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ERIC Number: EJ794468
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Sep
Pages: 4
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 6
ISSN: ISSN-0730-3084
Embodying the Spirits: Puppets in the Dance Studio
Moss, Suzan
Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance (JOPERD), v77 n7 p31-34 Sep 2006
The tradition of using giant puppets in dance rituals is widespread throughout Africa. Huge puppets can communicate spiritual and moral authority, which is all the more easily accepted because it is delivered with a sense of playfulness. Giant puppets also create unique movement possibilities. This potent combination of symbolic meaning and choreographic challenge make the use of puppets a valuable tool for teaching African dance, and for creating a sense of unity in an educational setting. This article explores the educational advantages of using puppets in the dance studio, and explains how dance teachers can make giant puppets with their students. The puppets can help to convey choreographic principles, cultural context, the power of ritual, and an interdisciplinary approach to artistic problem solving. These gains are directly related to the goals in the "National Standards for Dance Education".
American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. 1900 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 800-213-7193; Fax: 703-476-9527; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa