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The Story Of The Acrobatic 'Atilogwu' Dancers In Igbo Land

Dancing is a very big part of the Nigerian culture, many tribes in Nigeria have their own unique type of dance and dancers. In Igbo culture, dancing is very important, men, women, youths and children have their own special types of dance.

One of the most popular dances in Igbo land is the 'Atilogwu' dance. The dance is mostly performed by young people, because it requires a lot of energy for fast movements and acrobatic stunts. The word 'Atilogwo' means "do they use magic?", this is because people are always amazed at the kind of stunts the dancers do and how fast they do it. This made many people to ask, if the dancers use magical powers.

The young dancers become very good because, they have to practice the dance steps and difficult stunts so many times. Some of the dancers start practicing it from a very young age.

The dance originated from Anambra state, but the exact time the 'Atilogwu' dance came into existence is not known, but it was gotten from 5 different types of dance and they are: 'Anam', 'Ochanja', 'Ogwulogwo', 'Anaku', and 'Odunjanja'. The dance is one of the oldest dances in Igbo land and it has been recognized locally and internationally. 

The dance is performed with a fast paced music. Traditional instruments like: 'ogene', drums, 'ichaka' and 'opi' (flute) are used. It is performed by a team of 5 to 6 dancers and they wear costumes made of bright and beautiful colours. 

Most of the dancers, that made the 'Atilogwo' dance gain international recognition in the late 1900s were given national awards and scholarships.

The 'Atilogwu' dance is mostly performed on occasions like: marriage ceremonies, festival, coronations and welcoming of important guests. The dance has been performed for local and international dignitaries and it was once displayed for Queen Elizabeth II in January, 1956 in Lagos. 

Content created and supplied by: Iamceo (via Opera News )

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