: top-down politics; and everything else that has shaped and defined the modern world” (“What Is Postnormal Times?”).

Contradictions are the first feature of the PNT which speaks to logical inconsistencies within the complex systems that drive chaotic outcomes. “Contradictions often present the first signs that a system is moving towards complexity, chaos, and eventually postnormality” (“3C’S”). Complexities are inevitable at the height of contradictions as they present a different phenomenon from what hitherto was viewed as the norm or normal. This is brought about by the intricate intersections of several systems, philosophies and structures that drive contemporary times. These independent parts connect and interact with each other, and are characterized by uncertainties, multiple perspectives and prone to chaotic behavior.

Chaos being the last force that drives PNT is the outcome of complexities and contradiction. It refers to many independent variables interacting in many ways within the network of complex systems. At the height of the chaos, a complex system can collapse or mutate into another form of complexity or a new order. These features give postnormality away as manufactured normality or what Sardar and John Sweeney in the Three Tomorrows of Postnormal Times read as “changing change” (110) leaving more questions than answers.

The interactions of these tripods of PNT have ushered in unprecedented unpredictability which drives present society and are key factors in Futures assessment. In a more radical sense, PNT is not about change or its derivatives in society; it is an epoch where even our concept of change is changing—which informs Sardar and Sweeney’s submission above. In the view of Robert Colvile, within this changing change, new trends, ideas and crises emerge in the blink of an eye, citing rapid developments in industry, politics, media and society, wherein uncommon and unconventional notions can proliferate and become dominant and where established ideologies can be turned overnight. In essence, nothing is predictable, all is uncertain and small changes can lead to big consequences. This is the reality of our times: the postnormal times.

The PNT has gained a multidisciplinary face, currently being engaged from several fields that have observed the same trend, even though its nomenclature within these fields may differ. Socio-politically, the term “Hypernormalisation” was used by Curtis as the title of his documentary which alludes to the fact that we have become blind to reality as a result of the growing fakeness of our world, caused by corporations and kept stable by politicians. Zygmunt Bauman (2000, 2005, 2007) preferred to use the phrases “Liquid Modernity, Liquid Life and Liquid Times,” respectively, to describe the changes in social life from a solid to liquid state where nothing seems to keep any shape or course for a long time and phenomena are subject to change.

Bauman’s use of the word “liquid” in all his sociological and political assessments is his metaphor “to describe the condition of constant mobility and change he sees in relationships, identities, and global economics within contemporary society” (Mattiazzi and Martin 1). Scholars have also preferred to refer to this trend as “post-truth” or “neo-truth” which qualifies a paradigmatic shift or simply put, a third position between our conceptualization of truth and lies. Ralph Keyes notes that we presently do not just have truth or lies; rather, there has evolved a third category of ambiguous statements that are not exactly the truth but fall short of a lie. We have approached the times where emotions and personal beliefs have displaced objective facts in shaping and influencing public opinion.

The various ideologies above identify a drastic change in the world as we know it and the mutations that emerge in aspects of society and humanity as a result of the complex, contradictory and chaotic emissions that are enveloping aspects of society. Postnormality takes an interdisciplinary face in the identification and analysis of the speed, scope, scale and simultaneity (the four S’s of postnormality) at which things change. The 4s’s are “the linchpin to understanding how the contemporary postnormal times are a radical departure from the change we are used to” (“4S’S”).

Against this background, the researchers undertake a complex investigation of “How African is Africa?” through the exploration of “Postnormality and Futures Assessment of Indigenous Dance Art in Nigeria.” They go beyond the traditional bounds of cultural study, navigating the terrains of multidisciplinarity, to interrogate the complex webs of identity, postnormality and futurity that are woven across Nigeria’s thriving indigenous dance culture. Through an exploration of historical backgrounds, modern interpretations and potential future directions, the study seeks to interpret the dynamic nature of African identity and how it is embodied in what is or should be referred to as African dance. It becomes clear in the course of this intellectual adventure that traditional and modern elements are linked and add to the beautiful mosaic that is Nigeria’s cultural heritage. The objective of this research is to provide significant perspectives on the conservation, novelty and metamorphic capacity of native dance forms, promoting a sophisticated comprehension of the intricate relationship between customs and contemporary culture in molding the African identity.

