Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription Access

MALE DANCERS OF SABAR—STARS OF A FEMALE TRADITION

Elina Seye

Abstract


This article discusses the role of male dancers within the Senegalese sabar tradition. The most common context for sabar dancing is social dance events that are dominated by non-professional female dancers. However, since the independence of Senegal in 1960 sabar dancing has also been developed as a stage art in folkloric dance companies known as ballets in West Africa. Later sabar also began to be performed by dancers and dance groups on stage with mbalax bands. Both of these newer forms of sabar dancing take the form of pre-planned choreographies performed by both male and female dancers; but, many of the best known sabar dancers today are men. Developments caused by the professionalisation of sabar dancing and analyses of the changes that have occurred in the style of dancing to emphasise the masculinity of the male dancers as opposed to the ideas of femininity traditionally attached to sabar dancing are discussed.

Full Text:

PDF

References


Agawu, Kofi. 2003 Representing African Music. Postcolonial Notes, Queries, Positions. New York & London: Routledge.

Bizas, Eleni. 2014 Learning Senegalese Sabar. Dancers and Embodiment in New York and Dakar. New York & Oxford: Berghahn Books.

Brunner, Anja 2010 Die Anfange des Mbalax. Zur Entstehung einer senegalesischen Popularmusik. Vienna Series in Ethnomusicology 4. Wien: Institut für Musicwissenschaft, Universität Wien.

Burt, Ramsay. 2003 The Male Dancer: Bodies, Spectacle and Sexuality. London & New York: Routledge.

Burt, Ramsay. 2009 “The Performance of Unmarked Masculinity.” In When Men Dance: Choreographing Masculinities Across Borders, Anthony Shay & Jennifer Fisher, eds. 150–167. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Castaldi, Francesca. 2006 Choreographies of African Identities. Negritude, Dance, and the National Ballet of Senegal. Urbana & Chicago: University of Illinois Press.

Charry, Eric. 2000a Mande Music. Traditional and Modern Music of the Maninka and Mandinka of Western Africa. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.

Charry, Eric. 2000b “A Guide to the Jembe”. Online article: http://echarry.web.wesleyan.edu/jembearticle/article.html [accessed on 23 December 2011].

Diop, Abdoulaye-Bara. 1981 La societe Wolof. Tradition et changement. Les systems d’inegalite et de domination. Paris: Karthala.

Heath, Deborah. 1994 “The politics of appropriateness and appropriation. Recontextualizing women’s dance in urban Senegal.” American Ethnologist 21(1): 88–103.

Irvine, Judith T. 1978 “When Is Genealogy History? Wolof Genealogies in Comparative Perspective.” American Ethnologist 5(4): 651–674.

Morales-Libove, Jennifer. 2005 “Dancing a Fine Line: Gender, Sexuality and Morality at Women’s Tours in Dakar, Senegal.” Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation, Rutgers.

Neveu Kringelbach, Hélène. 2007 “‘Cool Play’. Emotionality in Dance as a Resource in Senegalese Urban Women’s Associations.” In The Emotions. A Cultural Reader, Helena Wulff, ed. 251–272. Oxford & New York: Berg.

Neveu Kringelbach, Hélène. 2013 Dance Circles. Movement, Morality and Self-Fashioning in Urban Senegal. New York & Oxford: Berghahn Books.

Panzacchi, Cornelia. 1994 “The Livelihoods of Traditional Griots in Modern Senegal.” Africa 64 (2): 190–210.

Penna-Diaw, Luciana. 2005 “La danse sabar, une expression de l’identité féminine chez les Wolof du Sénégal”. Cahiers des Musiques Traditionnelles vol. 18: 201–215.

Seye, Elina. 2012 “Constructions of femininity in sabar performances.” In Dance, Gender, and Meanings. Contemporizing Traditional Dance. Proceedings of the 26th Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Ethnochoreology 2010, Trest, Czech Republic. Elsie Ivancich Dunin, Daniela Stavlová, Dorota Gremliková, eds. Prague: Academy of Performing Arts in Prague & Institute of Ethnology of the Academy of Sciences.

Seye, Elina. 2014 Performing a Tradition in Music and Dance. Embodiment and Interaction in Sabar Dance Events. Helsinki: Global Music Centre.

Shay, Anthony. 2002 Choreographic Politics: State Folk Dance Companies, Representation and Power. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press.

Shay, Anthony & Fisher, Jennifer. 2009 “Introduction.” In When Men Dance: Choreographing Masculinities Across Borders. Anthony Shay & Jennifer Fisher, eds. 3–27. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Tang, Patricia. 2007 Masters of the Sabar: Wolof Percussionists of Senegal. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Tang, Patricia. 2008 “Rhythmic Transformations in Senegalese Sabar.” Ethnomusicology 52(1): 85–97.

Baldé, Assanatou. 2010 “Senegalese traditional dance, sex or pornography?” Afrik News [a news website publishing in English and French], Friday 26 November 2010. http://www.afrik-news.com/article18488.html [accessed 30 August 2016].

Boy Town. 2007 “Danseuses professionelles: un métier de prostituees deguisees?” Le Blog du Boy Town [a Senegalese blog that republishes texts from local media, the newspaper Walf Grand Place is mentioned as the source]: http://leboytown.blogspot.fi/2007/09/danseuses-professionelles-un-metier-de.htm0 [accessed 30 August 2016].

DakarPrivee. 2015 “De «Goudi Town» Yeungal Down à «Bombasse» : Le Sénégal sur une pente de perversion sexuelle.” DakarPrivee [A Senegalese news website] 16 juin 2015. http://www.dakarprivee.com/actualites/9603-de-gouditown-yeungal-down-a-bombassele-senegal-sur-une-pente-de-perversion-sexuelle.html [accessed 30 August 2016].

Lo, Fadel. 2014 “La danse, art respectable ou porte ouverte vers la perversion”. Hebdomadaire Le Temoin 26/10/2014 [republished on the Senegalese news website Seneplus]: http://www.seneplus.com/article/la-danse-artrespectable-ou-porte-ouverte-vers-la-perversion [accessed 30 August 2016].

Xibar.net. 2013 “Prostitution deguisee dans le showbiz : Des chanteuses et danseuses indexées”. Xibar.net [Senegalese news website] le 2 Avril 2013. http://www.xibar.net/PROSTITUTION-DEGUISEE-DANS-LE-SHOWBIZ-Des-chanteuses-etdanseuses-indexees_a48281.html [accessed 30 August 2016].




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21504/amj.v10i2.2037

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.