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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Ritual and mythological recuperation in the drama of Esiaba Irobi
Author:Diala, IsidoreISNI
Periodical:Research in African Literatures
Geographic term:Nigeria
About person:Esiaba IrobiISNI
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/research_in_african_literatures/v036/36.4diala.pdf
Abstract:M.J.C. Echeruo's appraisal of the dramatic limits of Igbo ritual in 1971 generated some spirited critical debate on the nature of Igbo theatre (Nigeria) and African theatre in general. Pointing to the distinctive Eurocentrism of the Greek model privileged by Echeruo as the viable universal paradigm for the evolution of ritual into drama, several other Igbo scholars sternly rebuked him for an alleged failure to recognize cultural distinctions in the dramatic form and consequently for the failure to advocate a culture-authenticating notion of drama. Esiaba Irobi's drama since the 1990s has re-opened this debate and, moreover, virtually constitutes a demonstration piece of Echeruo's postulations. Advancing insights deriving from Soyinka's formulation rooted in Yoruba theatre, Irobi makes the theatrical basis of his challenging corpus the dramaturgy of demonstrable Igbo ritual performances. In his iconoclastic recuperation of Igbo myths and expansion of ritual to facilitate secular projects in a contemporary postcolonial society, Irobi sets in relief a specifically Igbo theatre as well as foregrounds his innovativeness. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]