Asangi Kizomba Festival celebrated its premiere in Augsburg from October 27th – 29th 2017. A festival for lovers of classical Kizomba which offered classes by qualified Angolan Kizomba teachers who gave various workshops over two days. You will find out in our review what makes the charm of this event and what improvement potentials we still see.

Artists & DJs

The Asangi Kizomba Festival in Augsburg was small but nice. Asangi stands for “variety” and that’s exactly what Joao Dontana offered with his varied program of Afro dances. The invited artists were mainly of Angolan origin, among them e.g. Cazuza Kinvula, Josy Semkizz, Mauro De One and Tony Gomes. They gave the participants predominantly an understanding of classic Kizomba, Semba, traditional African dances but also Fusion. Especially Cazuza and his sheer endless energy provided for exuberant mood with his Rebita (group circle dance), Afro-Tribal and Afro-House. The mix was well received by the guests and we also enjoyed that at this festival offered an alternative to the usual habit of teaching endless figures.
On the turntables, DJ Paps, DJ Ecozinho and Deejay Nino played the right music, both during the daytime after the workshops as well as at the party at night and until the early morning hours. The African flair was underlined by self-cooked African food and the sale of African clothes.

A small festival with African flair

The manageable size with about 40 participants made for a very pleasant, family atmosphere. Over two days, four to five varied workshops were offered per day, creating a good mood amongst the participants. There were always opportunities to dance and practice in a relaxed atmosphere between and after the workshops, which was appreciated by the guests. The male-female ratio was better balanced then at many other festivals and the artists helped each other out in the classes, so the ladies did not have to wait too long during the classes.

 

 

Room for improvement

Not only the mood, also the time management was quite relaxed. There were quite a few very spontaneous changes in the program and both artists and guests even found themselves in front of closed doors at times. The guests seemed to be quite relaxed about that – probably the relaxed atmosphere had rubbed off a bit. All organizers know that something unforeseen can happen anytime and it is good also for the guests not to be too annoyed about it. Nonetheless, we would recommend to the organization to pay more attention to its schedule and punctuality next year. Unnecessary waiting times make no sense and is usually not appreciated. Also, the lack of clarity about what happens next is usually not so pleasant, at least for the German mind.

The second mood killer was the location change in the middle of the night. The party started in the workshop location where the music, the dance floor and the atmosphere were good. The organizer also put on a short spontaneous musical life act with Cazuza on the Dikanza (Reco-Reco, an Angolan rhythm instrument) and Tony on the percussions. After that, unfortunately, the location had to be changed, which tore the evening apart a bit. The guests had to drive to the second party location in the city center of Augsburg, which unfortunately had neither a good dance floor nor a pleasant ambience. Once there, it took a while but the good mood recovered fortunately. The guests danced until the early morning hours and they certainly got their money’s worth.

Conclusion

PRO:

  • Small but nice Kizomba Festival
  • Good, familiar atmosphere amongst participants and artists
  • The focus on Angola and classic Kizomba
  • Quality of artists and DJs, particularly suitable for people who want to learn in a more cozy environment

 

Suggestions for improvement:

  • Although it is good to relax every now and then and to not always have a look at the watch… we recommend more focus on the organization and a well-planned and accordingly executed program
  • No change of location during the party and a location with a proper dance floor and a nice atmosphere

We like the idea and the philosophy of this festival and we see good potential. This event can be even better next year and still has room for more guests who want to learn and dance classic Kizomba, Semba, Tarraxinha, Fusion and traditional Afro dances. We are happy to join again.

KizombADA Wuppertal stands for Kizomba parties true to the motto “Kizomba @ all Style” with workshops of all styles and changing Dj’s at the parties on Friday and Saturday.

The organizers take good care that the overall package has a great value:

  • 300sqm of parquet dance floor
  • a newly installed sound system and acoustics tuned for Kizomba
  • good value drinks and fair entrance fees (box office 7,00 € plus 3,00 € minimum consumption per person / per party)
  • a restaurant in the lower area with delicious dishes and a reasonably priced menu (vegetarian options available)

The Friday evening special? A Meet & Greet Photo Shoot with Dj Radikal!

