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Thespian ideation in Nigerian theatre as impediment to economic survival through dance practice

Arnold B. Udoka


The paper sets out to interrogate the fixation with the Attic name, Thespis, an actor, as the imperial nomenclature for theatre practice, which has  confused, supplanted and claimed to represent all performative art forms of the theatre in Nigeria; thus, becoming a burden to both practice and  scholarship of dance as a legitimate art form with potentials for job creation in the nation’s modern economy. Specifically, the paper examines the  absence of the knowledge of Terpsichore, as the muse of dance, with the analysis of the origin of literary drama, its influence on the practice of theatre in  Nigeria and the configurations of educational curriculums. To this end, the survey method of research design was adopted to extract information from  both undergraduates and graduates of theatre studies to achieve a verifiable result based on a dichotomous format. The result shows that while  undergraduates and graduates of theatre studies are quite familiar with Thespis, only a negligible percentage ever heard of Terpsichore and this has  impeded dance practice in Nigeria. The paper concludes that Thespian ideation is the burden of a skewed pedagogy, which must be reversed in order for  the dance as a distinguishable and isolatable philosophical construct in theatre practice to unleash its potentials for economic survival in an ailing  economy. 

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eISSN: 2971-6748
print ISSN: 0189-9562