Dance is life. Life is dance. Dance is the body’s expression of the soul through movement. We believe every human being is a born dancer. Dance and music are mankind’s oldest cultural rituals. Cavewomen and caveman gathered around an open fire and praised their ancestors, the goddess, the earth, the sun, the moon and the universe. Dance as a rite to connect to the spiritual world, to nature and to foster social bonds. Some societies might have forgotten or suppressed this knowledge. Your peers, your socialization might make you believe: you cannot dance. Yes, you can! It is imprinted in your genes. Reveal it and discover the most powerful way to connect to yourself and with others.
Moreover, we dance but not alone. We dance in pairs, sometimes in trios, sometimes as a group. It is about the connection. The exchange of energies, female and male, following and leading, yin and yang, day and night, like negative and positive electric charge. We use movements to produce energy, to exchange energy, to circulate and cultivate energy. The ultimate bliss is to immerse into one; freeing our judgements, shattering our egos, two spirits one soul, being in the moment, being in the now: oneness.
It is in this moment, when we realize, we are all connected. We come from the same breed. Dance is a means to access the wisdom of life.
The History of Music & Dance
Zouk is both a dance and music genre. Zouk music has its origin in the French Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique. Zouk dance or to be precisely Brazilian Zouk (to distinguish it from the dance in the French Caribbean’s) has its roots in the Lambada famous around early 90s. The following video gives a quick overview to the evolution of Zouk and Lambada in Brazil.
For a more detailed ethno-musicological derivation of Lambada listen to this audio documentary:
And a ethno-musicologiacal derivation of Zouk listen to this audio documentary:
Nowadays, the Zouk rhythm is often used for remixes of R&B, Pop, Oriental and Electronic music. Also Zouk is very close and often interchangeably related with Kizomba from Angola and the Cape Verdean islands. Furthermore, Zouk can be and is danced to a wide range of lyrical and melodious sounds.
The Evolution of Styles
The original Lambada has gone through different phases, which led to lineages of styles. There is a temporal causality associated with these lineages, but today all lines still exist and influence one another.
- Hip movements
- Head movements
- Way of counting the music (123 567)
- Downbeat on 1 in the music
- Guys lead the girls with no contact (visual lead)
- Circles and changes of partners during the dance
- Energy from hand clapping
- Front and back basic
- Different dynamic of timing
- Steps with body movements
- Influences from Jazz, Modern Dance
- Upper body movements such as contractions and body rolls
- Use of lifts when choreographing a show
- Variations of the basic
- Body torsions
- Body movements
- Body isolations
- Complexity of movements
- Influences from urban dance such as Hip-Hop as well as Modern and Contemporary Dance
- Movement Variations from Traditional Zouk
Recreation of Lambada in Mallorca, Spain by Mestre Gegê and his students.
- Constant connection in counter balance
- Stepping and weight forward on the third step
- Different naming for the steps: first, forth, fifth
- Strong influence from capoeira, jazz, salsa a.o.
- Focus on safety and healthy movements
- Use of acrobatics and lifts in social
Modern Zouk & Zango
We understand the concept of Modern Zouk as rooted in NeoZouk and Zouk Traditional, but going beyond. For us – above all – the partner connection is the essence and most important (see Philosophy). A solid technical dance foundation is a must, we hereby draw upon the above mentioned lineages and well as Contemporary and Modern Dance techniques. With “going beyond” we refer to influences from contact improvisation, somatic approaches, systemic therapy, energy work and Eastern body-mind practices. We don’t consider Modern Zouk as a style or our exclusive concept, but rather as a journey and ongoing experimentation, which we follow among other artists.
What we call Zango is a fusion of Zouk & Tango. We started this “project” at the beginning of 2017 together with Sven Elze, Lucia Kubasova, Frauke Nees and Jan Lachenmayer. It is about bringing together the best of both worlds, e.g. the freedom of the spine in Zouk (cranio-sacral) in all dimensions and the elaborated partner technique in Tango. Furthermore, we are also creating a fusion in the music sphere. We mix NeoTango with urban and lyrical sounds often played at Zouk parties. All this is work-in-progress. Join us and be part of it.
Jan is an internationally performing dance artist and instructor. From an early age on dance was an essential part of his life. Trained in Capoeira, Brazilian Afro, Modern and Contemporary Dance, Eastern body-mind practices, systemic therapy and Brazilian Zouk.
He is co-founder and was managing director of ProZouk UG, carrying out the International Zouk Congress Berlin 2010, 2011 and 2012. He was also co-organiser of the Sensual Summer Festival Berlin 2014. Futhermore, he co-founded and chaired for several years Dança Alegria e.V. – Centre for Brazilian and Latin-American dances.
Frauke is a Tango artist, psychologist and improviser. She was living for several years in Buenos Aires to learn from the best dancers and to really connect to the argentine culture. She likes to combine everything she loves: so she was living in two countries, combining dance and theatre with her work as psychologist as well as to combine different dances like Tango and Zouk. She is described as a dancing storyteller, in this way evoking sleeping potential and desires in her students.
Jessica was born in Berlin. She began her career as a dancer in 2005 at Artdance Company in Berlin, where she was trained in a variety of Brazilian dances such as samba de gafieira, samba no pe and forró. Parallel to this she trained in salsa LA style with Nina Uszkureit, who inspired her greatly with the message: “dance is the hidden language of the soul” (Martha Graham).
Since 2013 she is teaching, Bachata, Salsa and Zouk in Berlin.
The House of Zouk Concept
The House of Zouk is a concept developed to answer the question: how to become a great social Zouk dancer?
It is a teaching and learning framework to show aspects that a student has to work on. It also shows the complexity of Zouk as a social dance. We consistently use this structure for our teachings. Learn more >>>
The following training system consists of four levels over a period of approximately two years. It is continuously reviewed, refined and adjusted by us. The House of Zouk concept functions as a structuring matrix. Training for two years, every week, and practicing everything learnt on the dance floor regularly will make the student become a good social dancer. Of course this is not the end, but just the beginning. The more you know, the more you realize how much more there is to learn.
- Manage basic steps
- Gain a first understanding of body movements and isolations
- Respect your partner and the respective roles
- Survive on the dance floor and have fun with it
(~ 6 months)
- Get a solid understanding of basic techniques and basic steps
- Master leading & following as a fundamental principle
- Understand the complexity of movements and create resepctive body awareness
- Be soft, gentle and give-in as a paradigm in partner communication
(~ 6 months)
- Understand complex moves and combinations
- Understand the bio-mechanics of partnering
- Refine individual technique and body awareness
- Enhance sensitivity and understand the impact of emotions and attitude
- Gain a solid understand of musicality in theory and practice
(~ 12 months)
- Master complex moves and combinations
- Master bio-mechanics & understand the principles of bio-densegrity
- Understand your own body, tensions, relaxation and the power of breathing
- Refine the understanding of the interplay between body and mind
- Master sensitivity of a physical level and connect from inside
REGULAR CLASSES IN BERLIN
Drop us a message if you are interested and need more information
20:30-22:30 LEVEL 2
Fast track course April – June 2017. Accomplished Level 1 prerequisite. If not sure, please contact first.
A fusion of Zouk & Tango. Participants should know the basics of at least one or the other. Instructors: Jan & Frauke Price: donation-based
18:00-19:45 INTRO LEVEL
Intro Level intensive course (21.04.-23.06.) bookable via the TU university sport >>>
Open also for non-students
Location: Aula Schule Nithackstr. 8-16