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A poetic 'voice' scans the rhythm of academic research, telling of the encounter withodAon; then the voice falls silent. What is then raised is the dust of a forgotten academic debate on the nature of theatre and drama, and the following divergent standpoints of critical discourses bent on empowering their own vision, and defining themselves, rather, as counterdiscourses. This, the first part of the book: a metacritical discourse, on the geopolitics (the inherent power imbalances) of academic writing and its effects onodAon, the performances dedicated to the gods, ancestors, and heroes of YorA¹bAi history.ButodAon: where is it? and what is it? And the 'voice'? The many critical discourses have not really answered these questions. In effect, odAon is many things. To enable the reader to see these, the study proceeds with an 'intermezzo': a frame of reference that setsodAon, the festival, in its own historico-cultural ecoenvironment, identifying the strategies that inform the performance and constitute its aesthetic. It is a 'classical' yet, forodAon, an innovative procedure. This interdisciplinary background equips the reader with the knowledge necessary to watch the performance, to witness its beauty, and to understand the 'half words'odAon utters.And now the performance can begin. The 'voice' emerges one last time, to introduce the second section, which presents two case studies. The reader is led, day by day, through the celebrations a€“odAon edAn, MorAumi's story, and its realization in performance; then confrontation by the masks of the ancestors duing odAon egAongAon (particularly as held in Ibadan). The meaning ofodAon becomes clearer and clearer.OdAon is poetry, dances, masks, food, prayer. It is play (erAc) and belief (AngbAngbA³). It is interaction between the players (both performers and spectators). It is also politics and power. It contains secrets and sacrifices. It is a reality with its own dimension and, above all, as the quintessential site of knowledge, it possesses the power to transform. In short, it is a challenge a€“ a challenge that the present book and its voices take up.a€œTheatre of Farce: The Yeye Tradition in Moses Olayaa#39;s Plays, a€ Odu 26 (1984): 68 a€“84. Obateru, Remi I. a€œYoruba Propera€“A ... Drama and Theatre in Nigeria: A Critical Source Book (Lagos: Nigeria Magazine, 1981). Ogundeji, P. Adedotun.

Author: Cristina Boscolo
Publisher:Rodopi - 2009-01-01

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