KizzMag is happy to participate and – with the entire KizombADA team – looking forward to seeing YOU!

More information: Here

Afromoves, Germany’s first Kizomba school, has been organizing a Kizomba Festival in the greater Stuttgart area for the past seven years. In addition to their extensive Kizomba program and the usual high-quality artists and DJs, they offer now also a Salsa and Bachata dance floor.

Like every year, Kizomberas and Kizomberos can count on high quality. Laurent Yishú, Ronie Saleh, Vie & Sir J. and Juneline as well as other top artists will offer a total of 30 workshops for all levels and styles + beginner bootcamp. The popular Beginner Bootcamp is also back on the program and offers newcomers the ultimate entry into the Kizomba world. The Bootcamp is suitable for both absolute beginners and dancers with some knowledge. After completing the Bootcamp, the participants are already able to enjoy some dance on the parties and later on they can build on these skills. The Bootcamp costs 70 € and includes entrance to the parties.

A large social room is available from the afternoon and invites to relaxed dances. Selected taxi dancers provide balance and dance pleasure. Also, female taxi dancers are invited this year for the male dancers. Perfect if someone is still insecure to ask the ladies for a dance.

New this year is a Bachata dancefloor for those who are looking for a bit of variety now and then. A “Silent” Social Room is also new this year – we can be curious. There will also be a “Jack & Jill” dance competition. A contest with random dance partners that combines spontaneous, creative and musical dancing, without choreography and prior agreements. A real social dance contest. Not the most complex step combinations are scored, but the “interaction” of the dance couple with the music. Of course, there are also great prizes to win for the winners.

DJ Stefanio Lima from Rotterdam, DJ Narc6, who made a vertical start in 2017 and DJ Dameri, among others, provide the best mix of Kizomba traditional, Urban Kiz, Tarraxinha and Semba. DJ Paluxe, known from Mulini Beach in Rovinj, is invited for the first time this year.
Tickets are available via the website or via the Facebook event link. KizzMag will be there for the second time in a row and will report again.

Tato, this is the first Kizomba Festival in Ecuador, and you (BK Baila Kizomba) and William Matos (Estilo Latino) initiated it. How did it all start?

William and I met one day at Mambo Cafe, a well known Salsateca here in Quito, and Kizomba came up as a topic. Both William and I teach Kizomba to students. We decided to form a joint group to perform shows. For us artists the economic aspect of things is always relevant, so when the idea of a Kizomba festival arose we had doubts if it had a chance to at least even out at zero cost. We risked it and gave ourselves four months to set everything up – organize the locations and get enough good teachers to fill a schedule of three days with classes, workshops and parties. The pool party was a late item on our list. We really wanted to offer a relaxing last day in a somewhat European style in a special, chilled location.

When all that was settled the last task was to find a meaningful name for the festival. We agreed on Kiz’Me because it’s about Kizomba and about us, the dancers. We want the dance and the feeling it provides to evolve in our country. In Ecuador and its neighboring countries there aren’t many teachers yet to push it. In our efforts we also reached out to neighboring countries like Colombia and Venezuela.

How did you learn about Kizomba, and what’s your motivation to help it become more popular in South America?

I met Albir Rojas in Panama, and I got very interested in his style. I also admire his way to help students to acquire skills and become confident in themselves. When Albir had gone to live in Spain and teach Kizomba I decided to learn this exciting, still little known dance from him there, so I went to Spain for two and a half years.

I enjoyed Kizomba and fell in love with this dance. In Kizomba I feel a deeper connection to my partner than in any other dance I know. My goal is to bring the dance here so people understand that there’s more than Salsa and Bachata, that we can do more than hit 1-2-3  5-6-7, that we can do our own figures at our own speed and rhythm, obviously respecting the basics of Kizomba.

Apart from sharing your passion with others – do you also have the opportunity in mind that emerges from being among the first to teach Kizomba around here?

Economical success is actually possible. 100% of my work life is dedicated to dancing. So obviously I’m not seeing it as a mere hobby. What moves me the most, though, is when I think about the people who will follow. I’d like to leave a legacy and know that the people I influence will carry the dance forward in the future.

