bachata

Working with Marco Espejo & Sara Panero in LA

Shooting with Marco and Sara is always a blast. I met these two a couple years ago at Bachatea in Madrid. Next time, we’ll definitely need more than one day together. Marco has been filming and taking photos with his Canon 5d Mark IV and is producing great work. He has amassed over 75k followers on his Youtube channel.

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Ivette Bogarin Bachata Video Shoot

We had the pleasure of working with Ivette Bogarin last week in Orange County, California.  She is a professional latin-dancer specializing in Salsa and Bachata.  Based out of Tijuana, Ivette entered the world of dance back in 2010.  She trained with Alma Latina and established artists like: Sheila de Jesús, Terry Tauliaut, Rodrigo Cortazar, and Ivan Valdespino.

If you are interested in taking classes with Ivette, shoot her a message.

What are the differences between Zouk, Kizomba, and Brazilian Zouk?

When most people hear or see the word Zouk, it's synonymous with Brazilian Zouk.  However, Zouk and Brazilan Zouk are two separate dances and it's important that dancers understand "Zouk" and it's history/origins. 

Zouk is why we dance Kizomba and Brazilian Zouk today.  The music from these small islands traveled across oceans and developed into new dances.

People are often confused about Brazilian Zouk and Kizomba music.  Can you dance Kizomba to Brazilian Zouk, and viceversa?  We will try and keep it as simple as possible.  Please note: we are generalizing to keep this as simple as possible so the majority of people can understand the basic differences. 

Zouk - Zouk originated from the Caribbean Islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique (see map below).   Zouk is what you would dance at a family bbq on the weekends.   There were no classes or formal moves, it was just something that you grew up doing and was part of every day life.  This music genre grew in popularity by a French Antillean band in the 1980s called Kassav'.

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Kizomba - Kizomba is an Angolan dance with heavy influence from Cape Verde.  It's a closed danced where you embrace your partner closely and is danced slower than Zouk.  There was  influence from the group Kassav', along with Semba and other influences.  This too, was a low-key dance that every one grew up dancing to.  Many new sub-styles of Kizomba have since emerged like Tarraxinha and Urban Kiz.

Kizomba grew as a music/dance genre when dancers moved to different parts of Europe.  Since then, Kizomba has grown tremendously and is spreading rapidly all over the world.

Brazilian Zouk - This partner dance originated from lambada music which became popular in the 1980s in Northern Brazil.  The most well known song is Lambada by Kaoma.  Due to the lack of Lambada music, dancers turned to Zouk music which sounded similar to lambada music.  Brazilians fused/incorporated Zouk music into their zouk-lambada dance.  

Brazilian Zouk is a dance genre, not a music genre.  You can dance Brazilian Zouk to anything with a 4/4 beat.  Popular genres include hip hop, rap, trap, electronic, lyrical, indie, rock, pop - and of course, kizomba and zouk like the examples above. 

In the Brazilian Zouk scene, there are many DJs that produce and create remixes of popular songs.  Popular DJs/producers: DJ Kakah, Mafie Zouker, Lord Feifer, Arkkanjo, DJ Allan Z, and DJ Amigo.  Popular US-based DJs: DJ Power, and DJ Shiv.   

Some DJs play tracks that have a Zouk beat or "boom chic chic boom" while others play "zoukable" music (an entire blog post can be written on this).

Some points we want to emphasize:

  • You can dance Brazilian Zouk to any music genre with a 4/4 beat if you really wanted to. Zouk music is traditional music from the Caribbean Islands.
  • You can usually dance Brazilian Zouk to Kizomba.
  • You cannot dance Kizomba to Brazilian Zouk music genres. (*some do but MOST don't)
  • Brazilian Zouk is a completely different dance than Zouk and Kizomba
  • Zouk has become synonymous with Brazilian Zouk.  Promoters, artists, DJs, should promote Brazilian Zouk by emphasizing that it is from Brazil. "Brazilian" should be present.
  • Kizomba and Brazilian Zouk are completely different dances.  There should not be a mixed Kizomba and Brazilian Zouk room.
  • Kizomba is not the "sexiest dance ever,"  this is called clickbait.  Clickbait is when the person just wants you to to click for attention or views.  I believe Kizomba is sensual but not sexy - this is  subjective.  Bachata Sensual and Brazilian Zouk are also sensual dances.

Popular Kizomba festivals we've filmed: Kizomba Luxembourg, Miami Beach Kizomba FestivalMontreal is Kizomba.

Popular Brazilian Zouk festivals we've filmed: Dutch Zouk Congress, Prague Zouk Congress, and Hawaii Zouk Festival.

Brazilian Zouk in Mexico

It's only a matter of time before we see Brazilian Zouk festivals in major cities in Mexico.  Salsa and Bachata have ruled the scene for years, and now we are seeing Kizomba make it's way into the scene and it's growing faster and stronger than ever.

This year, Brazilian Zouk made it's way to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  It's a beautiful city located on the coast about a three hour drive from Guadalajara.  The event was located in a small and intimate hotel with mostly Mexican tourists.  

Many of the dancers traveled from Mexico City and Guadalajara.  Brazilian Zouk is relatively new to Mexico, so the level of dancing was not very high.   However, dancers were eager to learn and picked up the basics in no time.  By the end of the congress, many were dancing well and had learned the fundamentals.

Brazilian Zouk may seem difficult at first.  However, if you learn fast and put your mind to it, it's really not that difficult - whether you are a lead or follow.  The biggest tip I can give is don't be intimidated.  Treat Zouk like any other partner dance and focus on building the basics.  The advanced patterns and head movements will follow later.

Overall, the turnout was great even with poor weather and the earthquake that took place a couple weeks before the event.  The organizers are very friendly and are excited about 2018 being even bigger and more fun.   Small, intimate, and creative festivals are always more fun than bigger festivals.

Here is the recap from the 2017 Zoukadise Festival, enjoy!!!

 

Bachata French Kiss 2017 | France

It was my second night in Paris and I decided to go out to a Bachata social.  What did I find?  Bachata Sensual is definitely on the rise.  One room was packed with dancers while the other room was completely empty.  That other room?   Good guess,  it was the Dominican room.

It's good to see Samy El Magico keeping Dominican bachata alive in France.  While it's not the norm, it should definitely be available and respected.  The festival is also centered around this respect.  Samy brought an eclectic mix of bachata artists that dance all different styles.  

I really enjoyed the music throughout the festival.  The bachata DJs played a good mix of Dominican, Traditional, and Urban.  They also had a separate Kizomba and Salsa room.

The thing that stood out for me the most at this festival was the location.  Situated two hours East of Paris, the festival was held in the beautiful city of Troyes.  The city has flavor, taste, and history.  The buildings show age and tell a story.  I was able to fly my drone around the city for a few minutes until the police stopped me.

20 minutes outside of the city is a number of champagne/wine vineyards.  Unfortunately, we weren't about to go champagne touring(we'll have to save this for next year).  Samy has big plans for 2018 and we are excited to return to film another amazing festival!