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A SEMINAR ON THE APPRAISAL OF NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION BETWEEN INSTRUMENTALISTS AND DANCERS IN ASIAN UBOIKPA PERFORMANCE

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Introduction

      Communication is essentially, the process of sharing meaning. It involves the sending of a message from a source through a channel, and makes provision for the receiver to also send a return message as feedback, based on the understanding of the message from the original sender.

       Eyre (1983) defines communication as the transference of a ‘message from one party to another, so that it can be understood and acted upon’. This definition acknowledges the sending of a message to another party as a cornerstone of the communication process. It also identifies the fact that the message has to be understood by the receiver. The understanding of the encoded message is very vital as ‘there will be no communication unless the source and the receiver are tuned together’. (Sybil James: 1990). Eyre’s definition also identifies the need for feedback in the communication process, a factor that seems to have been glossed over by many communication practitioners over the years.

     A noticeable shortcoming in this definition however is the omission of the channel of communication-a medium, a facilitator. The channel of communication ranges from the simple and common place to the complex and sophisticated. A linear communication instructional session from the father to the child is a face-to-face simple-channeled communication affair. The communication process becomes complex as the channels becomes sophisticated as in email, the internet, and so on. Since the channel is the medium through which the message is sent, It could not therefore be rightly ignored. The channel of communication includes convectional media like radio, television, newspaper, film, humans, musical instruments and so on.

    The selective ability to communicate is an exclusive preserve of human beings. Man is the only creature that communicates selectively. His choice of what and how to communicate depend on the cybernetic process basically on his ability to store and recall symbol which he uses in the communication process. As a result of this selective communicative ability, he must develop verbal and non-verbal communication skills. He must learn to communicate not only via the spoken word but also through his effective use of body movement (kinesics) and space (proxemics). And one of such method of non-verbal communication is through dance.

    Non-verbal communication among Africans involves the use of drum and other musical instruments and object that convey certain forms of information understandable within their culture. In some rural areas, for instance, a certain sound produced by a drum at a specific time may indicate a meaning that is important to some social groups, tribes or communities. In essence, traditional African practice recognize the importance of non-verbal communication to assert unique meaning that are not merely available in verbal communication channels (Uko, 2006). In African culture, the use of costumes, adornment, instrumentation, miming and dancing are some of the popular manifestation of non-verbal communication (Uko, 2006).

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