The Haka War-Dance

How do you simultaneously boost morale while intimidating your opponents into quiet submission? The New Zealand Maori peoples have figured it out – a brutal war dance, of course!

Blending elements of mythical creation stories, historical tribal warfare, and pure passion, the Haka is a sight to be reckoned with.

A wee different from the usual conception of “dance”, but even here, a war-dance illustrates how dance can be used to express one’s emotions, exorcise inner demons and fears, and inspire us to victory.

Kia Rite! KIA RITE!

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Paris Charleston!

Join JB Mino & Oliv Wan as they explore the wild wacky energetic world of Charleston dance on the streets of Paris with other Charleston enthusiasts!

The Charleston fits perfectly with the cosmopolitan “City of Love”. Heartwarming and carefree, watching these Parisian dancers show off their fancy footwork and unstoppable groove definitely highlights both the architectural marvels of the city as well as the colourful, fun-filled atmosphere you’re bound to find if you just let loose and set your feet free!

Though derived from the West-African Juba dance, it’s evident that those who’ve adopted the Charleston prefer a more up-tempo movement and motion emphasizing jumps and kicks as opposed to the very grounded styles of the most prevalent African dances.

I’m curious as to why this is! Is it a cultural evolution? An environmental adaptation?

It’s a gross over-generalization, but I’m genuinely curious as to why so many North American and European dances have an emphasis on up-rightness, Latin American dances on the hip motion, and African dances on knee-bend and lower body positioning. If any of you have any ideas I’d love to discuss this with all of you! Enjoy the video and have a great weekend everybody! 

Remember to comment, like, and share with your friends!

Skelewu

Definitely been digging and exploring African dance styles lately. This one is choreography by LipStik Bandits on Davido’s Skelewu – my current Nigerian dance tune obsession.

The interplay between the dust-evoking rhythms, the delicate bell-like sounds and the infectiously catchy melody elevates Skelewu to the upper echelons of “irresistibly danceable” in my books.

From the dance itself, I found it fascinating how at 0:17 the dancers move back and forth pivoting their heel-toes in a way reminiscent to the Charleston dance which took America by storm during the 1920s. It’s always amazing to see how different dance styles have influenced each other across time and space!

Stylistically, this is my favourite rendition of Skelewu I’ve ever seen. This is due in large part to  the powerful assertive movements which these two wonderful dancers harness to interpret and feel the music. There’s a ton of feeling and it’s incredibly evident during the refrains where both dancers move as if they’re “playing” the instruments. I wish I could move my knees like that.

It’s a sexy dance for sure – one that suggests you’ll have to bring your A game to stand a whiff of a chance on the dance floor.

Enjoy, comment, like and share!

African Skank

K5 does a dance choreography on JJC’s African Skank!

The African response to the Cha Cha Slide, this song is chalk full of fun vibes and moves. Let go and dive into it, shake off your worries and show off the African Zombie!

First stop, Ghana. Twist. Point.

Azonto!

Switch it up, Etigi! Stomp! That’s Nigeria.

Bring it to Kenya, jump! Massai!

What’s a dance look like when your body’s on fire and your face is scrunched up ugly, real ugly?

Alanta!

Journey down to South Africa, Kwaito!

 

And that’s the African Skank.

 

A-Z of African Dance

Inspired by the Habari African Festival at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, I wanted to find out more about African dance styles and moves, and this video is just the ticket. Thank you to The Dance Hall from Senegal for this visual and inspiring sample platter of African dance styles!

It’s awesome to see the similarities and influences taken from some of these African dances in the development of Latin dance as well as present day Hip Hop.

Enjoy!

Touch The Sky

Kanye West’s Touch The Sky.

I love this song.

It’s the perfect pick-me-up when you’re craving that extra kick in your day. A musical antidote to bouts of mini depressions and energetic repressions. What a soulful, bouncy tune!

Always makes me want to a buffet at KFC.

“Do you KNOW who I am!?”

“I know I ju- I just said your name!”

Make it NASTY

Nasty song and nastier choreography by the incredible Ian Eastwood on Tyga’s Make it Nasty.

The best thing about Ian’s dances are the humorous ways he interprets lyrics through movement. Motions are fused with fluidity, and the expressions on their faces! That’s how you can tell these dancers are really enjoying themselves!

Facial expressions – a small change but what a difference.

That’s that, enjoy, yeah make it NASTY!

Afro-Peruvian Dance!

Inspired by a recent dance experience I had at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre (if you’re in Toronto you should definitely come by! Every Thursday 7-10 pm from now until September there’s FREE live music and dancing to be had – ridiculously fun and adorable).

Afro-Pervuian music with dance choreography by Amani Manning.

It was hilarious to see that most people (myself included) had absolutely no idea how to dance to the amazing afro-peruvian music filled with expressive warm rhythms because we were under the strange perception that all of Latin-America was Salsa and salsa ONLY.

As you can see here, we couldn’t be more wrong.

With grounded moves that draw power from the Earth, Afro-Peruvian dance of this style can be characterized by the intimate relationship between the dancer and his/her surroundings.

The blending of two distinct music and dance cultures of Latin origins and African roots. A celebration of dance and life, FESTEJO!

Sexy Street Salsa

Incredible chemistry between the two dancers Erick Berninzon and Ana. The way they can just read and predict each other’s movements is incredible! Ana’s styling is sensual and exquisitely feminine, while Erick’s moves flow so naturally and his lead is so solid that it can’t be anything BUT passion!

It’s done. I’m going to South America for sure to learn and taste this flavor!

Jesus Walks

A live rendition of Kanye West’s Jesus Walks, and you’ve got John Legend on this one too. Talk about star power!

This song is chalk-full of raw emotion, power and soul. The inclusion of the marching band is a great touch giving the song a depth of warmth and shimmering brass.

Concerning Kanye’s evolution into his current incarnation, what’re your thoughts and opinions? Has he lost his way or is his ability to venture out and experiment with darker sounds nobody expects a sign of maturity as an artist?

Would love to hear your comments below, enjoy!