Popular Traditional dances from Eastern Nigeria

1.War dance or Ikpirikpi-ogu

The Ikpirikpi-ogu dance is a dance of warriors. Originally the dance dance comes from the Abam people of Arochukwu LGA, Abia State. It is performed strictly be men. Dancers welcome soldiers back from tribal wars and exudes strength and valor. Today Ikpirikpi-ogu is usually performed at festivals and community events helps people to show the strength of their community and its conquest over collective challenges.

2.Acrobatic Dance or Atilogwu

The dance Atilogwu is reminded dances of cheerleaders in today’s western countries. The ‘Acrobatic Dance’ is required a special physical training and lot of quick movements and calisthenics. During performance dancers usually show different flips, turns, high jumps and lots of others impressive tricks. It has been always caused a host of claps and excitement from audience. Very interesting to see the show of skilled dancers who present intricate footwork once they dance together. But mainly Atilogwu dance is performed by the youth for entertainment at different ceremonies or other events.

3.Masquerade dances or Mmanwu

The Mmanwu dance is recognized as the most-popular dance in Igbo culture and celebrated across the entire Igbo landscape. In the ancient times, masquerades were seen as sacred. Dancers represented different deities and played role as messengers sent by deities to deliver judgments or penalties on otherwise powerful people. They were untouchable and assumed that during the Mmanwu dance, the spirit of the deity possessed dancers. Today, the Mmanwu are still performed in most Igbo carnivals, celebrations and funerals including the New yam festival. The Mmanwu performances are usually bright, vibrant and mobile causing so audiences to move around in order to fully enjoy each. It seems that everyone have an opportunity to take part in this Masquerade dances!

4.Omuru-onwa and Agbacha-ekuru-nwa dances

This dance strictly performed by married women and new mothers. Omuru-onwa and Agbacha-ekuru-nwa dances are characterized by responsive movement of the women body, in the melody of rhythmic fashion to hip-swinging music. It is entertaining opportunity for such women to lose weight and get back in to shape after having a baby. The preparation for the performance usually lasts not one week and gives enough time for taking care about women’s beauty and health. This period is usually enough for women to return their beauty, desired body shape and natural grace. Men are waiting for this performance impatiently.

5.Nkwa umu-Agbogho or the Maiden dance

Traditionally the Maiden dance was performed by maidens who had come of age and ready to attract suitors and get married. The dance involves rhythmic and flowing body movements, especially chest and waist movements. The Igbo culture was also considered the Nkwa umu-Agbogho dance as encouraging of abstinence from sexual activities before marriage.