Friday, November 15, 2013

Eleven Videos Of Malagasy [Madagascar] Folk Dances

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases eleven videos of Malagasy [Madagascar] folk dances. Information about Malagasy and information about traditional Malagasy dances is also included in this post.

The content of this post is presented for folkloric, cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

"Madagascar, officially the Republic of Madagascar (Malagasy: Repoblikan'i Madagasikara [republiˈkʲan madaɡasˈkʲarə̥]; French: République de Madagascar) and previously known as the Malagasy Republic, is an island country in the Indian Ocean, off the southeastern coast of Africa. The nation comprises the island of Madagascar (the fourth-largest island in the world), as well as numerous smaller peripheral islands...

From "Rakotomalala, Mireille (Tr. by Liz Burns).1997. The traditional dances of Madagascar. In: Dagan, Esther A. (Hrsg).1997. The spirit’s dance in Africa. Montreal: Galerie Amrad African Arts Publication. S. 245-249.

Abstract by Christine Singer

..."Madagasy dance consists of a large variety of forms of which each is embedded in different social contexts such as weddings, exhumations, inaugurations, religious ceremonies and so forth.

Consequently, the multiplicity of styles and genres of dance is enormous: Tromba or Salamanga (religious-magical dances), Fampithana (dances that assure social relationships), Joros (sacrifice dances) to only state a few. An exclusive form is the operatic theatre Hira-gasy, as it combines several forms of artistic expression, including dance. Generally speaking, dance is the central feature of many social Malagasy occasions...

Furthermore, collective dances also serve to transmit traditional knowledge that is highly protected by families and that is therefore transmitted from generation to generation only. The traditional dance performance consists of a competition between two groups. At this point, the basic motivation of the contest is to criticise administrational issues through metaphorical language and through rhythm. Additionally, gestures and choreography serve to create a correspondence between dancers and onlookers. The formation of a circle is the most common arrangement of the Malagasy dances (Latsitanana, Dihy Soroka, Salegy etc). Furthermore, among some peoples, like the Betsileo and the Sakalava, dances are separated according to gender and age, whereas in other regions such separation does not occur.

What is essential, secret messages and emotional expressions are also presented by a variety of body movements. These play a distinctive role in Malagasy dances and are defined by the arrangement of hands, feet and a variety of body poses. Movements may be fast or slow depending on the music, but their character is rather subtle than energetic. Besides, dances like the Salegy, the Kahhoitry and the Jabana aim to imitate waves and therefore can be regarded as manifestation of a people’s close relationship to their natural environment. In addition to this, in the Latsitanana and Tsinjaka, mythical birds are imitated by delicate movement of fingers and hands. In other dances more emphasis is put on foot patterns and small jumps (Kidodo) or on a precise movement of the shoulders (Sy Dihy Soroka)...

All in all, the traditional dances of Madagascar do not only serve to manifest social identity, but also play an important role in transmitting historical, secret knowledge from generation to generation."

(These examples are presented in chronological order based on their posting date on YouTube, with the oldest dated videos given first.)

Example #1: Traditional dance from Akany Avoko orphanage, Madagascar

Maureen Lee Maloney, Uploaded on Mar 21, 2009

A dance by the adorable kids at Akany Avoko orphanage in Antananarivo, Madagascar. This is such a great place.
Here's a comment from this video's viewer comment thread:
Adama Hulk, 2013
"the name this song is hira gasy its means song of malagasy".

Example #2: Madagascar musique du sud malgache Antandroy

kokoazik, Uploaded on Oct 6, 2009

Example #3: Hiragasy Sahondrafina Krizy 2002

gasikelicanada, Uploaded on Nov 22, 2009

Example #4: TEARANO // I NENE

jahmanjary, Uploaded on Dec 30, 2009


Example #5: Monja Manintsindava

andry12003, Uploaded on Feb 8, 2010

this vid shows the Manintsindava Band from Madagascar (lead by Monja on the far left with the rifle)
they perform a traditional dance from the Androy area (south of Madagascar).You can hear the lokanga( traditional violin)

Example #6: Groupe AREMBELO - Tulear (Madagaskar)

madakous, Uploaded on Jun 4, 2010

Groupe AREMBELO at Hotel Victory Tulear (Madagaskar) 2006

Example #7: Salama nareo Ondaty reo.

Manake De Manake,Uploaded on Jun 11, 2011

Tarika Fanera.
Musique du film"Arembelo".Un 15 Avril à Ambovombe

Example #8: Mihodina ny volana sy ny taona Ramilison Besigara

auzoma, Uploaded on Feb 2, 2012

Example #9: Ranomafana, Madagascar Traditional Dance

Kimberly Conner, Published on Jan 8, 2013

I am a Peace Corps volunteer serving in Andramasina, Madagascar. This is a traditional dance performance from an area of the island called Ranomafana, meaning "hot water" due to the presence of natural hot springs.

To learn more about Peace Corps check out or follow my blog at

Example #10: Chants et danses de l'ethnie Antandroy, Fort-Dauphin, Madagascar

Maroolo Fort-Dauphin, Published on Feb 12, 2013

Spectacle donné lors de la Commémoration de l'Abolition de l'Esclavage le 20 décembre 2009 à Fort-Dauphin, Madagascar, à l'initiative du Collectif Maroolo.
En savoir plus :

Example #11: Ortezzano, the XIII Folklore Festival with the Sagotro Malagasy Folk Group (manortiz)

Luigi Manfredi, Published on Aug 2, 2013

Sagotro » is primarily a youth united by a purpose to explore, save and transmit Malagasy traditions, especially in northern Madagascar. « Sagotro » is currently comprised by 12 talented young people aged 19 to 26, who come from different musical groups, dance companies and theater in the city of Diego Suarez, the far north of Madagascar. « Sagotro » is also the union people from different ethnic groups, which in the past cohabitation was still impossible and frowned. This is a group carrying the message of peace and brotherhood in a city where Christian and Muslim live in harmony


Thanks to the dancers and musicians who are featured in these videos. Thanks also to the publishers of these videos on YouTube and thanks to those who I quoted in this post.

Thank you for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

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