African Music and Dance | Kizomba

currently listening to; Kelly Key’s No Controle

I like to call Africa “the home of soul food” (Music) and everything nice.

Music really is food to the soul and Africa is home to various diverse genres of music and dance. One African musical genre I love is Kizomba which originated from Angola in 1984 and has since been infused in modern music all over the world. It is a derivative of semba, with a mix of Kilapanda and Angolan Merengue.

Kizomba means “party” in Kimbundu, a native Angolan language. It is characterized by a slower, romantic, more sensuous rhythm. Kizomba music emerged as a more modern music genre with a sensual touch mixed with African rhythm and Haitian compass. Most kizomba songs are sung in Portuguese.

It is danced accompanied by a partner, almost like Salsa, but very smoothly, slowly and sensuously, and with neither tightness nor rigidity. (In pidgin, “the dance no get gra gra at all”).

kizomba  is a dance that allows the pair to play the music they are dancing to and, according to the couple’s intimacy, becoming an extremely close dance with slow and sensual moves, requiring great leading skills and complicity between man and woman, or a more open dance with faster steps, foot work and tricks. In both cases, dancing Kizomba provides a warm and unique experience that you will want to repeat over and over again…

The several style of kizomba include; 

  • Passada — classic style
  • Tarraxinha
  • Quadradrinha
  • Ventoinha

The influence of kizomba is felt in most Portuguese-speaking African countries, but also Portugal (especially in Lisbon and surrounding suburbs such as Amadora or Almada), where communities of immigrants have established clubs centered on the genre in a renewed kizomba style. The São Tomean kizomba music is very similar to the Angolan, Juka being the most notable among the Sãotomeans, and also one of the most notable performers in the genre.

Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, Portugal, Mozambique, Equatorial Guinea, São Tomé and Príncipe, East Timor, Martinique, Brazil and the territory of Macau are some countries where kizomba is considerably popular.

Images culled from : Roc Kizomba and Zouk Festival