I believe

harpeAs African art entered the Louvre Museum (Paris, France), in April 2000, each and every one got an opportunity to look at African aesthetic differently.

But what do we know exactly about the corporal attitudes suggested by these ancient sculptures, in connection to dance and to art history? And in connection to the analysis of movements? In which way will a dancer, a creator, an artist of today be able to base his/her work on these art pieces? Here lies a real demand. Of course, these questions are only but elements of research to be developed.

It is irresponsible to think that African dance teaching is merely a matter of strongly muscled calf and legs and that it would not bear thought, imagination, or creativity.

Let not us be seduced by the ignorance of some and by the spite of others, which are always united altogether by a mysterious link to be found in most judgment held on African dance.

Africa is not a camping place, nor a village. It’s not a town, nor a country. Africa is a continent. Furthermore, yesterday’s Africa is not today’s Africa. It’s not tomorrow’s Africa either. African dance and artistic creation have to reflect these realities in some way.

Thanks to Alexis de Tocqueville, we know that “a simple but false idea is easier to spread than a true but complex idea”. Let us distance ourselves from people and institutions, as well as other entities, who examine “African evil” and tend to deny a whole continent the right to any form of modernisation, evolution or innovation, just as if this continent was supposed to remain a museum of traditions that belong to the past.

Alphonse TIEROU