15/02/2013

Mapouka: A Traditional Dance


Mapouka: Traditional African Dance






Mapouka is also known as Macouka. It is a traditional dance from south east of Ivory Coast in Dabon. From its inception, Mapouka was usually being carried out when some religious ceremonies were being conducted and grandly organized.


“I wanted to begin not with characters or ideas,
but with movements . . .
I wanted significant movement.
I did not want it to be beautiful or fluid.
I wanted it to be fraught with inner meaning,
with excitement and surge.”


~  Martha Graham


Gradually, this dance acquired a wider acceptance and got its roots widely spread to other parts like western nations and Sub-Saharan countries and with its high popularity this dance eventually leaded into a unique dance category where different Mapouka contests, Mapouka shows and Mapouka music was being regularly conducted regarding it as a perfect entertainment.


Mapouka: Traditional African DanceMapouka, the traditional dance of Africans; is basically a dance system of Africa which is a superb, attractive and a very well choreographed dance. This dance of Sub-Saharan Africa was especially being conducted because of its many cultural differences in musical and movement styles in Africa.


This dance still remains to be considered as a special dance to teach social values and patterns in Africa. Accepted to be a dance for celebrations of festivals by Africans and above all it was culturally respected because they specifically believed that this dance primarily encounters God. So, Mapouka is actually regarded as a ceremonial booty dance.


Though it may be new to many, Mapouka is not a recent invention technique or choreography. Mapouka is a dance that exists for many centuries and since then it has been widely used as a practical means to decide the mates for young men and women of the diverse community.


It is still believed that marriages which are built on such choices were more permanent and were ever lasting and perfect for the new couples, so, there was no need or option of divorce between such couples. Mapouka is however considered to be the foundation and basis of strong bonding relationships between Africans.




Mapouka: Cherished Gift To The World


In the present era, with the interventions of new media communications, Mapouka has been spread enormously to wide boundaries and have reached beyond west Africa. Mapouka has eventually become a cherished gift to the world. It has definitely acquired a world phenomena status. 


Since the introduction of this ritual dance, Mapouka has been an incomparable item and no other dance has really thrilled the worldwide audience like this dance. 


However, it is astonishing to see that Mapouka could immediately establish itself as the most favourite entertainer as it was shown in many music videos, TV and mostly they were being exhibited on beaches for competitions. It had become a part of joyous moment for almost each and every individual on the globe.







Under Western Standard Miscroscope


Thus, apart from the exciting part of this dance it is truly sad to be mentioned that due to the influence of the massive impact of western civilization, Mapouka is now being suffering the unfortunate incident of being analyzed in a different perspective by western standards.


The preferences and choices of many eventful people, many of them are those who have neither visited Africa before nor even realized the cultural reference of this dance, have been greatly diverted away. It is disheartening to note that some ignorant Africans have also joined this group of people and blindly accepted that Mapouka is not a social and cultural dance of their origin country.


Though in fact, it is necessary to compare the different dances being carried out worldwide, and it can be clearly observed that Mapouka does not equalize the wild characteristics of many western dances.


In foreign countries many dance videos like hip-hop dance is not being criticized but Mapouka which is considered to be a cultural dance for Africans is being suppressed. Mapouka has reached to such blocked limits that many Africans are today shy to identify this dance as an exciting African dance.


Nevertheless, it is indeed a necessity to mentioned that people worldwide should not be simply brainwashed with wrong perceptions and the same time to highly look at this ritual dance in a totally different perspective and grandly watch it with a variable and positive perceptions and beliefs.




Dance Craze and Musical Wonder


Mapouka, the latest dance craze and the stylish musical wonder of Cote d'Ivoire in west Africa is being originally carried out by elite women in the high society on the south west region. This dance is being well choreographed in an artistic manner by these elite dancers.


This traditional dance is today being well organized in Paris to entertain everyone particularly the young generations. It is certain that westernization has not to keep the people away from the appreciation of any cultural dance, and Mapouka was and still strongly persists to be the pride of Africa.


Mapouka was being carried out with a positive intention of mesmerizing the audience with a rare trick that only can be very well done by an expert African dancer. The dancers very well choreograph their steps perfect to the rhythm and the synchronized effect of Mapouka. Today, there are several dance troupes who are specialized in this type of special dancing and the most famous dancers of Mapouka is called Les Tueuses.






 mapouka dance steps - Super niguissaffNowadays, we can find Mapouka dance on a very wide scale on different online websites. There are also many YouTubes covering the Mapouka dance steps


This aesthetic dance is carried out by using different parts of the body. Mapouka, the attractive African dance is getting new life.


Undoubtedly, the rise of video sharing sites has enabled the videos that were earlier impossible to get and watched to be available today more instantly on an internet connection.




Banned And Praised


Although Mapouka is being banned by government and in most of the countries worldwide, still this dance is being continued to be extremely popular outside its country of origin. 


However, the debate on Mapouka; its westernization and indecency on one side and its acceptance to be a social and cultural dance on other side, is still going on. It is best to form a balanced equation of the existing Mapouka controversy, when taking into consideration the major countries decisions and the cultural pride of Africans.


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I'm Turenne / Tilarenn. I welcome you warmly in this journey through dance, path of the universal wellness that is movement, with inspirations to fully stir our vital energy and dance your soul.

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