10 Interesting Dance Destinations Across The World
One of the best ways to know about a country’s culture is through the art that it has given to the world and dance being one of them; here is a list of 10 interesting dance destinations across the world.
1. Dragon Dance, China
Often performed during Chinese New Year, Dragon Dance is one of the oldest dance forms of China. During the dance, the performers hold poles and raise and lower the dragon, which are made out of fabric. Chinese dragons symbolize Chinese culture and they stand for wisdom, power and wealth. Chinese dragons are believed to bring good luck to people. Materials like grass, bamboo, paper, and cloth are used to make the costumes used in the dragon dance You can see a dragon dance at the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) and, the Lantern Festival. Hong Kong is often called the dragon dance capital. An excellent opportunity to see dragon dances is during the Hong Kong Chinese New Year parade.
2. Salsa, Cuba
Popular all around the world, Salsa originated in Cuba. It is a sexy, joyful and energetic partner dance form which can be learnt almost anywhere in the world now but Colombia is one of the best destinations to learn the original dance form. Cali, a Colombian city, is considered to be the world capital of salsa. You can attend the Feria de Cal, a carnival-held annually in Cali if you visiting Cuba around that time of the year.
3. Tango, Argentina
Tango is a popular partner dance and a social dance that originated in the 1880s on the border of Argentina and Uruguay and evolved through the brothels in the lower-class districts of Buenos Aires. This sexy and sensual dance form has a lot of variations coming from different parts of Argentina and from all over the world. If you want to see authentic Argentine tango you can attend The annual World Tango Festival which is held in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
4. Kabuki, Japan
Originated 400 years ago in Kyoto, Kabuki is a classical Japanese dance drama which was developed by a shrine attendant named Izumo no Okuni. Kabuki was the first dramatic entertainment that was designed for the tastes of the common people in Japan but was suppressed in 1652 due to moral concerns. In later years it was revived and is now enjoyed globally.
5. Whirling Dervishes, Turkey
Turkey’s whirling dervishes perform a traditional ‘sema’ Mevleviye dance. The dervishes known as semazens-are members of the Mevlevi Order, a sect of the Sufi branch of Islam. The men who perform this swirling dance wear long flowing skirts. They whirl counterclockwise by spinning on their right feet like following the orbit of the planets and stars pointing their one hand up as to receive divine blessings and the other one towards the ground to pass the blessing to everyone on the Earth. This dance form was originated in Turkey and is a mystical experience to just witness it. The Galata Mevlevi Museum or Tekke in Istanbul is one of the most famous Mevlevi Whirling Dervish Hall.
6. Kathakali, India
One of the most famous Indian classical dance forms, Kathakali is a story-play originated in the Southern Indian state of Kerala almost 1500 years ago. It was performed in palaces, temples and at religious festivals. Kathakali’s subject matters are drawn from the Hindu epics and mythology. Kathakali dancers whether a woman or man wears a painted face and communicates stories through hand gestures and facial expressions. You can watch authentic Kathakali at Kerala Kalamandalam in Kerala, India.
7. Capoeira, Brazil
A mesmerizing blend of acrobatics, dance, martial arts, and hypnotizing music, Capoeira was born during the African slavery in Brazil and has influences of both Western African and Native Brazilian. Capoeria is deeply embedded in Brazilian culture. There are many schools in Brazil which teach Capoeira such as the International School of Capoeira in Bahia.
8. Step Dancing, Ireland
The Irish Step dance is a combination of fast paced leg movements set off by a relatively stiff upper body. Step dancing is mostly done solo. Generally, the most admired step dancers are those who are able to dance neatly and lightly.
9. Haka, New Zealand
Haka, a traditional dance of New Zealand’s Maori was originally performed by warriors before heading into battle. This fierce dance form involves forceful chants, stomping feet, body slaps and facial contortions and is generally performed in a group. Haka displays the tribe’s pride, strength and unity. In the modern times Haka are still used during Māori ceremonies and celebrations to honor guests and show the importance of the occasion.
10. Hula, Hawaii
Besides beautiful islands Hawaii is also known for its local dance form, Hula which was created to pay homage to the Gods. In addition to being colorful and joyful, Hula tells tales about the Hawaiian Islands and their traditions. The dance movements are a way of storytelling accompanied by chanting and playing of traditional instruments. Two of the best known types of Hula are, Hula Kahiko and Hula ʻAuana. The best time to witness this centuries old dance form is in the end of April in Hilo, Hawaii, during the Merrie Monarch Festival.
The next time you visit a country try to see its original dance forms and know the rich history behind it and enjoy the vibe that it brings with it.