How is Kizomba perceived by dancers in Latin America?

It is mainly perceived as something very sensual. Some people also say it’s sexual, but those are completely different things. There’s sexual and there’s sensual. People, especially people from the coast, enjoy the sensuality. Also, there’s some confusion, e.g. when some people describe Kizomba as a mixture between Bachata and Tango. I tell them that that’s not the case. It has its own base, its own rhythm, percussion, and pace. It’s not a mixture. It has its own origin in Africa.

Latinos see Kizomba as something very refreshing for the body, something lightening. People say “Wow, I feel so connected to my partner, so understood.” I think that in one or two years Kizomba will be heard a lot in Latin America. There are already great projects to promote it in Colombia and Argentina, and right now it’s being taken to Peru and Venezuela. We’re in contact, and I received really good feedback for supporting the genre here.

I experienced the festival as very personal, owing to your organization and the direct and friendly contact beforehand. Can you maybe give us some facts and numbers?

Including myself we were four teachers.

Tato Mendez (BK Baila Kizomba), Sol Perez (Kizomba y Barra), Johnny Uday (Salserios, Quenca) and William Mato (Venezuela). The “Allan Dee Dance Squad” will join us for the next festival.

33 participants signed up for the workshops. At the evening parties we counted 70-80 participants and around 20 people from staff and show dancers. The 100 persons filled the Mambo Cafe quite nicely.

Our main goal was to make Kizomba more known, not to make money. So the full pass for three days was priced $24, which just so covered our costs.

And everybody seemed to really enjoy themselves…

 

Absolutely! People where happy, touched. We received requests to please continue with the festival next year. The positive energy the teachers and staff radiated, the great experiences people were making, making new friendships, all of this was great and it gave the people a taste of the Kizomba culture.

I noted a difference between some Kizomba festivals in Europe and this. European Kizomba festivals are very focussed on Kizomba, often exclusive. You decided to mix Kizomba, Salsa and Bachata at the evening parties. What was the reason for your decision?

A while ago Quito was all about Salsa. Bachata didn’t find much resonance. All of a sudden it became a hype, and Bachata and Salsa ended up on a par. There’s a good chance that Kizomba will make it there, maybe even surpass Bachata’s popularity, but we can’t know.

For the festival we didn’t want to be exclusive, because we have a lot of Salseros and Bachata dancers who are still beginners at Kizomba. We’re all open towards each other.

Do you have plans for a next festival? Are there things you’d do differently?

Yes, there’ll be a next time, and it’s gonna happen beginning of August. What we will do differently? I’m thinking of spicing it up with a trip to the beach.

Until then we’ll have a Kizomba party here in November – themed “ángeles y demonios”.

Tato, it was a pleasure meeting you. Thank you for the interview.

Thank you and the people at kizzmag.com!

An interview by Klaus

More infos about Tato Mendez

FIKi Festival:  Finland’s International Kizomba Festival

Apologies to those Germans that thought it was something else 😛

A small, cozy, special festival with a strong focus of quality over quantity.
16+ international Artists for some quality teachings on Kizomba, Semba, Tarraxinha, Kizomba Fusion, Urban Kiz, Kuduro & AfroHouse:  Miguel & Susana, Paulo & Lana, Ronie, Maria & Arnold, Fabio Krayze & more will be there to share their passion and knowledge.

Don’t expect a crazy amount of 1 hour workshops with a crazy amount of people though! All workshops last 1.5 hours and are focused on getting your dancing to another level and for your to retain more of those cool techniques and moves.

Special – Finnish Sauna

And for those wanting to really experience the Finnish culture…. you have the possibility to join the Sunday Special event…. Sauna!

Those who have never been to Finland should take advantage of this opportunity. On Monday there will be an official After Party at “AfroLatin Nights” in Helsinki, the longest-running AfroLatin Party on two dance floors.

You can find out more info about the festival here

KizzMag will join and report.

