Kizomba is party, it is dance.
August 3, 2019 9:19 PM   Subscribe

Descended from Semba, Kizomba is a dance form which originated in Angola. While historical accounts tend to be oral, and vary slightly, it is generally described to have originated in the 1980's and 90's as dancers began dancing Semba style to the slower pace of Kizomba and Zouk music.

It is worth noting that Kizomba refers to both a musical style - Kizomba music - influenced by Caribbean Zouk sounds and also to a dance style - Kizomba dance influenced by some Cuban movements and Semba, but not by Zouk dance.

Due to the Angolan Civil War the dance grew, some artists and dancers stayed in Europe once abroad, and Kizomba became an international dance. Along the way it began picking up elements from other styles such as Tango, and enjoying popularity at traditionally Latin dance events. However, while Kizomba shares certain superficial similarities to dances such as Sensual Bachata, the distinctive hip motion – Ginga - is based on a more vertical or circular motion pressing off from the ground, as opposed to the side to side hip motion of Latin dances.

The root of Kizomba is partner connection, closeness and a focus on musical expression. The dance has a flowing circular motion. As a result of the closeness and body movement, Kizomba has frequently been marketed as sexy. In response, proponents of the dance emphasize that the dance is intimate, but not sexual.

Even as Angola strongly claims the identity of both the music and the dance (this example perhaps closer to Semba), other interpretations, often labeled Urban, Fusion, Neo, etc. have evolved and spread in parallel to 'traditional' Kizomba. Adoption of the dance to further musical styles has also led to Tarraxinha (lit. “little screw in a bolt”). A social Kizomba dance to Ghetto-zouk inspired music will often have elements that are preserved from Semba, sections of slower stepping and elements of Tarraxinha.

Bonus content: Kuduro (hard ass), also from Angola is the energetic cousin to Kizomba, it's development also impacted by the Angolan Civil war and a surprising link to the movie Kickboxer.
posted by meinvt (10 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
I went down the rabbit-hole of dance videos pulling this together. So, here are some others which I think show the breadth of expression of these dances, wanted to share and decided not to stuff into the post above:

Another playful Semba
A 'traditional' Kizomba
A 'traditional' Kizomba
Kizomba with a dash of Tarraxinha flavor
An Urban example
An amazing Kizomba fusion
Kuduro performance style
Kuduro music video
posted by meinvt at 9:46 PM on August 3, 2019 [4 favorites]

I think Zouk has gotten most of its recognition because of Kassav
posted by DreamerFi at 4:35 AM on August 4, 2019 [2 favorites]

Truly one of the planet's best moving music. A few other Angolan, Cape Verdean, Guinea Bissau artists that I know of : Paulo Flores, Carlos Lamartine, Carlos Burrity, Bonga, Maria Alice, Cesaria Evora, Tito Paris, Teofilo Chantre, Mendes Brothers, Justino Delgado, Nene Tuty, Tabanka Djaz, N'Kassa Cobra, Dulce Neves, Nando Da Cruz, Jean Claude Gomes + many more
posted by DJZouke at 4:54 AM on August 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

In the "Kizomba dance influenced by Cuban movements" link: If anyone knows the name of the artist/song/album that Mario Jordao and Laura Esmeralda are dancing to, I would be deeply indebted. I checked on YouTube and posted the same question there. Thx
posted by DJZouke at 5:28 AM on August 4, 2019

The Kizomba and Tarraxinha dancing (and the variations) are all impressive, but musically it is the Kundura that I am loving.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:53 AM on August 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

I love dancing kizomba.
posted by ChuraChura at 7:27 AM on August 4, 2019 [3 favorites]

This is great. Thank you for posting.
posted by umbú at 7:46 AM on August 4, 2019

We did a gig for a salsa event that featured a kizomba room off to the side. Little room with a 7' ceiling. We laid like 12 squares of dance floor (so only 192 sq. ft.), a couple of up-lights, but rigged up a 400W P.A. including a subwoofer. I walked by later and the room was completely jammed with people. The music was so loud I needed my earplugs even from the hallway. And that's everything I know about kizomba, so thanks for this.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:30 PM on August 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

Ob1quixote, I’ve danced in the “kizomba closet” like that at congresses before. Trust me that it’s despite the small floor and overpowered sound; I wish the dance were more consistently supported properly. I sometimes bring earplugs to wear while dancing in case.
posted by meinvt at 5:55 PM on August 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

It's Justino Delgado!
posted by DJZouke at 12:44 PM on August 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

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