The Return Beat - Interfacing with Our Interface

A Spiritual Approach to the Golden Triangle

by Olugbenga Taiwo (Author)
©2021 Monographs XXXIV, 274 Pages
Series: Music and Spirituality, Volume 12


This book represents a significant contribution to debates about identity, the arts and spirituality. Written in an autoethnographic style, the author charts his own journey into understanding the interface between himself, culture and digital technology. He charts a course through West African orate and literate traditions and their relationship to the transatlantic trade of enslaved Africans, describing how they became a source of so many dance traditions in Europe and the Americas, such as capoeira, Afro Brazilian and Cuban movement, Hip Hop and Samba. He enters into a detailed analysis of Western linear time and the African curved time; the flux of the Return Beat. He sets out a description of the Yoruba religion of the Orishas; centred around the figure of Olodumare and the concept of Ashe, the animating force of the natural world. As a practitioner of T’ai Chi Ch’uan, he draws comparisons with Chinese spiritual practice and other philosophical traditions, always linking these with the movement of the body both as generative forces and reflective frames. He constructs the framework of the Return Beat, physical journal and mobile studio practice from an understanding of many intercultural, conceptual and performative practices, embodied over his career as a performer.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Foreword by the Rev Professor June Boyce-Tillman
  • Contents
  • List of Figures
  • List of Tables
  • Dedication and Acknowledgements
  • Pre-face
  • Dimension 1: The Return Beat
  • Dimension 10: Performance Philosophy
  • Dimension 9: Open Door
  • Dimension 8: A Complex of Questions
  • Dimension 7: Art, Ritual, Culture and Society
  • Dimension 6: The Performative Atrium
  • Dimension 5: The Physical Journal
  • Dimension 4: Performances with Personal Commentary
  • Dimension 3: Choreological Methodology: Choreutics
  • Dimension 2: Choreological Methodology: Eukinetics Changes in Performative Flux
  • Post-face: A Return to Dimension 1
  • Bibliography
  • Glossary
  • Index

←x | xi→


Figure 1.Icosahedron

Figure 2.Three planes

Figure 3.Release me

Figure 4.Three layers of temporal space linked to the physical journal

Figure 5.The metric beat

Figure 6.The return beat

Figure 7.Performative nexus

Figure 8.Door A

Figure 9.Door B

Figure 10.Table of light

Figure 11.Dimensional cross

Figure 12.Increasing our fields of vision

Figure 13.Many spatial events

Figure 14.Sirius

Figure 15.Table A

Figure 16.Table B

Figure 17.Cubism

Figure 18.Open and close all three polarities

Figure 19.Laban’s geometric perspective

Figure 20.My Trans-cultural perspective

Figure 21.Format and structure

Figure 22.Door, table and wheel

Figure 23.Door and associations

Figure 24.Table and associations

Figure 25.Wheel and associations

Figure 26.Return beat and associations

Figure 27.Go lightly

←xi | xii→

Figure 28.Three layers of temporal space linked to the physical journal

Figure 29.Wheel A

Figure 30.Wheel B

Figure 31.Guardian call nature

Figure 32.Dodecahedron at the Turtle Key Art Centre

Figure 33.Recording that was triggered in the Laban performance

Figure 34.Olu in contemplation in Chance Remix

Figure 35.Olu being monitored on the Video in Chance Remix

Figure 36.Call and Response at the Golden Café

Figure 37.Olu Taiwo within Gehlhaar’s SOUND=SPACE system

Figure 38.A tender moment with Olu Taiwo and Henry Daniel

Figure 39.Shango played by Henry Daniel and Ogun played by Olu Taiwo

Figure 40.Dorothy, sitting on the chair

Figure 41.Olu Taiwo wearing an Agbada

Figure 42.Olu Taiwo playing live with Jason Carter

Figure 43.Dorothy (Oshun) confronting the Lion (Ogun)

Figure 44.Olu Taiwo as Othello being challenged at court by Brabantio

Figure 45.Olu Taiwo as Othello

Figure 46.The greater rhythmic spiral

Figure 47.Spira mirabilis

Figure 48.The Clover Model

Figure 49.The Kinespheric Model

Figure 50.The Transformer Model A

Figure 51.The Transformer Model B

Figure 52.The Heartbeat Model A

Figure 53.The Heartbeat Model B

Figure 54.The Heartbeat Model C

Figure 55.The Heartbeat Model C

Figure 56.Performative nexus

Figure 57.Performative nexus; pale violet

Figure 58.Performative nexus; blue

Figure 59.Performative nexus; red


XXXIV, 274
ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2021 (May)
The Return beat in the Golden Triangle of song, dance and drumming An investigation of Laban’s work underpinned by figures relating culture and spirituality Expression of a particular ontology born from complex identities straddling the UK and Africa The Return Beat - Interfacing With Our Interface Olugbenga Olusola Elijah Taiwo Yoruba tradition, transcultural, ethnomusicology
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, New York, Wien, 2021. XXXIV, 274 pp., 44 fig. col., 19 fig. b/w, 4 tables.

Biographical notes

Olugbenga Taiwo (Author)

Olu Taiwo is a senior lecturer in Physical theatre, Acting and Movement at the University of Winchester. He has a background in Fine art, Street performance art, African percussion and various martial arts including T’ai Chi Ch’uan and Capoeira. He has performed nationally and internationally in performances and lecture demonstrations promoting concepts surrounding practice as research, including how practice explores relationships between ‘effort’, and ‘performative actions’. He investigates how with performatively as ‘individuals’ we interface with the increasing digital complexity regarding our experience in the twenty-first century.


Title: The Return Beat - Interfacing with Our Interface
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310 pages