The Orijin and power behind Beyonce’s Kwaito Dance Moves

In OrijinBlog, Orijin’s Glimpse of Culture

We have seen “Heel Toe” in Reggae , “Harlem Shake” in Hip-Hop, “Dougie” and many more. However there is a arise of a new dance/music genre from Africa in the main stream called Kwaito

Beyonce’s new video for ‘Who Run The World’ has only been out for a matter of days and everyone keep wanting more of the well choreographed visual artwork. The secret behind her incredible video is 3 the Tofo Tofo dance troupe. Comprised of 3 guys from rural Mozambique, their unique dance moves left a lasting impression on the iconic pop diva. As revealed by her choreographer Frank Gatson Jr., “we had seen something on YouTube; we had seen these three guys from Africa, this Mozambique African dance troupe … we were like, ‘Wow, this is an amazing movement…. And that movement has always been in the back of our head for the last year. From there, we talked about a lot of concepts.”

Beyonce was so impressed by the local African troop that she ensured that she exhausted all possible means of tracking down the dance troupe so that they can be in her video. She even enlisted the help of Embassy in Mozambique. Gatson further explained, “We say, ‘Share the light, you sparkle brighter,’ and we share our light with a lot of new, creative people. I feel like we really nailed it and, again, my hats off to the Tofo Tofo guys [from Africa], ’cause none of us could imitate that…. We had to bring them around to learn that [move], which is really, really interesting. They had such a great vocabulary of movement.”

With the obvious beats of African drums and movement throughout the whole video, Beyonce definitely looked to the motherland for inspiration. It is nice to see North American entertainers not only embracing the rich culture and movements Africa has to offer, but also that they are presenting them on the world stage.

The Orijin and Power of Kwaito:

Kwaito is a music genre that emerged in Johannesburg, South Africa in the 90′s which led to a post-Apartheid township subculture into the mainstream. A music culture movement evolving in Soweto during the time Nelson Mandela came into power as South Africa’s first Black President. Some call it South African House Music.

What does Kwaito really mean?
According to M’du Masilela,one of the pioneers of Kwaito said “When house music got popular, people from the ghetto called it Kwaito after the Afrikaans slang word kwai [sic], meaning those house tracks were hot, that they were kicking.” Some also claim that Kwaito derived from the Isicamtho word amakwaitosi which means Gangster. Arthur Mafokate a popular Kwaito artist and producer relates Kwaito to ghetto life and its evolution through music.

So what makes Kwaito powerful?
The catchy phrases in the songs that many claim to be political, the slowed down house-music beat, the drum beat, the rhythmic speech, the dances accompanying it and the whole Culture movement behind Kwaito makes it a powerful movement.

Enjoy more Kwaito moves here: Might be the new summer dance!!!

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