We already reported about the X-Mas Gala in Kassel under the direction of Sabine Kolle. Generally known as Germany’s „best festival“, the fight for tickets, especially ladies tickets, gets ever bigger. Creative attempts to get a lady ticket and men who try to snatch a “free ticket” worry the role model organizer. Hereinafter you find out why she keeps on pulling through with her consistent way.

Fighting for women tickets

Every year the same game. Just a few weeks before the Xmas Gala, the ladies try to get a ticket in order to visit one of the best festivals in Germany. Why? As simple as that: it’s well-known that this event is unique. Familiar, great artists and DJs, well-chosen taxi dancers, a wonderful location and ABOVE ALL – a well balanced ration between male and female dancers. “Everyone should get the chance to dance and to go home with a great feeling” says Sabine. The ladies amongst us appreciate that since the fewest of the organizers put their priority on this – the main thing is to sell tickets. But not at Sabine’s event. She strictly closes the ticket sale for ladies as soon as the balance is not guaranteed anymore and she only opens it again, once more male tickets get sold. There is no doubt about that!

At the moment this doesn’t find enthusiasm with everyone. People search creative ways to participate in the X-mas Gala anyways. E.g. women try to register for male tickets or two females register for a “couple-pass”. But this doesn’t work. Also, the attempt to convince Sabine of exceptions are useless. There are no exceptions. This leads from time to time to unfriendly messages that Sabine has received in the last days and weeks.

Therefore, we from KizzMag want to give our personal statement about this. Dear ladies, buy your tickets on time. Anyone who comes too late has had bad luck and needs to try it again next year. It’s not possible to make exceptions. Where would it start, where would it end? Countless times we hear complaints about events where the ladies have to stand in lines and need to hope to be discovered and asked for a dance by a guy. If Sabine made all of these exceptions, exactly this would be the result again. However, the goal is a wonderful event with a great balance that is more relaxing for everyone.

No free tickets for men

Also, the guys try their luck in this situation. It’s been made public through several posts that male guests are still needed. The result: several attempts to get free tickets or to be an additional taxi dancer. This can’t be the right idea.  The planned taxi dancers are booked already and there won’t be additional ones. Please accept that there are only fee required tickets left. A high-quality event like this one simply costs money and therefore also needs to generate revenue. If you want high quality, you should reward this accordingly and buy your ticket.

Support top event!

You still want a high-quality event further on that you can look forward to the whole year? You still want that Sabine Kolle, who bears most of the event organization herself, to keep on organizing it? Then please accept her way of organizing and her decisions. Men, buy your tickets and contribute actively that we can look forward to this event also in the future.

Amount of festivals are continuously rising

Impressive! In the meantime, there are so many festivals that you can hardly keep track of them anymore. We tried to find all festivals and put them on one list. Nearly 40 festivals will take place only in October 2017, thereof 7 in Germany. Those who are still looking for a suitable festival will find one for sure.

Risk of saturation

2017 we will reach at least 250 Kizomba festivals around Europe, including also mixed festivals with Salsa and Bachata. A decrease of new events is not in sight anytime soon. Organizers discovered the Kizomba trend long ago and try to ride the crest of that wave.

More and more new projects are planned and organizers push on with it. We are curious how the scene will develop further. A saturation of the Kizomba festival market will be the result – sooner or later. You can see first indications in that already some festivals were canceled or are not profitable because of low participation. This often happens due to competing events nearby at the same time. Of course, the Kizomba scene is growing, but not as much as the number of events are growing at the moment. Only the fewest are able to afford visiting a festival every weekend, which usually involves not only the ticket fees, but also the costs for travel, accommodation and meals.

Loveless organized events, which are often only organized to make “cash”, won’t survive this development. Organizers who are well-established over years or who organized especially great events will survive. Word-of-mouth recommendations are essential and those who do it with much blood, sweat and tears will have a good chance in the future.

The events you will also find in our Festival-Guide.

The long weekend beginning of June 2017 inflamed Kizomba passions – not only due to the great music but also due to the heat that everybody had to fight with. 500 participants danced for the purposes of a fundraiser for “Wir helfen Kindern” (“we help children”). Despite some weaknesses in the organization, the KizombaInvasion Stuttgart had a great start thanks to about 100 teachers, DJs, taxi dancers and helpers.

