The Role of Dance in a Depressed Economy: A Study of "The Drum of Danger".

Author:Akas, Nicholas Chielotam
Position:Critical essay


Dance in any depressed economy, Nigeria inclusive, has a sociological function. It is the sociological essence of dance at any given time that differentiates its usefulness from being mere entertainment and a form of relaxation and exercise. Dance is a serious communicative, reflective and interpretative tool in search of the real truth, which proffers a subjective way forward for survival. In this paper, dance ceases to be solely an entertaining tool; rather it is used to raise a lot of rhetorical questions on Nigerian economy. It awakens the people's consciousness and suggests ways for survival.

Dance as a unique art form while mirroring the society uses a more relaxed atmosphere as its working metaphor. At this point what matters in the dance performance is the contextualization and not the aesthetics. Roxane Fenton observed that

The usefulness of dance in the society is beyond entertainment, rather it constitutes as an indirect reinforcement of proper roles in society, for instance relationships to rulers, to the gods and to the governed (119). In this paper, what makes a dance performance useful is the ability of the audience to see themselves being reflected in the performance. The authenticity of every dance performance is not in the aesthetics or the form; rather the choreographic style reminds the society at large that dance serves as a reflective tool for positive change or survival of the fittest.

Theoretical Framework

The role of dance in Nigeria in this current depressed economy is highly recommendable. This is so because it is the aesthetic, didactic and economic potency of dance performances that consciously or unconsciously attracts the masses to theatre to watch a live performance either to change for good or bad at the end of the performance. It is therefore of utmost responsibility for the choreographer to always reflect happening in the society and encourage the masses to always work together towards achieving success. Based on this, this paper is hinged on Corporate Social Responsibility Theory. Corporate Social responsibility Theory as propounded by Garriga J. and Mele K. centers on strategic planning by Organization, Companies, performance, events and religions, which are use to encourage peoples to strive to be successful, improve their reputation and stop being dependent on the government. According to Garriga J. and Mele K., "Corporate Social Responsibility can also through dance serve as a catalyst for change,as it encourages successful human resources, and determination to always achieve something out of nothing" (24).

The aim of CSR in any business-oriented endeavor (dance) is to always remind the key players in such enterprise that their primary assignments are on the masses and their survival style rather than on the depressed economy that has granted big gulf between the rich and the poor in the community. Robins as cited by Placier Klara maintains that

Corporate Social Responsibility Theory wherever it exists takes liability not only for activities and impact in business, rather the possible ways on how to impact on society and environment (200). Putrova and Seknicka as cited by Klara further add that "Corporate Social Responsibility also helps in developing a code of ethics for corporate governance, transparent conduct and anti-corruption policy". (42).It is based on the above, that the role of dance in a depressed economy falls within the theory and it could be used while analyzing the case study, "The Drums of Danger".

Dance and Depressed Economy

The present situation and position of lives of the citizens in Nigeria are quite alarming and nightmarish. Nigeria as the Giant of Africa is acceptable more especially in oil, agriculture and human resources; but its form economically at this current regime politically is nothing to write home about. In the present situation of Nigerian economy, the rich are getting richer, while the poor are kept living the life of absurdity a condition he/she always hopes will be fine one day.The high level of depressed economy in Nigeria has awakened a lot of social problems, ethnic and civil conflicts and terrorism.This paper therefore advocates that the best way to survive in this depressed economy is for the ruled to consciously ignore the government political promises and sermons, rather welcome the following:

A Strongly belief that there is no manna anywhere, unless it is being worked out.


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