Abstract: Dance for Cultural Reunion in the Church
Dr. Sylvanus Kwashie Kuwor
Jennies Deide Darko
Dance as a Tool for Cultural Reunion in the Church: Asare Newman Technique
Dance as a cultural form has so much to say about people. In many African societies, dance becomes the pivot around which community life revolves. In Ghana for instance, dance regulates the political, religious and socio-cultural segments of life. The advent of British colonialism compelled Ghanaians to develop negative attitudes towards their traditional music and dance as observed by scholars including Kwabena Nketia (1974), Kofi Agawu (2003) and Modesto Amegago (2011). After decades of its neglect by Christian Churches based on the belief that it constitutes heathenism, dance is currently gaining prominence in Christian worship in postcolonial Ghana. This paper examines the emergence of Ghanaian traditional dance in the Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Madina –Accra. It focuses on the practice of the dance legend, Mr Seth Asare Newman and his dance technique to document the role of dance in the Church.
Biographies of the Presenters
Dr. Sylvanus Kwashie Kuwor is a Ghanaian performing arts scholar, practitioner and anthropologist. He has had a decade of experience in Britain as a cultural educator where he used African music and dance in inclusion programmes aimed at integrating African refugees into mainstream society. He holds a Diploma in Dance Studies from the University of Ghana, Master of Arts Degree in Creative and Professional Writing from Brunel University in London, a Postgraduate Diploma in Ethnochoreology from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway and a PhD in Dance Anthropology from the University of Roehampton in London. Dr. Kuwor is currently a lecturer at the School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana where he teaches Anthropology of Dance, Drum music, Dance and the African Diaspora and Dance Cultures of the World.
Jennies Deide Darko holds a Diploma, BFA (First Class Honors) and MFA in Theatre Arts (Dance) from the University of Ghana Legon and presently doing a PhD in Ethnomusicology. She is a member of the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR) and International du Dance Congress based in France.