High temperatures

You can see that the organizers of the KizombaInvasion weren’t very lucky with the locations and especially the temperatures. Just like in Munich the participants had to tolerate very high temperatures. In rooms right under the roof, low ceilings and outside temperatures around 30 degrees it hard to avoid such temperatures on the dancefloor. It was great that the organization reacted immediately:  on the next day, they bought at least a dozen high-powered ventilators in order to fight the heat at least a little bit. One characteristic of good organizers is that they don’t only accept the circumstances but that they react proactively within the scope of their possibilities.

Great party atmosphere

Just like in Munich, the party guests didn’t let that spoil their party. With DJs like Selekto Mao, Narc6 or Remcy and Saul from Munich and many other great Deejays, it was hard to hold oneself back. The music was diverse and infectious, on the Urban Kizz Floor just the same as on the classic Kizomba floor. The social dance was jammed and full of cheerful dancers. Especially the job of the taxi dancers is taken very seriously at the KizombaInvasion evenets and you can see that the group really pays attention that nobody has to wait for a long time for a dance (women and men). The male and female taxi dancers did a great job and gave their very best in order to make the guests happy on the dancefloor. The warm weather outside also had its sunny side and that’s how a spontaneous outdoor social dance floor was created in front of the entrance and the guests enjoyed the afternoon sun to catchy Kizomba songs.

Over two days, always two workshops took place in parallel, from beginner classes to a masterclass, almost everything was offered, although they were mainly in Urban style. Stone’s & Sabine, Yasmeen Diamond, Franky Kizzfly, Arnaud & Inna or Donald Wilson together with others passed on their knowledge during their workshops. For people who prefer to take workshops in rather classical Kizomba might not be well-advised to buy a full-pass. The party-ticket can be recommended to everyone though since there was a second dancefloor with classical Kizomba and Semba.

Organizational weaknesses

The workshop plan disclosed some first organizational weaknesses. In the run-up changing workshop plans lead to misunderstandings amongst the participants. Thus, an advanced dancer found herself in a beginner class and changed with a delay to the right workshop. The same thing happened also to some other participants. An updated Workshop plan was displayed on every door which was however overlooked by some participants. A general recommendation for everyone: please ask for an updated workshop plan before the workshops start. Last-minute changes can take place on any festival due to various reasons like e.g. illnesses.

On Sunday, the schedule was messed up completely. Due to a short notice cancellation of an artist, the start of the workshops was delayed which lead to a change of the complete workshop plan. Lunch arrived only after 4pm instead of at lunchtime due to the change of the schedule. Participants who got themselves out of bed early after dancing away the night were not happy about the circumstances. Many participants were bothered by the change of timing and for some artists it lead to problems in their own time management. For organizers, it’s generally a mammoth task as soon as artists or DJs cancel short notice like in this case. They have to search for replacements and it’s not always possible to solve this. Technical problems with the sound system additionally postponed the schedule. The organizers are even more aware about these problems and will keep an eye about these things after this experience. The organizers are very thankful for the support of the artists and DJs who stepped in last-minute in order to replace the ones who had to cancel.

Beneficence and dancing in foreground

Altogether and despite some organizational weaknesses – which can absolutely take place at a first event – it was a successful start for KizombaInvasion in Stuttgart. The organizing team does their job wholeheartedly and you can feel that the fun of dancing is absolutely in the foreground and not commercial purposes. The cooperation with “Dekasa – Deutsch-kamerunischer Samariter e.V.” (german-cameroon Samaritan association) for almost all KizombaInvasion events shows what a great project is being created here. The public charity will benefit from everything that is left in the basket at the end of the year. With this year’s learning curve we can expect a great KizombaInvasion Stuttgart in May 2018. Their next party takes place on September 23rd 2017 in Mannheim followed by the KizombaInvasion Frankfurt from September 29th – October 1st 2017, which takes place already for the second time. We are curious and look forward to it.

