Felix Begho - Aladura
Type of Spiritual Experience
One of the descriptions which was particularly intriguing was of the dances done by night club dancers in Nigeria. These dances are for the entertainment of the audience and to give the girls an income, but they are based on possession dances
A description of the experience
Felix Begho – Traditional African dance in context
From African Dance – edited by Kariamu Weish Asante
The most significant innovation in the area of religious dancing that contemporary Africa has witnessed exists in the free African churches known under the generic name Aladura in Nigeria. The name includes the Cherubim and Seraphim, Celestial Church of Christ and Christ Apostolic church among others…. The ecstatic spontaneity …grips the entire congregation of an Aladura church and sends all dancing, until some dance themselves into trance and begin to see visions.........
................To the catchy rhythm of Fela’s band, the teenage but physically matured topless girls do their breathless show-dance until they are virtually bathing in sweat. So energetically trying is their dance that one may consider it a reckless dissipation of energy. However the endurance and total surrender of the teenage girls somehow tend to lend their dance the air of ecstatic religious possession. This is probably the reason why their band leader Fela, is popularly known as the ‘chief priest’ and his performance show spot – ‘the shrine’