In Angola in the 50’s the expression “Kizombadas” referred to a party. There was no association of the word to a Dance genre or a musical genre. But the dance known as “Semba”,”Rebita”, “Kabetula”, “Maringa”, already existed in the 50’s and 60’s. Other dances coming from Europe like Tango, practiced by the Portuguese colonials. The “Plena” from Puerto Rico and Merengue are thought to be brought by the Cuban influence in Angola during the war.
The style of Kizomba is now emphasizes a very smooth way of dancing with influences ofTango steps, but one of the main differences is that the lower body, the hip, does forward/backwards and circle movements. People dance on the tempo, as well as playing on the off beat and only sometimes using syncopation steps. In the modern Semba dance, it is easy to observe how so many of the steps have been influenced by Cuban dance and perhaps vice versa, as you can find high similarities in both genres.
Kizomba was developed in Angola late 1989 to early 1990s.It is a fusion of Semba (the predecessor of samba) with the Zouk music styles from the French Caribbean Islands. It is also performed in other lusophone African countries and in Europe.
It is known for having a slow, insistent, somewhat harsh, yet sensuous rhythm; the result of electronic percussion. It is ideally danced accompanied by a partner, very smoothly and slowly, though not too tightly. A rather large degree of flexibility in the knees is required, owing to the frequent requirement that dancers bob up and down.
Countries where Kizomba is most popular include Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, Portugal, Mozambique, Equatorial Guinea, Sгo Tomй and Prнncipe, East Timor, Brazil and the territory of Macau.
Various individuals who feel involved with the Kizomba culture have been seriously promoting it in other countries, such as Belgium and surrounding nations, where an independent Kizombalove academy has been created by Josй N’dongala.
The influence of Angolan kizomba is felt in most Portuguese-speaking African countries, but also Portugal (especially in Lisbon and surrounding suburbs such as Amadora or Almada), where communities of immigrants have established clubs centered on the genre in a renewed kizomba style. Kizomba is now also quite popular among white people that come to these clubs in growing numbers. The Sгo Tomean kizomba is very similar to the Angolan, Juka is the most notable among the Sгotomeans, but it is also one of the most notable performers in the genre.
The exact origins of tango—both the dance and the word itself—are lost in myth and an unrecorded history. This dance is mostly borrowed from Argetine Tango. The generally accepted theory is that in the mid-1800s, African slaves were brought to Argentina and began to influence the local culture. The word “tango” may be straightforwardly African in origin, meaning “closed place” or “reserved ground.” Or it may derive from Portuguese (and from the Latin verb tanguere, to touch) and was picked up by Africans on the slave ships. Whatever its origin, the word “tango” acquired the standard meaning of the place where African slaves and free blacks gathered to dance.