Summary

  • 2 Floors

    Urban Kizomba and classic Kizomba & Semba

  • fund raiser

  • High dancing level

    50 taxi dancers (male and female)

  • varied music and good mix of DJs

  • breakfast buffet and African food

  • high temperatures

    especially because of the weather

  • in the run-up changing workshop plans

  • change of timeline

    complete changing of the Sunday schedule

Next dates

23.09.2017 Kizinvasion Day Mannheim

29.09. – 01.10.2017 KizombaInvasion Frankfurt 

Highclass teachers and workshops, atmospheric parties and a new „hot“ location determined the sixth Afromoves Kizomba Festival on March 17th – 19th in Ludwigsburg. The event was attended by over 250 workshop participants and over 500 party guests.

The festival was characterized by a personal and harmonious atmosphere, cheerful participants and diversified music. But what is “Muxima”?  Go ahead and find out…

Well-planned and perfected organization

You could see the team’s long lasting experience in the organization of events e.g. in the good choice of the catering, a good balance between male and female dancers and the friendly assistance to the festival participants. You could feel the familial atmosphere, which is very important for the Afromoves Team. A festival with personality and a cozy atmosphere! The motto is quality instead of quantity. The new location in Ludwigsburg, Clubheim 1. TC Ludwigsburg, provided enough space for workshops, parties and some occational breaks in the restaurant and lounge area.

Workshops – from a Beginner Bootcamp up to a Masterclass

Afromoves Festival Workshop by Stone's & Sabine

Photo by Photoart Eichin

Afromoves provided a broad range of workshops, as usual. For Kizomba newcomers, they offered a 6 hour Beginner Bootcamp distributed over Saturday and Sunday. This was a great opportunity to learn the fundamental Kizomba Basics in a consolidated way. It attracted complete beginners as well as dancers with some knowledge. The motivated participants were taught the basic steps, leading and following as well as first important sequences of steps. Surprising was the surplus of men in the course – a gleam of hope for the female dancers who are the majority in most parties. Look forward to it Ladies, new dancers are on their way! During the social dance in the afternoon, the bootcamp and other workshop participants could already apply the newly learned things immediately in a cozy atmosphere.

Beginner-Bootcamp opinions of participants

“It was very well organized. The lessons were well composed and executed. All beginners were able to follow the class and we were indeed able to dance some Kizomba on Sunday. Overall a great weekend and I would join again right away and recommend it to everyone.”

Bea

“The Bootcamp was really great and a lot of fun. The teachers did a really good job and they conveyed the steps and routines in a pleasant manner. The content of two times 3 hours started with the basic steps and provided first routines in order to be able to easily dance the whole night on the Kizomba party. I can only recommend the bootcamp and will for sure continue to learn.”

Stefan

“It was a fantastic weekend. The beginner Bootcamap was very informative and it was a lot of fun. It was altogether a successful event and I’m planning to joing the Kizomba Tuning by Afromoves as time permits.”

Katrin

Advanced learners also got their money’s worth with the high quality choice of workshops. The participants were spoilt for choice with Kizomba, Urban Kiz, Semba, Afro, Tarraxinha and Ladystyle Workshops of different levels of difficulty, offered by different well-known artists like “Sunny & Silvija“, “Stone’s & Sabine” and “Jojo & Mickaela“.

Especially challenging and high speed was the limited Masterclass by Jojo & Mickaela. Here, the dancers could prove their and improve their Kizomba skills and learn more of Jojo & Mickaela’s very particular style.

Master-Class opinions of participants

“The Masterclass was on a high level. The two showed some of their very particular steps, in their style that we are used from them and which is almost like their trademark.  They teach very professionally and are very keen to explain the technique properly and coherently. I think none of the participants were under challenged and everyone learned something new.”

Eva

“I really enjoyed the class. You had tob e a on a certain level in order to participate and all participants obeyed to that. … We learned between 4-5 routines within one hour. Jojo and Mickela watched the participants during the class and gave individual feedback. I think it was a great class and I would give 9 out of 10 points. …”  

Djedje

“…  The speed was pleasant and the different exercises were adequate. The advises they gave us were especially important. … You could see that they really enjoy dancing but that the technique is very important to them. I would take another Masterclass from them again right away.”

