Monetization of traditional dance culturally unacceptable

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Nana Ogyedom Tsetsewal, Mankrado Gomoa Oguan, on Thursday described as unacceptable emerging traditional practices where cultural troupes engaged to perform at an event dance to solicit money from the audience.

She said the dancers especially the ladies with the connivance of the drummers danced to tunes which would enable them to make gestures to appeal for money.

“If the target failed to respond to the initial appeal from a distance, the dancers would now aggressively dance to the target and sit on the laps of the person whilst dancing signifying that the target has been taken captive and must pay for freedom,” she said.

Nana Testsewal said the dancers while on the laps of the person would continue making gesture suggesting to the target who has now become a victim to give money for his or her freedom, and until you pay they may not get up.

Speaking with Ghana News Agency at Tema on the emerging trend at public events, Nana Tsetsewa1 disclosed that traditional dances convey special messages and therefore there was the need to be cautious of how, where, and when to perform it.

She explained that in the southern sector and among many traditions in Ghana, anyone in the audience moved by the performance would step forward and shower money on the dancers.

She explained that, all traditional dance was a form of communication, how you throw your hands, legs and how you even twist your body and head are all forms of communication.

Therefore, dancing to take captive of a target through sitting on his or her laps for money whilst dancing was not part of the traditional norms and ethics of dance of most tribes in the southern sector of the country, it should therefore not be encouraged at all, she said.

Nana Tsetsewa added that aside it not being culturally accepted, it also causes embarrassment and inconvenience to the temporal captive; “Traditional dance carries a message, so what message are you sending across if you should go and sit on someone’s laps for money whilst dancing”.

She explained that “if it had to do with choreography then one is free to do anything but not when it has a connotation with tradition such as enstoolment, naming, marriage or funeral ceremonies, and public event where traditional drumming is being performed”.

“We should not forget that our little children are following whatever we do, so there is the need to do the right thing for them to follow and not to mislead them,” she said.

She therefore called on event organisers to educate the traditional drummer troupe they engaged to perform at their function to desist from the act of dancing to take captives.

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