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Visual Art Form in Motion: Traditional African masquerade as theatrical phenomenon

AAN Emiemokumo


Masquerade is a moving art. When a masquerade performs on stage, the audience thinks mainly of the figure they see which is the visual art form. This figure is the focus of attention. But oftentimes, when people think of the works of visual arts that have to do with theatre performance, what readily comes to their mind are the usual stage or scenic designs. In the usual theatre event, we think of the human actors and actresses. But that of the masquerade is peculiar for it is a work of visual art, in performance, before a human audience. We see nothing more than the artwork. This paper throws some light on the theoretical underpinnings of African masquerade with a view to portraying its age-old tradition as a performance art. The theatrical and stylistic analytic methods have been used in this paper. The paper reveals the creative strength of the African in masquerade art, the functions of masquerade as an acting visual art form with all the elements in dramatic art.

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print ISSN: 2346-7126