Free Seize the Dance Essay Sample
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This paper is written basing on Michelle Kisliuk book, "Seize the Dance" that was written back in 1998. The paper analyzes the main influences in Michelle research that can be thought to be intellectual, personal or even religious. Description of her writing style and the way she generally approached the research is also brought to light. The relationship between her perspective and the crisis of presentation is also discussed herein. Finally, the essay states the section in the book that captured me and will always be in my memory, this is supported by facts.
The book is nothing but a product of a research carried out between 1986 and 1995. The book brings to light in details the songs, rhythms of drums, movement while dancing as well as the context of interaction in the society and the general culture of the BaAka people. The BaAka forest was inhabited by people who lived in Lobaye, in central Africa.
Michelle admits personally that her study about singing, dancing and indeed the day to day activities of the BaAka pygmies of central Africa stems from getting to hear recordings of their sounds singing and reading certain descriptions about the BaAka people's music and songs especially those written by Arom Simha. Additionally, she was attracted by the depiction of consistency of pygmy's structure and performance styles with their general egalitarian way of life.
The work of a skeptic, Alan Lomax in which it touched on characterization of social as well as the music aspects among the pygmies of central Africa that suggested a utopian combination of evolutionist and references with the bible seemed to have influenced Michelle to carry out the research study. The book written by Colin Turnbull, "The Forest People" an extraordinary sensitive material toward music was an inspiration to Michelle while in college.
Michelle writing style
Michelle's writing style is very captivating and indeed full of creativity and originality. This is attributed to the fact that she personally indulge in unveiling the facts about the pygmies of central Africa. Thus her writing skill is based primarily on experience. In addition her approach to music is good. Through her writing she makes us 'see' how the pygmies danced as well as their voice while singing. Her approach proves to be of significance for that studying music.
Her writing strategy to readers realistically lead us through her research work, we also get to learn about the BaAka people's way of life. Though her style, she present effectively the BaAka people as being real, multifaceted persons that are complex.
Her ability to use various photographs depicting people dancing, singing as well as playing drums is a plus in writing classical literature. Michelle's work leaves room for choice, irony surprise as well as contradiction. These techniques make readers to continue reading in order to know what transpires in the subsequent chapters.
Finally, using musical examples such as story telling, Michelle takes us through her fascination via a well known polyphonic singing of the pygmies. Although her work is full of creativity, she did not emphasize the structure of the BaAka music structure, it is worth noting she only describes performance in a fragmented manner. She fails to articulate norms and rules of performance that could be vital for those who do not have first hand experience with these people. Michelle treats music as a form of expressing one's culture that is lined with performance.
Her powerful writing style can be seen from the onset of the book. She introduces the culture and music of these central African inhabitants very well. Michelle then makes it known of her location of the study both in terms of methods and geographic location. She introduces to us the main characters and at the same times strives to establish those situations surrounding her work. The use of narrative as a style throughout chapters in the book successfully brings out the culture, politics, music and performance of the BaAka people.
Relation between her perspective and presentation crisis
A number of questions seem to disturb anthropologists and ethnomusicologists; for instance does their work fit into their disciplines, their position among those people they are studying and how does their work fit to those of their colleagues.
Michelle's work provides hope for all these three questions. First we see she tries to use a name to refer to the native and she chose BaAka to accommodate the accent- Biaka and Bayaka, this help eliminate the issue of misrepresentation. Additionally, together with other scholars her work advocate to a shift from western colonial beliefs to an African one. Similarly, she strive to promote use of research or field work which places experience in the forefront in writing literature aimed at helping reduce separation of self from the others.
According to me, the most memorable section of the book was chapter seven, 'Women's Dances Dingboku and Elamba the Politics of Gender'. The disharmony created by the male trying to dance Dingboku, a dance that was being performed by women made my memories. Despite the fact that women did not succeed in their previous quest to air their view, they had their way this time round as they did not relent to the claims of their male counter parts.
The book Seize the Dance is a great piece of art. It is full of creative writing that is experienced based. For Michelle to write the book, influences came from various quotas for instance by her listening to recording of pygmy songs, descriptions by Arom Simha about the way of life's of the BaAka. The work of skeptic like Alan Lomax inspired Michelle. The most memorable section in the work of Michelle is, 'Women's Dances Dingboku and Elamba the Politics of Gender'.