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Breaking it down: An exploration of the musical Fela! in relationship to Greek tragedy and Nietzsche’s Apollonian/Dionysian duality

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The unique duality of ‘authentic performance’ and ‘polished art’ in the Broadway musical Fela! recalls and embodies the interplay that, as Friedrich Nietzsche asserts, ‘eventually generate[s] the art-product, equally Dionysian and Apollonian, of Attic tragedy’. This article investigates the elements that constitute this duality and how they function both within the context and content of the musical. Specifically, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti’s connection to Greek tragedy, choreographic styles and the structural implications of the Broadway musical are analysed in light of Nietzsche’s┬áduality.

Keywords: Apollonian drama; Bill T. Jones; Dionysian drama; Fela Anikulapo-Kuti; Fela!; Nietzsche

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Columbia University

Publication date: December 1, 2013

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