The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Tuesday, August 20, 2019


Angola's 'kizomba' dance mesmerises the world
A teacher (R) gives advices as students practise "Kizomba" during a dancing class in the backyard of a house on August 27, 2017 in the Mabor district of Luanda. The Angolan dance "Kizomba" is gaining worldwide popularity and has a committed contingent of students in Luanda's Mabor who are drawn to class by its romantic rhythms. AMPE ROGERIO / AFP.

by Philippe Alfroy


LUANDA.- In Mabor, a dusty and neglected corner of Luanda, the sound of a catchy beat rising means only one thing to the area's youngsters: time to dance the kizomba.

The Angolan dance is gaining worldwide popularity and has a committed contingent of students in Mabor who are drawn to class by its romantic rhythms.

"Stop! Boys stay still, only the girls move now. Like that, that's good!" said instructor Vitor Especao, wearing a bright purple shirt as he guided his pupils.

The dancers followed his instructions closely, their bodies twisting in ever more suggestive ways, watched intently by a group of mesmerised small children.

"It's what I really like about this dance -- the joy, the enthusiasm and the harmony," said Especao.

Kizomba's origins are hotly debated.

It has Angolan roots and draws on influences from the Caribbean and Cape Verde, but it was secured in the popular consciousness by singer Eduardo Paim only in the 1990s.

Its name means "party" in Kimbundu, one of the most widely spoken languages in Angola, and has even helped shape the semba, which is considered to be the nation's traditional dance.

The kizomba's swaying movements are performed by a couple in a close embrace but at a slower, more sensual pace than the semba.

Angolans quickly began taking up the kizomba.

"It's a very calm style, very suave. You don't move too much and you dance calmly," said Elsa Domingos Cardoso, a 22-year-old student.

"Whether it's the kizomba or the semba, dancing brings me joy."

'Everybody needs affection'
In recent years the kizomba has begun to spread across the dance floors of Europe, before being taken up across the world.

"It's natural that it works everywhere," said Mario Contreiras, a keen amateur kizomba dancer.

"Everybody needs affection," said the Luanda-based architect, who has become something of an ambassador for the dance.

"Elsewhere in the world, when they discover a dance which comes from Africa in which people intertwine themselves even if they don't know each other... that really delights them."

Kizomba has become a fashionable phenomenon. It is already being taught in places as diverse as London, Paris, New York and Johannesburg, with festivals and workshops as far afield as Shanghai, Moscow, Tokyo, Mumbai and Auckland.

Angola has been better-known for its bloody civil war, its oil wealth or president Jose Eduardo dos Santos -- who stood down last month after ruling for 38 years.

But increasingly it is muscling in on the crowded global dance scene.

Local radio host Zelo Castelo Branco was at first proud of the attention that the dance was bringing Angola, but now he claims to no longer recognise the version performed overseas.

Exported too widely, the dance is beginning to lose its soul, he said.

"Everybody dances the kizomba, that's good. But those who are teaching it abroad are changing the style," said Branco.

"It's no longer a traditional, family affair that we can dance with our wives and children, our parents... it's extravagant -- it's nearly a tarraxinha," he said, referring to kizomba's more adult, percussive cousin which some Angolans refer to as the "karaxinha".

In largely Christian Angola, the tarraxinha is strictly the preserve of consenting couples.

'The kizomba is Angola'
Mateos Vandu Mavila, the leader of a dance troupe that trains in Mabor, refuses to allow his team to perform the tarraxinha when they appear at weddings or festivals.

"It all depends on the age of those who are taking part in the celebration. We don't condone youngsters dancing the tarraxinha... It's way too sensual," he said.

Contreiras, the architect, is frustrated by the confusion between the kizomba and the tarraxinha.

"People are seeking to link the kizomba with sensuality and a level of eroticism (but) for us it's something very serious, it's our form of self-expression, our culture."

Contreiras joined the "kizomba in the street" project, initiated in 2012 in a bid to promote the dance and defend it from outside influences.

Every Sunday night he transforms Luanda's sea front into a giant dance floor -- free of charge and open to all.

"The goal is to promote the kizomba... to give those who don't yet know it an opportunity to learn it and to protect Angola's dance culture," said Manuel Miguel, 26, one of the team responsible for the Sunday night spectaculars.

"The kizomba is a mirror of who we are and for our culture. Angola is the celebration and the kizomba is Angola."


© Agence France-Presse





Today's News

October 7, 2017

63 Dutch Masters return home to Holland for an exhibition at the Hermitage Amsterdam

Hatton Gallery reopens with landmark exhibition

Rare Netherlandish drawings unveiled at National Gallery of Art

New commission by British artist and filmmaker John Akomfrah opens at Barbican Art Gallery

Anne Breckenridge Barrett appointed Director of the Center for Creative Photography

Exhibition of prints by Helen Frankenthaler makes its only northeast stop at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center

Jorrit Britschgi appointed Rubin Museum Executive Director

Exhibition of Tiffany Favrile glass vases opens at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

Special exhibition of lithographs by Fitz Henry Lane opens this fall at the Cape Ann Museum

Journey through NASA's history with more than 100 images on view at the Chrysler Museum of Art

Lyon & Turnbull to sell a cheque paid to D.H Lawrence for the purchase of his banned book, Lady Chatterly's Lover

Postcards from America: Celaya Brothers Gallery opens group exhibition

All that glitters: This fall Akron Art Museum presents "Alchemy: Transformations in Gold"

IMT Gallery opens first showing of selected works from a new ongoing project by Suzanne Treister

Two-session design auction offers important ceramics, visionary artworks

Minneapolis Institute of Art opens first complete retrospective of Japanese painter Minol Araki

Tyler Museum of Art casts spotlight on Pop Art icon Andy Warhol with 'Screen Prints & Snapshots'

Free Form Five: Elga Wimmer opens group exhibition

Mining and minerals, Native Americana, antique bottles, more at Holabird's Oct. 19-23 auction

Exhibition turns the table on contemporary artists

Angola's 'kizomba' dance mesmerises the world

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Conservation reveals Wellington Collection work was painted by Titian's Workshop

2.- New dinosaur discovered after lying misidentified in university's vaults for over 30 years

3.- Unseen Texas Chainsaw Massacre outtakes and stills sold for a combined $26,880

4.- National gallery reveals conserved Italian altarpiece by Giovanni Martini da Udine

5.- London's Tate Modern evacuated after child falls, teen arrested

6.- Bavarian State Minister of the Arts restitutes nine works of art

7.- Boy thrown from London's Tate Modern is French tourist visiting UK

8.- Child thrown from London gallery has broken spine, legs and arm

9.- £10 million Turner masterpiece may leave British shores

10.- Tourists banned from sitting on Rome's Spanish Steps



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful