Learn about traditional Congolese
Learn More About Congolese
Traditional Congolese dances are
rooted in ritual. Ritual dances are spiritually-connected, therefore
acknowledging the spirit world and its presence in everyday life.
These dances symbolize and, often, celebrate life's many occurrences
- child birth, rites of passage, a successful harvest or preparation
for war, to name a few. Ritual dances are considered sacred,
done only by certain families or villages.
| Another aspect
of Congolese dance is social dance. This form is very different
from ritual dance, in that social dance is non-exclusive and
improvised, yet it does draw alot of its movements from ritual
dance. Social Congoles dances are shaped by, not only the Congolese,
but also by the influence of other ethnic groups, as they come
to meet at parties, nightclubs and festivals within the Congo.
It is this form that is taught around the world in various classes
and dance workshops.
And, finally, there are the contemporary dances of the Congo.
These dances share the same qualities as social dances (improvisation,
non-exclusive setting, etc.), but differ slightly. The Congolese
social dances are formed and contained primarily within the Congo,
whereas the contemporary forms can be seen anywhere in the world
and are not as closely related to its spiritually-driven predecessors.
Examples of Congolese contemporary, social dances include soukous
Whatever the label (ritual, social or contemporary), the
Congolese influence on various dance forms is apparent. Whether
its done in the Congo Square of New Orleans or on the beaches
of Bahia, Brazil, the power and beauty of Congolese dance can
be seen everywhere, giving birth to and affecting a variety of
dance styles. Here are a few of its "offspring":
*Hip Hop dance *Modern dance *Rhumba
*Samba *Calypso *Cha-cha-cha
*Bomba (Puerto Rico) *Soca
*Merengue *Boogaloo *Funky Chicken