Category: Culture

Zulu Dance Find Fresh Inspiration For Your Next Choreography

Zulu Dance Find Fresh Inspiration For Your Next Choreography

Tired of the all-too-usual dance routines? Then discover the Zulu dance.

Instead of packing and bringing your hunting air rifle, like those reviewed at RifleJudge, to your next trip to Africa, why not spend a day and immerse with the great culture of the Zulu people?

Zulu cultural immersion is now becoming one of the popular tourist attractions in South Africa. The Zulu, which literally means people of heaven, are really a proud culture that is very hospitable and friendly; offering a complete loyalty to their inkosi (tribal leader). More than just a spectacle, the Zulu culture and traditions are a way of life.

There are many things that make the Zulu culture unique and interesting, but it is their dances that truly leave an impression. These dances vary in styles, movements, choreography, and purpose.

The best time to behold the different types of Zulu dances is during the Reed Dance Festival celebrated during September each year. During this tribal event, a crowd of Zulu virgins troop the Enyokeni Zulu Royal Palace. This activity is a way to promote purity among virgin girls and also pays homage to ladies.

The Reed Dance Festival is just one part of the annual festivities celebrated by the South African ethnic group. During the festival, the virgins collect the reeds that line the river and bring them to the palace for examination of King Goodwill Zwelithini. Also during the festival, the royal king chooses his youngest wife. Some have criticized this festival for disempowering young women of their freedom to choose their partners and for being wed at a very young age. But on a larger perspective, it’s a traditional way of preserving the purity of girls before they are wed.

Here some of the types of Zulu Dance that you might find inspiration with for your next dance routines.

  1. Bull Dance

Originating from the cramped spaces in mine dormitories, the Bull Dance gracefully uses the arms held aloft coupled with thumping of the feet. Rural girls have their unique versions.

  1. Hunting Dance

No, I’m not talking about the modern hunting that you might be thinking now. Don’t even think of taking out your hunting scopes like the ones you’ll see on this link. This Hunting Dance mimics the tribal hunting practices and the bravery it takes. This is a fiery dance that uses sticks and is performed before hunting is commenced. Girls also dance this routine to welcome the hunters arriving from their escapade.R

  1. UmGhebulo

In this dance, the performer seems like climbing up an imaginary ladder or pulling down the sky.

  1. UmQhogoyo

Much like modern dances, this dance involves violent shaking of the upper body.

  1. IliKhomba

One of the most graceful dances in the tribe, this dance movement involves the upper body while swinging a long decorated stick.

  1. UmBhekuzo

This dance movement mimics the tides wherein the men alternately advance and retreat around the audience. Dancers on the rear raise their aprons to expose their behinds.

  1. Dance of the Small Shield

Usually performed during Royal occasions, this rhythmic dance is aimed to strengthen military bond. An almost similar dance is the umGhubho which uses spear and shield.

  1. UmChwayo

Accompanied by songs, the dancers perform in unison akin to that of a snake’s body.

The Zulu culture is truly remarkable. Their dances and songs play an important part in the life of the ethnic group – and there is so much to learn from the movements or formations of every dance move. It surely is a must-see for anyone who loves and values dance.

Hip-Hop, Jazz and Society

hip-hop-jazz-and-society

One of the best and most revealing parts of the culture is the folk itself. In his book “The Wastelands,” Stephen King’s character Roland says “show me what people look at and enjoy – that will tell me everything I need to know about them.”

While you might not have to travel the world and study all about different cultures, learning about the art of different cultures can teach you more than a dozen of history books. When you learn about the art in the form of visual arts, dances, or songs; you understand what people of different cultures love, hope and fear.

Obviously we are a bit biased towards dancing and music, so we’re going to talk about that specifically!

Swing jazz and hip-hop share an important link: they are both the expressions of African-American people. Jazz is the original form of African-American popular music, right after the blues. When you listen to jazz you can see the mix of emotions that black Americans experienced throughout their lives; there is happy, joyous and sad, blue music.

Hip-hop works in the same way; it proposes lifestyle of having huge parties and great time; and also deals with more serious issues facing African-Americans today.

Jazz and hip-hop also have a vibrant dancing culture. In the United States the joke is that African-Americans can dance rings around any other person in American society; this is true in many cases!

The dancing is much stronger in US black American society than it is in any other; with the exception of Native Americans, perhaps. While society in US does enjoy a dance or two; but most of the dancing is derived directly from Black Americans.

One of the most interesting things about jazz and hip-hop is that they actually share many similarities. Without getting too much into music theory, most jazz and hip-hop music share a pattern of beats that counts 1-2-3-4, over and over again!

This gives it a drive beat. They also rely heavily on great piano sounds, and digital pianos works great for that; classic songs like “Groovin’ Hard” from the 1920s and modern songs “Jordan Belfort” from 2015 use piano for their main sound.

Modern hip-hop uses quite a few types of great electric pianos, such as Yamaha Arius. The drum sound also uses similar patterns; the beat is driving and the strong beat is on beats 2 and 4. Hip-hop and jazz also make use of repeating patterns; hip-hop has a constant drum beat and jazz uses the same chords over different progressions.

Hip-hop and jazz are just two examples that are close to our hearts; many other types of music show the face of a culture just as well as these two styles.

For example, punk rock from the 1970s and 80s shows how dissatisfied people were with the state of the government at the time. In ancient times, Egyptian art shows us that people were religious and traditional.

No matter what the culture is, works of art will tell you more about the culture than anything else.

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