Kizomba is a very catchy musical genre that has its origin in Angola, Africa. It can be said that its birth was in the 1980s; but if we want to understand its history, we must look further back to the 50s and 60s. It was then that certain traditional dances of the African country and one of them was semba, began mixing with other rhythms both from its country of origin and other cultures after Africa was colonized by Europe in the 14th century. It is from there that a fusion of rhythms begins in which partner dancing takes center stage.
However, the old continent did not do all the work. Argentina and Cuba also played an essential role in the form in which semba must be danced.
In Portugal, the word Kizomba has its origin in all musical rhythms that derive from zouk, with which it is often constantly confused. It is a type of dancing laden with great sensuality and highly contagious that has become very popular with the passage of time, particularly in countries such as the United States, Canada, France, Spain, Poland, Belgium, Denmark, among others. Many Latin Americans consider that this is a breath of fresh air because it does not seem like anything they previously knew in terms of dance. One of the reasons that it became so famous around the world is that this dance is very easy to learn due to its softness and simple dance steps. If you want to learn to dance, kizomba is a very good option to begin with.
Kizomba lets the couple play the music they dance. The more intimate the members of the couple, the more likely that the dance will be much more sensual and there will be much more complicity between men and women who enjoy this pleasure.
How kizomba originated
As we have said previously, kizomba has its origin in Angola, which was a colony of Portugal in the mid-1970s. With the arrival of Cuban military personnel, certain rhythms came from the Caribbean island that started to be used by various Angolan artists for their musical projects. The result was a fabulous mix of fast local rhythms with much slower, romantic and partially synthetic sounds. The resulting genre was danced with semba and merenque, which made it known as kizombadas and, subsequently, kizomba.
By the 90’s, the word kizomba started to be used in Portugal to refer to all African rhythms danced in the nightspots of the most important cities in the European country. With the passage of time, the term would be used to refer to the musical genre and many other sub-genres with which it shares history.
Once this type of dance began to take hold in the rest of Europe, it was in France where all these rhythms that resemble one another started to be called kizomba, leading to the controversy over whether it and soft zouk are the same. Given that on certain islands belonging to France they were the cradle of zouk, it can be assumed that this has kindled heated debate even further still.
At the beginning, kizomba was only able to spread throughout the African continent, but migration allowed it to reach Europe and America respectively where a lot of passionate dance groups of this genre began to appear. The number of followers accumulated by this genre in countries such as Portugal, France or Spain was very huge.
Currently, there are a number of exponents of this kind of music that became famous worldwide such as Nelson Freitas, Djodje, Anselmo Ralph, Matias Damasio, among many others.
Kizomba in Europe
It is incredible the number of places where you can enjoy this spectacular dance. One of them is the world famous Eiffel Tower, where there are many options to learn or improve the dance steps. In France, the genre has been very popular, so much so that many places for dancing celebrate exclusive kizomba nights known as kizomba soirées by the locals. Considering the major African influence on this dance, those wishing to find out more will be able to enjoy a wonderful mix of dance styles and cultures that will leave no one indifferent.
In these places, you can share with a very impressive amount of tourists and foreigners from around the world. This contributes enormously to linkages and friendships between people of other cultures and other ways of seeing the world, which may be very rewarding from all points of view.
In the case of Lisbon, Portugal, it can be said that this is another place that every lover of kizomba in Europe should visit. Besides being a city that receives all its visitors with genuine hospitality, the dancing and music are ever-present. Among the many places you can go to enjoy the dance, it is important to mention the Estudio Sabor & Dança dance studio, the Academy World Dance and the Kizomba Power Dance School.
Regarding Barcelona, Spain, what can be said is that this is one of the best European cities for dancing as there is a gigantic variety of musical styles that can be found there. There are always parties and events worth attending. One of those dances that can be found in the city’s nightlife is kizomba that has gained popularity in recent years.
Latin music events and festivals were based on salsa and bachata, but kizomba has completely changed that reality. Today, it is very common to find festivals and congresses dedicated exclusively to this dance and its most loyal lovers. If you want to learn to dance this genre, there are a number of schools and workshops that could be very useful such as Así se Baila, Seven Dance and Baila Barcelona.
Kizomba in Latin America
Many people who do not know the origin of the kizomba think that it originated in Latin America due to its type of dancing, but the fact is that this dance was not even known in most countries of the continent. In fact, its main boom started relatively recently in some places such as Colombia, where it began to be known not long ago. In that country, there are currently academies and teachers who are dedicated exclusively to this musical style, which has started to happen in other Latin nations.
In Venezuela, it is said that it has been danced for more than 10 years, but it began to be known a short while ago thanks to some videos on the major social networks after it became famous in Europe. The pioneers of this practice were a certain number of instructors born in the Caribbean country after being trained in Brazil. Following this, kizomba was the subject of a great deal of interest in many young Venezuelans who want to learn to dance it. There are not many records on places to dance where this genre may be found, but there is no doubt that soon it will be like this.
Kizomba in Asia
There are many events and congresses linked to kizomba in Asia, which have a great influx of visitors, even when it is commonly believed that Asians are not fans of this type of rhythm. Experience with congresses of the last years has given the impression that this is not true. In fact, there are many fans of this rhythm from the continent who want to know all events and competitions details that are carried out in their countries for the coming months.
Japan is one of the nations where this type of event can be found the most. Such is the case of the Japan Kizomba Festival that has been going on in the country for many years due to the high level of attendance of visitors.