Dance History 101- Modern

Mapouka(Macouka)- Mapouka is a traditional dance from the south east region of the Ivory Coast in Dabon. It has been around for centuries carried out during religious ceremonies. Some still regard it as a religious/ceremonial tribute that brings one closer to God. Although prohibited in the Ivory Coast from being performed in public, it is often used by some tribes to teach moral values and tradition. With its popularity, Mapouka eventually is now in its own unique dance category with its music, contests, and shows regularly conducted in its name.

Kompa (Konpa, or Compas)- The word Kompa in the Spanish language means beat or rhythm. Unlike meringue, Kompa has a slower tempo incorporating the tambour and conga that merengue does not. Compas dance and music is a modern meringue popularized in 1955 by the sax and guitar player Nemours Jean Baptiste. It is popular in the Caribbean, Africa, Cape Verde, France, parts of Canada, South and North America

Soukous-Soukous is the popular music/dance of Congo, Republic of Congo and Democratic Republic of Congo. It is popular all over Africa, French Caribbean, France, and Colombia. Soukous comes from the French word secouer, which means to shake. It began in the 1950s, when Congolese musicians began to listen and play Cuban music mostly Rumba. With the addition of guitars, African jazz and African fiesta music, a new distinct genre was born. In the 1960’s Soukous bands emerged until the 1970’s when the country was completely bankrupted by the Mobutu regime; causing a large migration to Paris. In the 1980’s a new Parisian Soukous sound was developed that reached a much larger audience; it had a more studio, polish feel which many Congolese did not like. As a result a less polished version of soukous made it’s way to the market in the 1990’s called Ndombolo. There have been a number of soukous dance styles that have come and gone. The boucher was one of the early dance styles. Later on others came like the Kiri Kiri dance, the Jobs dance, Soudama, Mandiba, and Kwassa Kwassa which was both a dance and musical style. Currently, the Ndombolo style of soukous and dance is dominant with the more current dance style Kisanola.

DanceHall- Dancehall music originates from the Jamaican dance halls where popular Jamaicans recordings were played by local sound systems. This started in the late 1940s from the inhabitants of inner city Kingston, Jamaica because they were not able to participate in dances uptown. Many Social and political changes took place in the late-1970s that shifted their traditional “roots reggae” to a style geared towards themes of social injustice, repatriation and the Rastafari movement. The lyrics in these songs often dealt with dancing, violence, and sexuality. Dancehall reached it’s peak in the 1980’s; spreading globally to the US, UK, Japan, Europe, and Canada. The popularity of dancehall has spawned dance moves that help to make parties and stage performances more energetic. Many dance moves seen in hip hop videos are actually variations of dancehall dances

Zouk(Zouk béton)- The word Zouk means party or festival. In the mid-1980s, French Caribbean group Kassav, the first in the Caribbean to use MIDI technology, took Caribbean music to another level by recording in a digital format. Through this emerged the fast tempo carnival style of music. Although often confused with Kompa, the word originally referred to, and is still used to refer to a popular Polish dance, the mazurka (mazouk), that was introduced to the French Caribbean in the 19th Century.

1 thought on “Dance History 101- Modern

  1. Pingback: Dance History 101- Modern | Afro-Danciac

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