Assessing the Postnormal in the Nigerian Society

We will begin this aspect with three unique personal experiences from the lead researcher. The first is about his uncle’s children in Lagos, Nigeria, when he visited in 2019 and was playing a traditional highlife music by Osadebe. He asked the children to dance to the music. The first child, a girl, bluntly responded: “Uncle, change it, I don’t know how to dance this one.” On inquiry of the kind of songs she would love to dance to, she replied “play P-square for us.”

The second experience happened in 2013, when this lead researcher was a performer with Udokamma Cultural Group resident in a community in Southeast Nigeria. The cultural group was then invited to perform a masquerade dance (Ojionu Masquerade) at the University of Port Harcourt. During the performance, he danced close to a lady in the audience, and she was obviously scared. The situation became bizarre when he dropped the horsetail (a social hand prop for traditional dancers in Southeastern Nigeria) on her leg, she flung it and started to cover herself with the blood of Jesus, binding and casting him into the bottomless pit.

The third of these experiences is about his kindred family member who met her spouse abroad, and they were to be married traditionally but couldn’t show presence due to security and financial implications. They resorted to using the Zoom meeting to initiate and conclude the process. In other words, the traditional marriage process was digitally done—a video call wedding. Postnormal indeed! This reinforces the fact Nigerians, like citizens all over the world, are mutating, perhaps another species of a Nigerian is evolving ideologically, socially, culturally, economically and politically. As Mark Ikeke and Grace Ogelenya claim:

There are values that are common in Africa such as respect for elders, communal solidarity, extended family system, value for human life, communal responsibility for the upbringing of kids, respect for ancestors, theism . . . these values are not now as prevalent in all African communities in the continent . . . the influence coming from the West has made some to abandon or downplay their African values and ways of life.

126

Going by the canons of postnormality, there is nothing normal about the politics, lifestyle, education, religion, environment and culture of the country. Every aspect of Nigerian culture has been invaded with the doctrines of postnormality, and the reality is that “the culture of technology and science, of rapid communication and the global village are upon us, whether we want them or not” (Etuk 25). The effect of these changes on Nigerian culture is that “the things that were considered taboo is now deemed moral and of no consequence” (Yankson 104). Within the matrix of these influxes of technological advancements and migrations, the African culture has mutated over time.

Today, Ikeke and Ogelenya observe that whatever affects the African value systems, invariably impacts indigenous ways of knowing and doing. It is imperative to note that these value systems are the strongholds of indigenous art forms including dance. This provokes the question of how African is Africa in today’s world? Like it or not, the continent has been hit with loads of scientific and technological incursions and advancements and for Etuk, “We cannot keep looking back too often without either being left behind or falling out of step with everyone else” (25).

Nigerian socio-political mutations that ensue because of these postnormal incursions have led to disillusionment in several revered areas of Nigerian culture. Certain revered forms of Nigerian performances have been greatly demystified. An instance is the viral video of masquerades fighting on the streets, when the concept of masquerade and masquerading in Africa speaks of cosmic presence intended to aid the people in solving issues. Politically, we have continued to encounter follies in our leadership, so much that they “have led to the disillusionment of the citizenry and the loss of confidence in governance which poses threats to the unity of the nation” (Yankson 104). Hence, in Nigeria today, one can say that “the more politicians legislate, reform and amend, the less significant and effective laws seem in achieving or delivering appreciable social benefit and the more unintended and undesired consequences appear” (436).

Aesthetic and performative qualities injected into the Alija dance used by the African Pot Theatre, Owerri Nigeria at the Finals of HI-Life Fest Competition, Enugu 2014. Source: Princewill Abakporo. Photo: Igbozuruike Chigozie

New realities have emerged and indigenous dances, like other traditional forms, have been caught in the web of what aspects of our tradition should be performed. The modes of survival, of which dance was a major part, have drastically changed; trade has been redefined, and the farmlands and hunting are no longer sole means of contemporary survival. Even in recent times, the concern for the earth and animal species coexistence has forced governments of the world to rethink food production in line with ecosystem survival, which puts traditional farming and hunting in jeopardy in the future. A lot of migrations have occurred, and the intricacies of these migrations breed new ideologies that overturn the old. For instance carnival culture is greatly affecting the festival cultures; digital marketing is also competing with the traditional market days and spaces; the internet and television have provided alternative means of entertainment that have proven more comfortable to the Nigerian audience.

