Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Two Videos Of Traditional Congolese Dancing That Include Body Patting & Stepping Movements

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post is Part I of a two part series that showcases the traditional dancing, singing, and musical instrument performances of Democratic Republic Of The Congo's Ballet Arumbaya Ndendeli.

Part I presents two videos of that group that showcase that group's musical and dance performances. While I love these entire performances, of particular interest are the dancers'/drummers' performances of body patting and stepping/strolling movements that are most closely associated with, if not originated from historically Black Greek lettered fraternities and sororities step teams.

Click for Part II of this series. Part II presents five videos of Ballet Arumbaya Ndendeli that showcase that group's musical and dance performances. Selected comments from one of those video's discussion threads is included in that post.

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

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all of those associated with Ballet Arumbaya Ndendeli for their outstanding musical and dance performances. Thanks also for sharing these videos on YouTube.

Unfortunately, as of this post's publication, there are no comments in these videos' discussion threads and I've not been able to find out any information about Ballet Arumbaya Ndendeli. Information about these dances & songs, and information about this group would be greatly appreciated.

Click the African American fraternity & sorority stepping tag and the Pattin Juba tag below for pancocojams posts about those performance art movements.

Example #1: Spectacle de Danse Africaine par Ballet Arumbaya Ndendeli

Ballet Arumbaya Ndendeli, Published on Nov 17, 2014

Un beau mélange de danse et parcussion congolaise par Ballet Arumbaya Ndendeli en Octobre 2014
At various times in this video, the male drummers'/dancers' movements remind me of fraternity & sorority stepping. In particular, notice the sequence that begins at 6:41, holding one bent leg up at 6:44, and the leaning leg movement that is done at 6:48.

Also, notice the female dancers performing body patting movements at 8:51 in this videos. Some of their foot and arm movements in this video and particularly after that sequence also remind me of stepping.

Example #2: Spectacle de percussion traditionnelle congolaise par Ballet Arumbaya Ndendeli

Ballet Arumbaya Ndendeli Published on Nov 17, 2014

Un beau mélange de danse, chansons et percussion traditionnelle Congolaise par Ballet Arumbaya Ndendeli a Kinshasa D.R. Congo
The stepping and body patting -chests pat alternating with (the person's own) hand claps- sequence occurs in the beginning of this video and particularly from .04 to .015. Also, notice the "ripple" movement that occurs at 4:54 - 5:01 of this video. Similar "ripples" are a feature of some historically Black Greek lettered organizations (BGLOs) stepping routines. And notice the group's counterclockwise marching, prancing, and "stepping" in a vertical line that begins at 6:40 of this video. That sequence reminds me of African American fraternity and sorority strolls (party walks) even more than actual historically African American Greek lettered fraternity and sorority stepping routines.

(Also notice that two of those drummers/dancers are women.)

That body patting movement which was known in the 19th century United States as "pattin Juba" is still sometimes performed during historically Black Greek lettered fraternity and sorority stepping, as well as other organizations that have adopted those performance styles.

The title of this and some other Ballet Arumbaya Ndendeli videos indicates that their dancing is traditional Congolese. I'm wondering is all of their dancing traditional, and if so, what is/are the name or names of the traditional Congolese dance or dances that includes body patting, in particular.

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