Mariette
Ronie Saleh & brother at 6th afromoves festival, Ludwigsburg

Photo by KizzMag

Surprisingly profound: Ronie Saleh! He took some of the participant’s breath away with his moving and philosophical words about dancing the his general attitude towards life. No wonder that his calendar is full for a whole year in advance. Please see the article: Ronie Saleh – dance with body and soul.

Partys and shows with a personal touch

A cozy atmosphere on Friday was accomplished especially through the balance between male and female dancers. No long cue of ladies who had to wait for a long time on the side before they were asked for a dance. The ratio was very balanced, amongst other things by a good choice of taxi dancers. DJ Dameri and DJ Dominique took care of a diversified choice of music on Friday. Traditional Kizomba, Urban, Tarraxinha, Semba and Afro House – all styles of music were provided. The only disadvantage on Friday was the high temperature on the dancefloor. The air conditioning was not strong enough for the heat. However, on Saturday, the problem was tackled right away by turning on the aircon on time and by setting up additional ventilators. This lead to a more pleasant dance climate especially during the full evening party. The dancers were not put off from dancing despite the high temperature. The mood was way too good.

Tony Gomes Liveauftritt - Afromoves Kizomba Festival

Photo by Photoart Eichin

Tony Gomes‘ live performance marked the beginning of the shows. With soft sounds and the title “Muxima” – in English “heart” and a short presentation of the Afromoves team, gave the show time a very personal and special touch.  Tony didn’t want to miss the chance to thank his dynamic team and all the helpers. The following dance shows were all of very high quality and entertaining. The following Afro House animation made the participants move again before DJ Radikal brought the dancing mood to the high point with his best pieces. The mood was also on Saturday evening consistently fantastic despite a slight surplus of women on that evening. Also the Taxidancers did a great job. The last dancers left the dancefloor on 6am in the morning.

 

Conclusion

  • Small but excellent festival with a personal note

  • High quality artists with diverse workshops

    everyone could find something suitable

  • A good balance between male and female dancers

  • Taxidancer Teams

    very well chosen

  • excellent price-performance ratio

  • 6 hours beginner bootcamp

  • atmosphere was very harmonious

  • Parking

    despite the fact that parking was organized, some participantes apparently had to walk longer distances since the parking in the closer surroundings was completely overcrowded. Most likely this happened due to a soccer game that took place just a few meters from the location since Afromoves did organize sufficient parking for the participants.

  • Dance hall too warm

    It was too warm for the dancers especially on Friday. This was tackled right away on Saturday with air conditioning and ventilators.

Overall successful festival with harmonious atmosphere

Happy festival participants, content artists and a good mood are the result of the sixth Afromoves Kizomba Festival. The artists’ feedback as well as the participants’ feedback is overall very positive and whets our appetite for the next event on March 16th – 18th 2018.

You can find more Afromoves Kizomba events in our Event-Guide. Amonst others they organize every Sunday a small Kizomba Party as well as their mothly “Noite de Kizomba” on every fourth Saturday of the month. Further information about the Afromoves dance school you’ll find in our Kizz-Index.

Here you can find the pictures of this year’s festival:

Photos by Andrea Wittstruck

Photos by Photoart Eichin

The first May weekend was in the focus of the Kizomba world. 

The Luxembourg Kizomba Festival was organized the fourth time and attracted more than 2000 Kizomberos to the LuxExpo close to Luxembourg airport. We hit the road to Luxembourg and checked out event, organization, choice of artists, the location as well as the parties. We experienced a top event as you will see below:

Top Line-Up and great location

Line-up: unbeatable! The who is who of the Kizomba scene was represented, from Albir to Felicien & Isabelle (with beautiful baby tummy), Laurent & Adeline, Jojo & Mickaela and further top artists of the scene who gave very diverse workshops over 3 days. You really can’t complain about the quality of the workshops with such an array of artists.

The location was well chosen. The fair grounds of LuxExpo provided sufficient space for the numerous festival guests as well as sufficient parking (partially fee required). Especially positive was the climate in the rooms. It was never too warm even during the parties. This is rare when there are so many guests. Critical were here the high ceilings and the good air conditioning.

