The 5 most exotic dances in the world

Dance forms an important part in many cultures around the world, and in some countries it can be almost a way of life, revolving around the most important events in life, like weddings, love, death and war. There are many kinds of dance around the world, so any choice is obviously subjective.

Tahitian Dance

The first dance that I found really mesmerizing was the Tahitian dance, from French Polynesia. This is called the otea, characterized by the fast hip shaking. This dance is carried out by both male and female dancers and is played to music, generally fast drums, but has no singing. The dancers are often dressed in grass skirts with no shoes.

The dancers make gestures, re-enacting the preoccupations of daily life. The women’s gestures can be related to the combing of hair or the flight of a butterfly. Men’s gestures are often related to war or sailing.

The dance itself is a mesmerizing combination of body contortions to the pace of fast drums. Some dances make you want to join in and dance. This dance is for watching, as you quickly realize that you could not possibly do what they are doing, and you might as well watch for what it is, a unique and scintillating performance of dance.

Samba

The Samba from Brazil is not only a type of dance, but also a type of music. At its pinnacle the Carnival, especially in Rio de Janeiro, is the world spectacle which is devoted to samba dance and music. Dress or lack of it, is usually very elaborate but little more than a costume that covers the most essential parts.

Samba dance is a gliding kind of dance which involves the elegant use of one’s body. The dance was started in Salvador, Bahia from the descendants of African slaves, but made its way to Rio de Janeiro where it has found a more famous cultural home.

Although women are the more elegant samba dancers, anybody can try to dance it, especially during the Carnival and can make an absolute fool of themselves, without anybody noticing.

Balinese

The Balinese dance is a very elegant dance, usually performed in elaborate ceremonies or plays which have deep cultural meaning. The Balinese make very elegant use of their hands as well as their feet in the dance, which adds a vibrant poignancy. The Balinese are a proud and culturally rich people and it shows in the elegant sophistication of their dance. The dance is carried out in their very finest traditional clothing.

Tango

The tango is famous all over the world as the dance from Argentina. Tango originated from a number of European influences and African culture. The music emerged from various fusions of European music. Tang’s fame spread all around the world when dancers and musicians from Argentina visited Europe and the United States at the start of the 20th Century, which resulted in it becoming a global phenomenon.

Tango is danced by a couple who, when they are in time and tune with each other, can make it a very exciting dance to watch. It is also a dance to participate in, and is an excellent method of keeping fit and in shape.

Zulu

Zulu dancing is from South Africa and is a traditional dance performed at traditional times such as times of war and marriage. It is definitely a dance to watch rather than participate in, as the movements are brusque and active, consisting of lifting the legs high over the head a considerable amount of times. It is performed by both men and women dressed in traditional grass skirts for the ladies, and grass shorts and spears for the men.

Gerard Moxon is Founder of Luxury Hedonist.

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Comments (1)

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  1. Natalia says:

    Just thought I’d point out that there are many different types of samba. For example, what people typically see at Carnaval in Rio is “samba no pé”, while “samba de gafieira” is danced as a couple and is considered a “ballroom” style (“dança de salão” – not exactly the same as what Westerners would consider ballroom). There are other styles as well, including “samba rock”, which came about from the 60s onwards and took on some characteristics of rock and roll (it’s still incredibly popular in some parts of Brazil). Samba, both music and dance, is wonderfully rich!

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