Thursday, March 23, 2017

Cardinal Arinze on the purpose of dance

"Another area is the whole idea of singing and joy in celebration. Not dancing necessarily. Europeans and Americans think Africans are dancing all the time. It isn’t necessarily that. But if you give a basket of bananas to an American from the U.S. to bring to the celebrant, and you give the same basket of bananas to an African, their movements towards the altar will be a bit different. The Nigerian will move a bit left, a bit right. It is the whole body showing the joy in the giving.

"In your mind, that’s not really dancing…

"Not really. But they put their mind, and body, and soul in the act. And when they dance it becomes a lot more delicate. Because there are many types of dances. We have a traditional war dance. There’s a traditional normal dance for recreation, which we would have at a parish hall after the Mass when there’s a bishop visiting. And then we have the dance for the women who are looking for husbands. That would be a little provocative, because they’re looking for a husband, that’s the purpose of the dance. But you can see none of it fits into the Mass, because the reason for the Mass is adoration, thanksgiving, asking for what we need. That’s not going to go very well if there’s anything funny during the holy Mass …"

     Cardinal Francis Arinze.  John L. Allen, Jr., "Cardinal:  'By African standards, I’m not conservative, I’m normal'", Crux, 23 March 2017.

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