Dancing is a most wide spread and valued form of expression in Africa. It is a means of communication with the ancestors and the spirits. It therefore has a religious meaning but it is also used as a means of connection and integration in a given community. Generally dances are ceremonious, organised and carried out according to the beliefs and the customs of the dancer.
Dances are performed occasionally and carried out during traditional ceremonies, fairs or festivals, social gatherings, to thank a benefactor or for the simple pleasure of dancing and the urge to express oneself.
The western regions of Côte d’Ivoire are very rich in the perspective of traditional dances. There are about 300 different dances to be descovered here.
There is the Temate of Facobly, an homage to the spirits favourable to an abundant harvest of rice executed by girls. There is also the Waders of Guessesso and Danane, a choregraphic acrobatic dance of masked young people on stilts of 3 meters, or the Gouah a gratitude gesture of young people to the beneficent Gods.
Furthermore dances were performed before and after importants events. For instance warriors performed ceremonious dances the day before going to war, or to celebrate a victory after a war, for the accession of a king to the throne or for the election of a new chief.