Friday, February 18, 2011

Symbols for Drawing Motif Notation

Symbols for Drawing Motif Notation
Submitted by Charlotte Wile - February 18, 2011

In response to Brenton Cheng’s request (CMAlist, February 11, 2011) for downloadable notation images, I am offering as one possibility the symbols in “Appendix E”, from Moving About: Capturing Movement Highlights Using Motif Notation, by Charlotte Wile with Ray Cook. The appendix contains many symbols that can be used for drawing Motif Notation.

The appendix as a whole is copyrighted. However, the individual symbols in it are in the public domain. That means the symbols can be copied and pasted anywhere else without attribution or restriction.

Writing with LabanWriter or Calaban is probably much easier, but perhaps this is one way to help those who do not have access to those programs.

To download the appendix, go here.

To preview all of Moving About, go here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Ashanti Adowa rare footage

Ashanti Adowa rare footage
Submitted by Doris Green - February 14, 2011

Traditional music and dance in Africa are inseparable. Akin Euba defined the classes of music found in Africa. Accordingly he listed five types of music played in Africa. I, using his writings, created the Categories of African dance, for teaching purposes, so the students could become familiar with African dances. Consequently Traditional African music is connected to the writings of Akin Euba. Neo -Traditional African dance are connected to my writings.  One source for Traditional African music would be an article “African Music Adapts to a Changing Society” that appeared in African Report, November, 1970, p24.

Traditional African dance is the oldest and most indigenous form of African dance. There is an inseparable relationship between the music and the dance. The music of these dances is rooted in drum languages, which are replicas of the spoken language of the people. Obviously the category of Traditional African dance has as many different "Traditions" as there are spoken languages of the people numbering more than 2000. Events that relate to the cycles of life, birth, initiation, puberty, death and other rituals have prescribed dances that have been in existence for centuries. The Ashanti Adowa is played at funerals. 

According to Maurice Senghor, creator of the National Ballet of Senegal, a happening or event that the people choose to remember must occur before a dance can be created. The people create the movement and set it to the existing music of the group. 

From my experience the majority of traditional dances occur in the "bush" as part of ceremony and are rarely seen outside the social ceremonies, which they express.

Neo-Traditional dances are traditional dances performed outside the context of social ceremonies. They make use of elements of  the traditions but not as they are found in traditional culture. Examples of neo-traditional dances are those dances that have been altered to fit on the proscenium stage. Since these dances originated as the result of a 'happening" they are pieces of history reenacted through movement, communicated by the musicians and acted out by the dancers. These dances have had aspects of the theater applied to them.  For Neo-Traditional dances, see "Categories of African Dance", Traditions Journal, Volume 6 #4, Jan. 2008, p6.

The majority of National Dance Companies use neo-traditional dances. African dance as a classroom activity entered the curriculum in Africa in 1962 when Professor Albert Mawere Opoku was asked to come to the University of Ghana at Legon to teach dance and to create a national dance ensemble of Ghana.

In the USA traditional African dance came into the curriculum of schools across the nation with the signing of the Civil Rights Act in the sixties by President Johnson. I became the first person to teach African dance in Brooklyn College.

Kimati Dinizulu, the son of the late Alice Dinizulu, principal dance of Asadata Dafora, the first person to bring African dance to the shores of the United States. He is an ethnomusicologist, gifted percussionist. He has made extensive trips to Ghana studying his craft.  He also specializes in the preservation of endangered African American musical instruments. 

Doris Green
Fulbright Scholar
Creator of Greenotation
Certified teacher of Labanotation

If the readers want to know more about my work they can view my website which gives a global image of me and my work.