Where does your passion for dance come from?
My passion for dance comes from everything around me. I started dancing when I was 5 years old. My aunt used watch the “Material Girl” concert by Madonna every day. Since I loved watching TV then and I loved choreography, I would imitate Madonna’s dance moves.
Also, my family likes to party, we always had festa quintal, which opened up dance for me in my life. I was only doing it for fun, then I realized I had talent and it became more than a hobby.
What does Kuduro mean to you?
In the beginning Kuduro for me used to be just about fun, when I would dance at our traditional Festas de Quintal. But since I realized I wanted to be dancer, now Kuduro means more than that to me – it is not just fun, but it is my profession. Kuduro means a lot to me – it belongs to my culture, country and now I’m able to share that with world.
I am trying to not take that for granted. I never thought that I would feel such a need to pay so much attention. I was never the type to choose a particular style of dance to focus on, so that allowed me to naturally find Kuduro. I am happy that the world is giving us a chance to share Kuduro with them.
How have you seen Kuduro dance evolve since you won “Bounce” in 2008?
Since I won “Bounce”, I have seen Kuduro evolving so fast because “Bounce” really gave people the motivation to participate in Kuduro. Many singers started to create different styles of Kuduro music and that affected the dance. Everyone started to work on what style they did best and in some ways, they all wanted to dance.
How has the response been to Kuduro during this Os Kuduristas Tour in Europe?
The response that we’ve been receiving has been super positive. It’s great because years ago we thought that what we had was not of interest to people in other places. I am so glad that people are really happy about what we’re doing. Every time we dance people thank us for doing this. Seeing the positive responses gives your soul life. We feel special.
What is it like to dance Kuduro in front of different audiences?
It has been really nice throughout this time dancing in front of different people. From Sweden to Amsterdam to Paris, to feel the different energy from people in those cities until now I have no regrets cause it has all been positive in different ways. It feels as though people had no idea that there was something else we could do with our body.
I feel joyful to be in front of different people in different places. When you don’t expect something and then it happens, you just have to live in that moment. We thought it would be nice to just share Kuduro with the world during this tour, but I didn’t think the that response would be so strong. I love it!
How does it feel to be representing Kuduro and Angola?
It feels great to represent Kuduro from my country, Angola. It’s a huge responsibility. Since 2008, I’ve always said that I would show the world what Angola has to offer.
What do you want audiences to walk away with after seeing the street battles and experiencing the Quintal?
I want people to think about the energy, to think about our culture, and even when things are not going well in our lives how much we can have fun and not to take things for granted. We are happy. To be happy with yourself is the best. To dance Kuduro is to be free to be who you are.
Kuduro has so much power and life as people don’t dance the same – our bodies can’t move the same way because we all have different abilities. It all comes from the inside. Kuduro is about having fun and I want people to have fun. Think of Kuduro from your own perspective, not everyone will see it the same way, but make your own choices if you wish to follow, you are free, that’s why the movement is so free. It comes from the inside.
You have trained at some of the best dance institutions in the world (i.e Contemporary Dance at Angel Viana Faculdad de Danca and Deborah Coker Movement Center), what is next for you?
I have danced and taught at one of the most famous dance studios in the world. For every dancer that is the top thing that any dancer can do. Coming from my own background, its funny because years ago I used to watch youtube and tv and now I’m there, and I made a huge step. It hit me in the face not to underestimate the future because some times the most impossible things that we think may not be possible actually are possible.
I look at my life and it’s not the way thought it would be. The whole world is paying attention to us. Kuduro is something we do, our life, our style. To be at the forefront and teaching Kuduro gives me so much joy. I can’t ask for much more because this is best thing I could ever wish for. To feel this way for any dancer in the world is best thing that can ever happen. I don’t know how to explain the feeling but it is the best to feeling in the world. I am so glad to have taught so many people Kuduro.
Check out Manuel Kanza on the Os Kuduristas Tour currently in Paris until October 14th. Get more information here.
No related posts.
No comments yet.
Leave a comment