The History of Kizomba

One of the dances I recently picked up is Kizomba, an interesting Angolan dance that has some element of Tango in it. Unlike semba, kizomba music is characterized by a slower and usually very romantic rhythm.

Kizomba music was born in late-1970s Africa. On this basis, kizomba music emerged as a more modern music genre with a sensual touch mixed with African rhythm. Unlike Semba, Kizomba music is characterised by a slower and usually very romantic rhythm. Most kizomba songs are sung in Portuguese.

Today, Cape Verdean singers and producers have gained a wide popularity with many famous kizomba compilations, including singers such as Suzanna Lubrano, Kaysha, Atim, Nilton Ramalho,Johnny Ramos, Nelson Freitas, Mika Mendes, Cedric Cavaco, Elji, Looney Johnson, Klazzik, Mark G, To Semedo, Klaudio Ramos, M&N Pro, Gilson, and one of the greats in the Cape Verdean culture Gil. Original influential music styles from Cape Verde are funana, morna, coladeira and batuque.

Thanks to the French Antilles compas music and the strong influence of semba (from Angola), Cape Verdean singers have developed significantly Kizomba and zouk (mixing it with coladeira) known as cabo love or cola-dance. Moreover, every lusophone country has developed its own Kizomba music flavour.

Kizomba is an evolution of the traditional dances of Angola semba and Cape Verde Passada however, it is evident that kizomba dance as we know it today evolved after the vogue of kizomba music. Since the 1950s, Angolan people used to dance semba. In the 1990s, when the actual kizomba music got more and more popular, Angolan semba dancers started to adapt their semba steps according to the tempo and flavour of the Kizomba beats.

Some of the Festivals in which Kizomba plays a big part include Afrofever, Africadancar, Budapest Kizomba Connection, Batuke!, Estonia Tallinn Salsa Congress, Austria Vienna Sexy & Sensual Latin Festival, France, Germany, Bournemouth, Afro Cuban Salsa Festival Norfolk and Renaissance London.

In the Asian region, Kizomba has started to gain traction and popularity in recent years as more and more dancers begin to enjoy the slow romantic dance. Especially when the social night involves Soul Zouk tunes that can be interpreted with kizomba steps and styling. In Malaysia, the past 2 years since a huge growth of dancers, where there was once less than 10 dancers that does it in 2013, it has grown to a respective number where social nights had to include kizomba into their playlist to keep the kizomba dancers happy.


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