Prof. Jeleel Ojuade, of the Department of Performing Arts of the University of Ilorin has advocated the establishment of “dance hubs” across the society to boost tourism in Nigeria.
Ojuade made the call in his paper presentation at the 208th Inaugural Lecture of the university entitled: “Dance is Life, Life is Dance: A Cyclical Nature of Man on Earth” .
A dance hub is a community-centric studio for diverse dance classes, rehearsals, and performances.
The lecturer said that the hub would generate revenue through tourism and would be a training centre for the people.
He described dance as the only universal language of expression irrespective of profession, society, group, organisation and government, that “exudes happiness, promotes unity, douses tension, heals and educates”.
Speaking on the “Bata and Dundun” dances peculiar to the Yoruba people in Western Nigeria, Ojuade submitted that the dances were difficult, calculative and energy sapping.
He said the bata dance was exclusively associated with the worship of different deities, especially Sango, the Yoruba god of thunder and lightning.
“Sango in his lifetime was a warrior and anytime he wanted to go to war, will dance to fast music in preparation for the war,” Ojuade observed.
He described the Dundun ensembles as part of the geographical belt hourglass drums in West Africa.
“In Nigeria, the tension drums are popular and in use in the North particularly among the Hausa-Fulani.
“It also exists among the Edo people but seems to be unknown to the people of Eastern Nigeria,” Ojuade said.
According to him, the myth surrounding the dundun drum suggested that it was first used by Ayan, a native of Saworo in Ibaribaland, who taught the Yoruba families the art of drumming.
Ojuade said that in Africa, drums were used by the people to communicate with one another while messages could be transmitted at the speed of 100 miles an hour.
He said research had also shown that dance improved the health of the citizenry, especially the human heart and lungs.
Ojuade urged the three tiers of government to organise international festivals, performances and exhibitions where Nigerian indigenous dances could be showcased.
He also called on the governments not to merge the Ministry of Culture and Tourism with other ministries. (NAN)