A syncretic analysis of the duality of dance as art and science
This paper examines the duality of dance as both art and science. It argues on the premise that only the manifestations of dance as an art form has been explored whilst its scientific manifestations have been arguably ignored. It avers that duality is seen in the processes involved in dance choreography. In doing this, it maintains that dance as an art often manifests in the intuition and creativity involved during the creation of dances while dance as science manifests itself during the execution of movements. It argues that the traditional practitioners of dance in Nigeria and Africa are generally aware of the scientific nature of dance, which they adhere to unconsciously while creating dances without knowing it has a scientific posturing. The article insists that intelligence displayed in dance choreographies attests to the above claims. The study uses syncretism and Humphrey-Weidman theory of dance composition as theoretical moorings to contend that the Agbaka dance of the Igala people of Kogi State in North Central Nigeria expresses and displays the scientific nature of dance. Consequently, the dance form is examined from the physiological, psychological and biomechanical perspectives, informing the conclusion that dance practitioners in Nigeria should engage in a conscious exploration and admittance of dance as both art and science.
Keywords: Syncretism, Art, Science, Duality of dance, Biomechanics, Agbaka dance