Fusing Music, Dance and Drama into Performance: The 'Zulu Sofola Experiment

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Association of Dance Scholars and Practitioners of Nigeria


Theatre practice in Nigeria had shown a fusion of music, dance and drama in a holistic nature. From the traditional to the modern theatre practice, music, dance and drama have remained highly inseparable in their performance context. Over the years, however, attempts have been made by theatre practitioners of the literary genre to retain this symbiotic nature of performance practice. Their attempts have failed because most of their works have only made one arm of the performing arts to be dominant and the others just supportive. This paper, therefore, examines the unique approach of 'Zulu Sofola to the holistic nature of African Nigerian performance practice. Her approach gives each arm equal space to communicate as an independent arm, as well as maintain simultaneous symbiotic relationship with the other arms within the same play. The paper concludes that the 'Zulu Sofola's experiment is a unique dimension to the existing integrative co-existence of the performing arts in Nigeria and that is worth the effort pursuing and developing in this 21st century.



Music, Dance, Drama, Performance practice., Music, Dance, Drama, Performance practice