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Glitz, glamour, panache at St. Lawrence’s Galilee Day

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South South zone in dance ecstasy

It was fun, excitement and high-powered entertainment on Monday, April 17, 2017, at St. Lawrence Catholic Church, Paiko, Idimu, Lagos, as the parish rounded off activities for this year’s Easter celebrations with the Galilee Day. The celebrations started on Sunday, April 9, with Palm Sunday procession. The high point was Friday. April 14, when the passion play, reminiscence of the old liturgical drama of the Middle Ages, was performed. Even in the wilting baking heat, the church’s premises was enveloped by throng of guests and well-wishers.

Music, dance, costumes, African cuisines ranging from black soup to groundnut, banga and Ovwho and cultural displays from the different zonal groups left everybody in awe.

Talking drums and dynamic energy, think again, what was not available? Guests were treated to complex evolution of dance in diverse cultures and through time. Cultural tastes in music, movement and styles, developed and enhanced by changing trends, provided the desired denouement for the Passion Week.

There was a ‘convoluting concourse of variegated actions, juxtaposed,’ as Ola Rotimi puts it, in the dance steps, as each piece oscillated within the different components of time through intricate interactions and precise movements.

In his welcome address, the parish priest of St. Lawrence Catholic Church, Paiko, Idimu, Rev. Father Cosmas Mordi, admonished everybody to live in love. While saying that the event was to celebrate the risen Christ, noted that the event was geared towards bonding members of the church, as well as making them live in one accord.

He urged everybody to use opportunity provided by the Easter celebrations to embrace peace.

While pointing out that in today’s world, there’s an endless human pursuit of material goals, often ignoring the fulfillment of God to guide the daily thoughts and actions, he appealed to all to take a cue from the lessons of Easter, by serving God selflessly.

The North Central, which had Mrs. Jennifer Enoh as the coordinator, presented the best of the states in the middle belt region of the country.

The zone received plaudit and critical commendation for their innovative style, which was an eclectic mix of the traditional Swange and contemporary Western styles. The dance revealed sharp technical skills in abstract compositions, the pump of shoulders and roll and twist of the limbs and spines.

The South South zone, ably coordinated by Mr. Sunday Odeh, did not fail to leave a mark of distinction. The zone sought to revitalise the ‘oil rich’ region’s cultural tapestry, reviving what was known, while retaining the modern movement.

The zone fractured traditional African dance idioms in a manner that divinely expressed the relationship between the people and their culture. The skit told a metaphorical story in an altered manner. Essentially by deconstructing forms, using recognisable African expressions, the zone explored alternative movement possibilities and significances.

There was an equally exciting mix of colour and panache from the Frank Chukwuma-led South East zone. What seemed the icing on the cake for the zone was the appearance of ‘Igwe’ Marcel Amuzie and his Lolo.

The choreographed traditional movement and the chant of ‘Igwe’ stressed the glamour attached to Igweship, especially, in the era of home video, when everyman wants to be Igwe and woman, Lolo. The Igwe showed off his royal apparatchik, impressively.

Has it been worth it?

Paul Eghieye, the vice chairman of the parish’s Catholic Men’s Organisation, has this to say: “Yes. It was a dream come true. We were all looking forward to it and the preparations were palpable. Even within the zones, there was tension because of the prize at stake. ”

In high spirits, Isaac Annih, the parish’s choir master and orator, who was dressed in colourful Niger Delta attire, said: “It was worth the while considering the rehearsals, and difficulty of coordinating people with different work schedule and performance ethics.”

Frank Chukwuma, who was absolutely stunning in his Igbo attire, said, “this was a new chapter in the parish’s history and all effort would be channeled towards improving on the grey areas.”



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