Lambada Dance on New Years Eve
New Years Eve is here and much dancing will be had in celebration of 2016’s arrival. As a performing dance artist, I’m excited to prepare for three dance shows to be debuted on the finale night of 2015. This is exciting for me as I get the opportunity to share New Years Eve with a variety of people, celebrate a plethora of cultural celebrations, and perform several different dance styles. With every show that I’m booked for, unique requests create opportunities to expand my knowledge and experience of different dance styles. This year the dance known as “Lambada” will be added to my International dance and partner dance rapport. In honor of celebrating this dance in the waking moments of 2016, I share with you what I’ve learned about this dance style.
In 1989 the French music group Kamoa released their number one single “Llorando Se Fue”. The song quickly became the iconic “Lambada song” and put the dance on an International level like never before. The dance, however, had already been in existent for quite some time and some say that it developed out of Brazilian dances of the Para region from the 16th to 19th century Portuguese colonies. In those times, the common dance that was popular and adored by people was known as Carimbo. Carimbo was characterized by it’s sensuality and women and men dancing in couples. Women tried to cover men with many spins and rounded skirts.
Many years later, the strong influence of Caribbean music evolved from the original Carimbo rhythms into a new music gentre that was later named at a local radio station as a “strong beated rhythm” or “the rhythms of Lambada.” Lambada was a word in the local language that described a strong beat. Eventually the term “Lambada” became a dance accepted in the dance community.
Lambada dance and music began to grow in popularity throughout different parts of Brazil. It was influenced by Forro dance of a 4-beated dance styling and eventually was transformed and acquired Forr’s solid rhythmical quality and movement body. The dance was done with arched legs and bent knees and moved side to side instead of from front to back. The dance was described by the Portuguese to have the wave-like body motion like the motion of a whip. As the dance became more embraced, Lambaterieas were opened which hosted Lambada music for people to do Lambada dance together.
For years the dance was only well known in Brazil. It became an internationaly renowned dance style in the mid 1980s when a French business man acquired the rights to over 300 Lambada musical tracks. His inspiration was picked up by Kaoma who released “Llorando Se Fue” putting Lambada dance at it’s popularity high. The 1990 movie “Lambada” also ensured the dance’s worldwide fame.
While Lambada music and popularity has declined since the early 1990’s, you can still find Lambada danced all over the world today, especially by younger people with an interest in Latin American dancing. In many cases it has been replaced by the more common music genre Zouk, from West Africa and the French Carribean. Today you will also find Zouk-Lambada, a combination of the two genres.
I look forward to performing Lambada dance this year knowing that it has a warm and rich history rooted in the depths of Brazil. Whatever dance styles you choose to embrace in 2016, I encourage you to seek opportunities to further your dance knowledge and experience even more out of the world of dance.
Article by Ziva