The concept of globalization is also another critical challenge confronting the preservation of the indigeneity of the African dance. As opined by Stanley Ohenhen:

Globalisation also includes openness to ideas, and information, universally, which suggests therefore that every society said to be involved in the global market embraces cross-fertilization of ideas and programmes. Howbeit, Cross-fertilisation of ideas does not suggest the abandonment of the cultural values of societies, rather it actually strengthens the capabilities of each society to build relationships and afford it opportunity of promoting their indigenous cultural values.

To that extent, globalization, rather than being a contributor to watering down the cultural values of African dance, has done the opposite. The promotion and maintenance of rich cultural values have been greatly aided by the positive exchange of indigenous dance styles, which has been greatly facilitated by globalization. Indigenous dance has found a worldwide platform where its diversity and significance may be appreciated as boundaries become hazier and communication routes widen. Global awareness of indigenous dance has developed because of increased cross-cultural interchange, which has sparked partnerships and appreciation. The exposure of these traditional art forms has not only increased their prominence but also created opportunities for the sharing of skills and information. As a result, indigenous people frequently experience a resurgence of pride in their cultural legacy as international recognition serves to uphold the inherent worth of their distinctive dances. Globalization is a tool that empowers people by enabling different cultural expressions to coexist peacefully on a worldwide scale.

In the past, “a man who calls his kinsmen to a feast does not do so to save them from starving. They all have food in their own homes. When we gather in the moonlit village ground it is not because of the moon. Every man can see it in his own compound. We come together because it is good for kinsmen to do so” (Achebe, Things Fall Apart). Today, we have seen how telephone communications have impeded the coming together of brothers and sisters in the cultural sense as Achebe admonished. In concise terms:

In this time of globalization, it is difficult for a culture to isolate itself from other cultures. The migration of people, the spread of communication technology, the spread of scientific knowledge, and so forth have all made the world a global community. People and ideas are moving at a rapid pace more than ever before. In this movement various cultures meet and impact one another. The outcome of that meeting is that people’s values are influenced or at times even eroded. Their indigenous ways of knowing and acting are equally impacted.

Ikeke and Ogelenya 125

These impacts on indigenous ways of life affected the indigenous dances and call for a need to rethink the survival of indigenous dances beyond this century. The reality on the ground today is that the audience members who enjoyed these pure Nigerian dance forms are either no longer there or have mutated in line with the drifts in aesthetics and entertainment. Major social changes in the community, such as the introduction of formal primary education, radically alter the pattern of life—including children’s attitudes toward their dances, which they no longer have time to learn in the inherited manner. Modern transport and communication bring together people of diverse cultures, resulting in cross-cultural influences on dance performance (Picton and Harper).

The problem of indigenous dance today is that its appeal seems not to find space in the present generation, which makes its survival a crucial issue. However, it seems that not all scholars in Nigeria acknowledge this need to adjust to change,  while some, like Ahmed Yerima, believe that the contemporary nature of the Nigerian society and the Western dance styles are threats to the development of the art of indigenous dancing. In his words: “Another threat to the survival of traditional dance was that modern or city musicians and dancers wanted to tamper with the originality of the traditional dances. The dance steps of serious or ritual dances were diffused into suggestive sexual gesticulations. . . . Such attempts often distort or destroy the essence of the Africaness in traditional dances” (219).

However, the advocators for change are of the view that art (indigenous dance inclusive) must flow with societal dynamics. Ojo Bakare corroborates this line of thought in his assertion that “for any Nigerian traditional dance to survive . . . it has to be adapted to the new changes occasioned by contacts with other parts of the world, otherwise it risks abandonment and consequent death” (71). This becomes the reason why several indigenous forms have gone extinct and why some, which have managed to linger till these times, lack patronage especially from the present generation. How then do we transport and reflect these changes in contemporary times to give indigenous dance a healthy space to thrive beyond this millennium?

Postnormality and the Way Forward for Nigerian Indigenous Dance

Theatre to start with is conservative, it is an ancient order engaged in the changing texture of its garments but essentially the robe remains a cloaked long flowing gown. Its buttons may change, therefore, from stone or wood to fiber or silver, gold, diamond etcetera depending on taste and prevalent social order.

