Type of Dance
From my point of view what people call Kizomba today is an evolution of the tradional dance Semba. It is evident that Kizomba dance as we know it today evolved after the vogue of Kizomba music. Since the 50’s, Angolan people used to dance Semba (I will give more details in the next chapter number 3). This tradition remained unchanged even when the groupe Kassav from the French Caribbean Island Guadeloupe came to perform Zouk music in Angola in the 80’s.
Angolans simply danced their traditional Semba movements also to the Zouk music. Parallel to that, another special way of dancing called Brucha Brucha (men dancing with men) evolved. Brucha Brucha was a mix of Semba with other African dances and was sometimes danced on Zouk music from Kassav too.
In the 90’s when the actual Kizomba music got more and more popular, also Kizomba dance started receiving more and more credit and began to take the form it has today. What happend is that Angolan Semba dancers started to adapt their Semba steps according to the tempo and flavour of the Kizomba beats. Technically speaking, Semba danced in a slow way to Kizomba music is the basis of the Kizomba dance we know today. Angolan Semba dancers love their Kizomba music and when Kizomba music is played they often danced and still do dance Semba on the tempo of the Kizomba music they are listening to. We can say that at the beginning of its development, Kizomba was dancing Semba at a slower tempo according to the beat of the Kizomba music. This was the origin and is partially true until today – what makes the difference now is that with time certain typical Kizomba movements have been developed which are explicitly danced to Kizomba music and not necessarily to Semba music.
It is important to underline that in Angola we do not really make a big difference between Kizomba the dance and Semba. But we do make a big difference between Kizomba music and Semba music.
Angolan Kizomba competitions are mostly danced to Semba music as they still believe that Kizomba is nothing else than dancing Semba at the tempo of the Kizomba song they are listening to. Certain even believe that their Kizomba competition should be called Semba competition.
Only Angolans from my generation ( 1970’s onwards 🙂 ) will still be able to remember these truths as so far there is not sufficient scientific information yet, nor widely acknowledged research about the development of Semba and Kizomba.
Due to the Cuban presence in Angola during the civil war (1975 – 2002), their overall culture and especially dance culture strongly influenced Kizomba. Hence, Cuban elements can be found in the Kizomba dance. Milonga and Tango were also much appreciated in Angola as a result of globalization. Both dances equally influenced Kizomba dance as we know it today. Some people even describe Kizomba as “African Tango”.
Mateus Pele do Zangado
One of the most famous Angolan Semba and Kizomba dancers is Mateus Pele do Zangado. He is our Kota “big brother” and we have a lot of respect for him and his great talent and imagination. He has inspired a lot of young capable dancers in Angola and especially in the capital Luanda.
I would like to finish this chapter with the following reflection:
There is a considerable difference between Kizomba “the music” and Kizomba “the dance»: Kizomba “the dance from Angola” has NO Zouk influences. Kizomba “the music” has Zouk influences from Guadeloupe and Martinique. So when you hear that Kizomba has Zouk influences, always bear in mind that it refers to Kizomba “the music” and NOT to “the dance”.
José N’dongala launched the first official and professional “Kizomba teachers course” syllabus in January 2012 in Belgium. It is the first professional “Kizomba teachers training” syllabus on the market. His Kizomba teachers training program is called José N’dongala Kizombalove Methodology teachers course. He is also the person who officially introduced Kizomba and Semba in Belgium.
Nelson Freitas – Nha Baby
Dj Aly Neto ft Garimpeiros – Mulher
Bonifacio – No ponto