Art, Dance and Music
“Art is an aesthetic manifestation made by artists through perception, emotions and ideas. The aim is to stimulate this interest of consciousness in one more many spectators. Each art piece owns its unique significance.
Dance is the art of moving expressively the body following rhythmical movements, generally led by music.
Music is an artistic and cultural manifestation of a people in a determined period of time and region. The music is a vehicle to express the sentiments.”
– Elias Manhiça
Mozambican Traditional Dances and Rhythms
There are over 1000 traditional dances in Mozambique, each region, each village has their own traditions and variations of different rhythms and dances. There can be dances symbolising celebration, war, love or harvesting, however, today variations of the dances are mainly used as an individual expression or to represent the rich Mozambican culture at events. Many traditional dances are traditionally only danced by women and other only by men even though today many dances are dance by all humans. Mozambican dances also shows that what is seen as typically masculine or feminine can differ depending on the region and tradition. What all dances have in common is that rhythm comes first, movements come second. In the Bantu languages such as Ronga and Changana, spoken in Southern Mozambique, the word “ngoma” could mean either music, dance, drum or song; in the end it is all expressions of the same thing.
Our dance company Hodi Maputo Afro Swing knows probably around 50 different traditional dances from around Mozambique. Each has a different story, emotion, expression and tradition. Here are examples of some fo the dances we know:
Xigubo, Marrabenta, Ngalanga, Makway, Nganda, Limbondo, Xisaizana, Muthongoio, Semba, Niketche, Makwaya, Makwayela, Zorre, Tufu, Utsi, Tema Tema, Chingomana & Maseve.