Nwosu 21

Nwosu’s position in the epigram above are open to the fact that there is need to, rather than worry, find ways to package the concept, content and context of indigenous dance in Nigeria in line with contemporary taste and realities. Rather than argue about the pureness, adulterations, expropriations and appropriations of the various indigenous dance forms, it is noteworthy to be conscious of the fleeting nature of man and his environment and that survivalism is the underlying myth of existence. The collective efforts of man to explore survival instincts and provide answers to environmental issues have resulted in the current state of our culture.

Postnormality seems to be overpowering us as there is no straight jacket modus of engaging it. Jordi Serra affirms that “to be honest, we do not know how to shape viable policies for postnormal times” (249), but imagination, and its broader umbrella, creativity are essential to navigate the postnormal times. As the old ways of thinking and doing are failing, scholars of postnormal times like Montuori and Gabrielle aver, “creativity is as a vital resource to envision and develop alternatives . . . today creativity is viewed increasingly as a relational, collaborative everyday/everyone/ everywhere process that is not limited to the arts and sciences. . . .The change in creativity is both driven by, and in turn itself drives, social trends and social change” (358).

On this premise, the researchers will attempt to offer imaginative and creative ideologies to secure the future of indigenous dance in postnormal times. First, there is the need to rethink the concept of African dance. Before now, African dance was thought of as the entire gamut of indigenous dances on the continent. Scholars, in their bid to offer their views about the nature and praxis of certain indigenous dances, usually pass sweeping opinions on the art form. In simple terms, the concept of African dance suffers at the hands of enthusiastic scholars who, in their quest to leave their imprint on the field, either qualify the whole by using a part or the other way around. This position is in line with Eugenio’s thoughts that:

Those who have built theatres but not with stones and bricks, and who have then written about them, have also generated many misunderstandings. They wanted their words to be bridges between practice and theory, between experience and memory, between the performer and the spectators, between themselves and their heirs. But their words were not bridges; they were canoes. Canoes are slight craft; they fight against the currents, cross the river, can land on the other bank, but one can never be sure how their cargo will be received and used.

13

While researchers support scholars’ efforts to provide the art a more scholarly perspective, these generalizations have hindered the art form’s development. Even in the face of significant changes, the creation and performance of indigenous dances have always made a conscious effort to adhere to these standards; yet, certain dance forms have been lost to the passage of time.

African dance as a concept must be unbundled to givethe various dance forms in Africamore academic attention. The idea of African dance masks the distinctiveness of the continent’s many autonomous dance genres. While academic literature on the many African dance forms still begs for attention, African dance itself—which is not a specific dance but rather is meant to refer to all African dances—has enjoyed a rich history of scholarly involvement. This is where the problem lies.

Our European counterparts do not have anything like “European dance,” although several dances abound there. What they have done is to understand that not all dances follow the same trajectories of the other. For us in Africa, the situations also determine the dance, and in these situational differences, it may be somewhat blinding to use the same definitions and description. For Western scholars, when dance has been defined, they go straight to the form of dance in focus—either ballet, hip-hop, salsa and so on. This opens the dance forms to specific engagements for development and sustainability. In the case of African dance, we must unbundle the concept and begin to look specifically at the various forms that abound such as the Zulu, Atilogwu dance, Ohafia war dance, Nkwa Umuagbogho and the rest.

Secondly, there is a new world order and with it “a new arrangement of cultural and political contexts . . . the postmodern values in the society at large place dancers and indeed all artistes in a situation where their traditional art forms and values are no longer enough to solely support their work. The alternative is to allow cross-fertilization; this process reflects differently cultural backgrounds” (Apata 260).

This speaks to the need to rethink the content and context of indigenous dance. The truth is that the various intrusions have affected certain aspects of our traditionality, and Nigerians must wake up to the fact that the interactions of these intrusions with indigenous culture foists new identities on the adherents of such cultures, which consequently forces aspects of that culture to bend, twist or be eroded in the wake of these new realities. Etuk maintains that “Nothing in the meeting of cultures forces a people to so completely abandon their own values in embracing a different culture as to lose their identity. But at the same time it is useless and retrograde practices just to seem to preserve their culture” (131).

