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If you love Milonga... you will Adore KIZOMBA

By Jean-Pierre Sighé

I gladly accepted the invitation to embark on the Kizomba journey. What a blessing! I return now to report back to you, my beloved fellow Tango dancers, especially to those of you who have over the years like myself developed the Tango dancing lifestyle. Tango is a life-changer.

My lifestyle as a Tango dancer is most definitely expanding, and it is further enriched with the Kizomba infusion. So now, it seems strange not to have Kizomba; in fact, it’s becoming impossible. I remember having a distinct feeling that Tango would become a major part of my life just after taking my first few private classes. So it is not surprising that Kizomba brings a long-lasting powerful vibration to this life of mine.

The Kizomba movement in the San Francisco Bay Area swells in motion. Consider these salient parameters:

  1. On January 18, 2012 I receive a message from Dennis Richards who is willing to start a Kizomba class at Tango Magdalena Dance Studio. The class will quickly start, drawing a good size of passionate students.
  2. In February , a local Promoter, The Cartara Productions, bring in Joao & Mafalda from Portugal, for the first workshop in the area.
  3. In April 2012, the Promoter does it again by flying in Yami & St’Effy from France.
  4. In May 2012, the Promoter again, fly in Mafalda.
  5. In June 2012…  Yami & St’Effy are back in the area.
  6. In July 2012…  Kwenda Lima from Cape Verde; the famous Kizomba instructor who brought Kizomba to Europe, is scheduled to be in tneBay Area.
  7. In September the first Kizomba Festival is scheduled, with the sponsorship of Joao.

I would add that in the meantime, we have been able to set up intensive training for local Kizomba instructors with the active collaboration of Cartara Productions and Tango Magdalena.

You may wonder if you fit the profile of a typical Kizomba dancer. Consider these qualities: deeply enjoys rhythm and the marvelous call-response; is infatuated with the much talked about Habanera; does not hesitate to drive long distances to participate in a Kizomba event; spends a substantial amount of time practicing (practicing what seems like a hypnotic two and three steps, over and over); enjoys and indulges in a close-embrace; seems generally happy and in a good mood or absorbed in some deep and quiet analysis. Does this ring a secret bell in you, my fellow Tango comrades?

First, a friendly warning. Do not be mislead by the apparent simplicity of the Kizomba steps. There are important differences. It takes a good focus and a lot of practice to properly integrate the basics of Kizomba. The skills of navigation and improvisation acquired in the Tango practice are assets. However, they will be used more efficiently after one integrates the Kizomba basics, reminiscent of using the Tango skills to dance Milonga. As you remember, when we come to Tango, we have no idea that we’re learning skills that would ultimately allow us to dance three dances (Tango, Milonga, Vals). Yet another quality could be added to the Kizomba dancer profile list: seems competent in allowing the body to execute rhythmic undulations, both vertical, the Tarraxinha (tara-cheena), and horizontal, at will.

Yes, Kizomba is a sensual and sexy dance, depending on where the partners want to take it. Just like in Tango, on stage, the exaggeration is permitted. A word here is necessary on the Tarraxinha. The Tarraxinha is an embellishment that the Lady injects into her dancing. The Man simply responds to it. The impression of the Lady being forced into it is a complete illusion. If the Lady does not want the Tarraxinha to occur, it won’t occur. There is a clear rule about it.

Without exaggeration, the profile list could be dubbed: the secret ingredients of a happy existence. I might even proclaim the following axiom: If you love Milonga, you will adore Kizomba! So, yes, you may well be a typical Kizomba dancer.

Why not take a time out now to enjoy the music that is Kizomba and watch the dance: Kwenda Lima, Joao & Mafalda, Yami & St’Effy, Albir Rojas.

How about some great Kizomba songs? Youtube offers these:
Criola (by Mika Mendes); Dircy-Sil feat. (by André - A Mulher ), Yanfanté (by Fode Baro), Taxi (by Suzanna Lubrano), Meu Amor (by Yola Semedo).

In my previous article, “Kizomba, a Notable Phenomenon” , Tango Magdalena Newsletter Vol  33, APR12, I suggested that Kizomba took over where Zouk left off and that it also brought in full circle the development of Tango. The human genius is here demonstrated once more. I foresee an inevitable expansion of the Tango and Kizomba communities in the San Francisco Bay Area.

At Tango Magdalena, our commitment to nurture the movement stays the course. The necessary adjustments will be made, regardless of the challenges. The cause is good and exciting and deserves our support.

Feeling the inviting wave? Do not resist any longer! Come and be among the growing numbers of experienced Tango dancers in this area who have heeded the Kizomba call.

Join us for the Kizomba class on Thursdays starting at 8 PM.

Movement, the Law of Mother Nature, sends the pulse and the dancers manifest it. New art forms evolve and morph. I am happy to be part of this expansive time.

* Stay tuned for an upcoming outdoor event showcasing Tango, Kizomba, and Cuban Salsa.

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© JUNE 2012


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