Experienced organization and passion for details

The organization had this very big and complex festival fully under control. Everything worked out smoothly or at least that was the impression outwardly – and that counts! There was enough staff for everything and also the design of the location was well done according to the several themes. The organization strove to really live the different themes and not to create a theme for the sake of it. Thus, we were suddenly facing a Roman in complete gear on the Olympus evening. The theme feeling was topped off by sceneries like Greek columns or the football table on the World Cup evening that attracted sometimes more men than a good Kizomba song and quite some play instincts were played out extensively at this football table.

Solely the workshop timing was in our view not well-chosen. There were no breaks in between workshops and they started directly after another. The participants had to literally run to the next rooms in order to arrive as quickly as possible to the next workshop. The situation became even more stressful since some artists overran the workshops – even up to 15 minutes. Short breaks between workshops make sense.

Great musical performance

The music receives an extra bonus point. Top DJs like Morelasoul, Stefano de Lima, Leda or Madiss drew on unlimited resources and the result was the best mix of Kizomba music we have heard for a long time. Consequently, you could hardly stand still and wanted to dance to virtually every single song. Here we come to the one biggest negative point of the festival.

A big surplus of women

On March 15th, the organization wrote on the website: “Because our goal is to have the most possible the balance between women and men. Sale of WOMEN PASS will stop today at midnight. “

This sounds promising and created hope for a balanced ratio of male and female dancers. This is the reason why tickets are even sold gender separately. The ticket sale was reopened for women on March 28th though.

Just arrived, we found contrary to our expectations during the social dance, as well as on the parties, cues of women, even double rowed, and waiting for dancers on the side of the dancefloor. The result: women who haven’t danced more than 10 songs over the whole festival days. At the same time, male dancers / taxi dancers were totally exhausted because they danced virtually without a break in order to put as many women as possible in a happy mood. I talked to female dancers who told me they didn’t dare anymore to ask taxi dancers for a dance because they looked so exhausted.

A gender specific ticket sale is pointless in our opinion if ultimately an absolutely uneven ratio is permitted. Many guests were very angry exactly because of that since they bought a ticket due to the expectation that there will be a well balance gender ratio.  Aside from exhausted dancers who hardly allowed themselves breaks to avoid a bad conscience. The organization should improve this point, since there are many female dancers who won’t join this festival anymore under these circumstances.

A plea to the taxi dancers

I observed and from many sides I was told that numerous taxi dancers have missed the point of their role. Young, pretty and talented dancers were entertained on the dancefloor while less experienced, elder or not beauty ideal female dancers had to wait an hour or more on the side and were “overlooked”. This is not surprising since the event is too big and complex to keep track of this and to intervene quickly.

These two negative points lead to a bad mood for many guests. One can only hope that the organization will provide a remedy for the next event. Then it would be one of the best Kizomba Festivals to visit.

Festival too big?

Luxembourg Kizomba Festival Workshop Laurent & AdelineIf you like such big festivals or if you prefer smaller ones is a matter of taste. In Luxembourg, I had to search for my companion for a solid 2 hours because I couldn’t find her in the crowd of people.

On the other hand, there were respectively many great dancers on a really high level and a fantastic line-up with great stars. Only festivals of that size can even afford such a line-up. At the same time, the bigger and more complex such a festival, the more impersonal it becomes. The group size at workshops of e.g. Albir or Laurent & Adeline exceeded by far 200 participants. One can question how much sense it can make to try to see the steps from a 30-meter distance.

Some like it, some don’t. Here I can only say: To each his own!

 

Conclusion:

Luxembourg festival is great for whoever wants to attend a preferably big festival with a good organization and a top line-up as well as the best DJs of the scene. The dancing standard is very high and the location is great as well. However, the surplus of women needs to be reduced drastically. Ladies who have generally rather a hard time to get invited for a dance will go home frustrated under these conditions.

Who want to safe a cheap ticket for next year, will find the event by following link:

A report from Silke Wiedenhöft