It is against this backdrop that the choreographer must be able to research into the history and cultural makeup of the owners of a particular dance in order to contribute meaningfully to the development of that dance. The place of research in this stance is to “mitigate/pacify the choreographer’s improvisation extremes” (Wanyama and Shitubi 227) and aid him in aligning the functionally valuable ethics with the realities of the times. Since the ethic of a culture is a most important aspect of it, we may reformulate our problems as one that is concerned with how to exploit all the resources of the modern world for the benefit of our society without jeopardizing the strong points of our culture (Wiredu 186). Therefore, in these times, the choreographer may not pay strict obeisance to the sequence and structure of the dance movements but should ensure that the traditional quality is retained, as well as ensure that whatever movement material introduced into the dance is not too different from the original prototypes.

The staging of the performance ofIri-Agha in the open air. Source: Nwaru and Abakporo. Photo: Chris Nwaru

In line with the emergence of new realities, it is important to rethink the staging patterns of these indigenous dances. To a large extent, live entertainment in recent times has evolved into an industry capable of meeting economic and aesthetic ends. Events are professionally planned and executed in manners that the performers-audience relationship becomes a pleasant experience. The indigenous dance performances and events can begin to follow this trend, especially in these times where the harsh weather conditions and insecurities are the realities of the present Nigerian society. The need to fit these indigenous dances into new spaces, such as live theatre halls, will aid the appreciation and boost the aesthetic appeal of the audience members.

In practical-based research on the repositioning of indigenous dance theatres, Christian Ikechukwu Nwaru and Princewill Abakporo aver that a shift in the ways that indigenous performances are presented also fosters a calm environment. There are often arguments and problems between the audiences and the artists during some masquerade performances in Igbo country. While some masqueraders perform for the amusement of onlookers, others cause controversy by publicly lashing or whipping members of the public, particularly women, and claiming that certain audience members, particularly women, should not be allowed to observe the performances. Large-scale arguments and animosity among community members have been the result of this. According to Nwaru and Abakporo, to enhance the tranquil and welcoming environment for the performance and consumption of such dances, the presentation techniques of some traditional dances, such as the Agborogwu, Nkwa Umu Agbogho, Iri-Agha and Ikperikpe Ogu dances, were modified. Conclusively, they aver that “The dances therefore, in contemporary times should make its statement through an admixture of contemporary inputs in the choreographic, staging and movement patterns while remaining traditional” (289).

In-door performance of Iri-Agha and Nkwa Umuagbogho for audience comfort enhances performer’s economic gains. Source: Nwaru and Abakporo (289). Photo: Chris Nwaru

The reconfigurations in the staging and aesthetic realities of the indigenous dances creates the platform for audience members to imagine the dances in new ways and rewrite the modernist beliefs that indigenous dances are archaic and mundane. Indigenous dances in contemporary times must become malleable to respond to the realities of the evolving society performatively and aesthetically.

Contemporary aesthetic touch to the choreographic formations, props, and costuming of the Okanga Dance for a contemporary audience by the Obitex Cultural Group in Abuja, Nigeria. Source: Lead Researcher. Photo: Henry Odinaka

On another scale, choreographers can create new forms within the traditional mold. As we encounter new realities, dance can help us shape our world and talk about our current challenges, aspirations and feelings. Indigenous dance performances, for instance, must engage with the clamor for environmental sustainability, migration, gender equality, sociopolitical woes and moral degradation—Nigeria’s contemporary realities. The prevailing realities have always been the breeding ground for new forms of art, and indigenous dances must maintain a continuum with the evolving society and its realities to stay relevant

The use of digital and electronic communication will come in handy as a way forward for indigenous dance choreographers. Adopting the film medium to communicate could help choreographers to document the dances for reference purposes. This is what Bollywood films have done to their indigenous dances; they have used the film medium to develop and project their indigenous dances over the years so much that hardly you pick up any Bollywood film without finding well-choreographed indigenous dances in them. Today, one can trace the nature and development of Indian dances by just looking at their films. Nigerian filmmakers and choreographers should borrow a leaf from Bollywood and ensure that well-choreographed and performed indigenous dances grace our films with interesting plot structures.

