Music and Dance

EKE-GENE

Eke-gene is a rich Ijaw cultural dance, which originates from the Epie speaking area of Bayelsa State. Eke-gene, which literally means, “big dance”, has a medley of about six local songs with various dance patterns. This is one of the most spectacular dances in the repertory because of the colorful costumes and the beautiful dance.

THE FISHERMAN’S DANCE

This dance is a contemporary piece, which teaches the occupational predisposition of the Izon people. It is suitable for presentation at ceremonial occasions. It has variety of movements depicting the different stages in a fishing expedition: paddling (the journey for the fishing site), casting of nets, taking the catch into the canoe for their wives to put in their fishing baskets, washing periwinkles, and rejoicing over a fruitful fishing expedition.

BENI-ERE

This is a dramatised “Ngu-sei,” an age long traditional dance in Ijaw villages.  Ngu means pot, while Sei means dance, so in totality it means pot dance.  Oral history has it that a woman who came from the river brought this dance.  She introduced this kind of dance and taught the people of the community. 

She decided to settle in the community finally. However, because of great beauty, many suitors asked her hand in marriage: the rich, the wealthy, the poor, farmers and fishermen.  As it were, she turned all of them down and finally fell in love with a disabled man who eventually married her.  Dances like Ngu-sei are demonstrations of the Izon rich cultural heritage, which we can project in international cultural festivals. This dance is always enjoyed by all and sundry because the message is apt: there is ability in disability.

YELASEI

This is an installation dance by seven maidens.  Various movements and patterns portray the installation story.  The performance of this dance is mostly at social gatherings and it highlights the rich cultural heritage of the Izon people.

WIND AND TREES

Wind and Trees is a festival dance showing the forest and the forest people playing together thus depicting how wonderful God’s creatures are.  It is mainly danced by male and female dancers showing the footsteps of the wind and trees; and people who move in the forest. Every movement of the dance is has strong as the wind and trees.

HEART BEAT

The dance, Heart Beat, originates from the Yoruba speaking area of Nigeria. History tells us that with the coming of the Europeans to Africa, they taught the natives the European ways of life. Eventually, some of the missionaries decided to send some boys and girls (who were seen to be very brilliant) abroad to undergo further studies. Most parents were afraid to release their children, thinking the white people could kill them. However, some parents allowed theirs to go with them. Upon their return after several years abroad, the Yorubas saw a great change in their life styles and they were happy about this development. These boys and girls came home with this dance.  In its present form, some Yoruba dance steps embellish it.  Therefore, Heart Beat is a combination of western and African dance steps.  Its performance could be at any kind of occasion.

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