African Pot Theatre performance of Our Heritage an indigenous dance creation addressing sociopolitical woes and moral decadence in Nigeria. Source and photography by Princewill Abakporo, Artistic Director, African Pot Theatre, Owerri, Nigeria
Conclusion

The various “alien” cultural intrusions are breeding grounds for new realities upon which the people carve their identities. The reality of our time is postnormality, which speaks to the uncertainties about the future of indigenous performance forms including dance. The researchers have underscored the need to sustain indigenous dances beyond this millennium amidst threats of extinction through globalization. To achieve this feat, the choreographers and performers of indigenous dances should be aware of the aesthetic formations and choreographic standards of other forms and critically develop indigenous dance forms to meet the aesthetic demands and standards of the contemporary world to revive the dwindling patronage and thus remain functional in a postnormal world.

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments which have improved the earlier version of this paper.

Declaration of Conflicts of Interests

The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship and/or publication of this article.


Bibliography

3C’S.” Postnormal Times. Accessed 26 May 2022.

4S’S.” Postnormal Times. Accessed 26 May 2022.

Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. London: Heinemann, 1958.

Alayade, Atinuke. “Reconstructing Saworo, An Indigenous Folk Tune for the Piano Forte.” Abraka Humanities Review: A Journal of the Faculty of Arts Delta State University, Abraka. no. 1, 2016, pp. 85–92.

Apata, Esther. “Developing a Sustainable Dance Industry in an Economically Depressed Country: Nigeria in Focus.” Quality Assurance: Theatre, Media and the Creative Enterprises, edited by Gowon Doki and Ted Anyebe, Trinity Media, 2013, pp. 257–61.

Bakare, Ojo. “The Contemporary Choreography in Nigeria: A Realistic Culture Preserver or a Harmful Distortionist.” Critical Perspectives on Dance in Nigeria, edited by Ahmed Yerima, Bakare Rasaki and Arnold Udoka, Kraft Books Limited, 2006, pp. 64–75.

Colvile, Robert. The Great Acceleration. London, 2016.

Etuk, Akwang. Religion and Cultural Identity. Hope Publications, 2002.

Oladapo, Olatunde. “Introduction: The Third Way in African Philosophy.” The Third Way in African Philosophy. Essays in Honor of Kwasi Wiredu, edited by OlatundeOladapo, Hope Publications, 2002, pp.11–16.

Bauman, Zygmunt. Liquid Modernity. Polity Press, 2000.

——–. Liquid Life. Polity Press, 2005.

——–. Liquid Times. Polity Press, 2007.

Galbraith, James. End of Normal: The Great Crisis and The Future of Growth. Simon and Schuster, 2014.

Ikeke, Mark, and Grace Ogelenya. “Western Influence and African Values: An Ethical Evaluation.” Abraka Humanities Review: A Journal of the Faculty of Arts Delta State University, Abraka. no. 1, 2016, pp. 125–34.

Iyamah, Yankson. “Social Reconstruction in Nigeria Through the Performing Arts.” Abraka Humanities Review: A Journal of the Faculty of Arts Delta State University, Abraka. no. 3, 2014, pp. 103–08.

Keyes, Ralph. The Post-Truth Era: Dishonesty and Deception in Contemporary Life. St. Martin’s Press. 2004.

Kirsch, Scott. “The Incredible Shrinking World? Technology and the Production of Space.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, vol. 13, no 5, 1995, pp. 529–55. Accessed 27 May 2022.

Mattiazzi, Alicia, and Vila-Petrof Martin. “Is Bauman’s ‘Liquid Modernity’ Influencing the Way we are Doing Science?Journal of General Physiology, vol. 153, no. 5, 2021. Accessed 21 Feb. 2022.

Montuori, Alfonso, and Gabrielle Donnelly. “Creativity and Leadership in Postnormal Times.” The Postnormal Times Reader, edited by Ziauddin Sardar, International Institute of Islamic Thought, 2019, pp. 355–76.

Nwaru, Christian Ikechukwu, and Princewill Abakporo. “Repositioning Indigenous Dances for Survival and Economic Stability in Contemporary Nigeria.” The Creative Artist: A Journal of Theatre and Media Studies, vol. 13, no. 2, 2017, pp. 280–93

Nwosu, Canice. “Ichoka Mythic-Foliksm Theory and Postmodern Performance Culture in Africa.” Ikoro: Journal of Contemporary African Studies, no. 10, 2018, pp. 14–27.

Ohenhen, Stanley. “Dance as a Globalised Phenomenon and Custodian of Cultural Identity in a Democratic Polity.” Dance Journal of Nigeria, University of Benin, vol. 3, 2016, pp. 31–45.

Picton, John, and Peggy Harper. “African dance.” Encyclopedia Britannica, 29 Aug. 2022. Accessed 15 Jan. 2023.

Sardar, Ziauddin. “Welcome to Postnormal Times.” Futures, vol. 42, no. 5, 2010, pp. 435–44. Accessed 15 Jan. 2023.

—. “What Just Happened?” The Postnormal Times Reader, edited by Ziauddin Sardar, Institute of Islamic Thought, 2019, pp. 1–22.

Sardar, Ziauddin, and John Sweeney. “The Three Tomorrows of Postnormal Times.” The Postnormal Times Reader, edited by Ziauddin Sardar, Institute of Islamic Thought, 2019, pp. 109–36.

Serra, Jordi. “Postnormal Governance.” The Postnormal Times Reader, edited by Ziauddin Sardar, International Institute of Islamic Thought, 2019, pp. 242–51.

Wanyama, Mellitus, and Isaac Shitubi. “Emergent Issues Regarding ‘African Traditional Dance’ and ‘African Contemporary Dance’: A Discourse on the Current Theory and Practice of African Dance Criticism and Choreography.” International Journal of Current Research. no. 3, 2012, pp. 225–28.

Wiredu, Kwasi. “Our Problem of Knowledge: Brief Reflections of Knowledge and Development in Africa.” African Philosophy as Cultural Inquiry, edited by Ivan Karp and Dismas Masolo, Indiana UP, 2000, p. 180–99.

What Is Postnormal Times?Postnormal Times. Accessed 22 Apr. 2022.

Yerima, Ahmed. “Nigeria Traditional Dancers: History and Practice.” Critical Perspectives on Dance in Nigeria, edited by Ahmed Yerima, Bakare Rasaki and Arnold Udoka, Kraft Books Limited, 2006, pp. 17–44. 


*Princewill Chukwuma Abakporo is a Nigerian based dancer, researcher and instructor. He teaches dance and performance aesthetics at the Theatre Arts Programme of Bowen University Iwo in Osun State, Nigeria. In addition to having an MA in African drama and theatre and a BA in theatrical arts, he is currently working towards a PhD in African dance and choreography. Reinterpreting traditional Nigerian dances to better reflect the shifting realities of the modern period is his main field of research. This passion is evident in the majority of his publications. He is the founder and artistic director of African Pot Theatre (APT). 

**Stanley Timeyin Ohenhen is an Associate Professor of Theatre Management Arts Administration, Advocacy and Entrepreneurship. He has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre Arts of the University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria, an MA and a PhD, both of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, specializing in Theatre Management and Arts Administration. His primary areas of study have been the management and economics of the performing arts and culture; African indigenous epistemologies and practices related to language revitalization and cultural renaissance; colonialism and the African countries’ agenda for decolonization; eco-criticism; and the relationship between theater and society, specifically how African theater and cultural practices—such as music, dance theater, drama, and drumming—as well as other indigenous performative activities—contribute to the fight against the ongoing colonization of the Global South and the degradation of the environment and global climate. He is currently Bowen University’s College of Liberal Studies Provost in Iwo, Nigeria .

***Stephen Ogheneruro Okpadah is a Chancellor International PhD Scholar in the department of Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom. He is currently researching participatory theatre and climate justice in the context of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. His project draws on Theatre for Development in creating community-based performances that advocate for climate justice. He won the 2021 Janusz Korczak/UNESCO Prize for Global South in emerging scholar category, and he is also Director of research at the Theatre Emissary International, Nigeria. Okpadah is a non-resident research associate, Centre for Socially Engaged Theatre, University of Regina, Canada.

Copyright © 2024 Princewill Chukwuma Abakporo, Stanley Timeyin Ohenhen, Stephen Ogheneruro Okpadah
Critical Stages/Scènes critiques e-ISSN:2409-7411

Creative Commons Attribution International License

This work is licensed under the
Creative Commons Attribution International License CC BY-NC-ND 4.0.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email