A post-Carnival shake down. ALL WELCOME to this one-off chance to dance like crazy, work out, twist and shake with the kings and queens of the South African dance craze. The stars of the Shangaan style are giving an informal dance class in Bristol, giving enthusiasts of all ages and abilities the chance to learn the wildest moves step by step.
Shangaan Electro is the high-speed dance phenomenon from Soweto that is rising from streets into clubs, homes and venues all around the globe, combining dazzling footwork and rubber-limbed body shakes combine with hyper-accelerated beats and some crazy, colourful costumes.
“It’s fantastic, the best thing I’ve heard for a long time. It’s how music should be” – Karin Dreijer Andersson (The Knife)
“Shangaan dancers, they dance, they can go on for almost an hour with that speed, without getting tired. When you see them dance you feel like they have got no bones” – Nozinja (Shangaan Electro)
Open to all ages and abilities. Under 16’s should be accompanied by an adult
Participants are advised to wear suitable clothing and bring water
Workshop starts at 7.30pm and lasts 60 mins approx
Limited capacity, early booking is recommended
The creation of charismatic producer, record label mogul and businessman Nozinja, Shangaan Electro is a very contemporary product of Africa. Hailing from rural Limpopo but now based in Soweto, Nozinja saw the chance to update Shangaan music for the 21st Century, replacing its traditional bass/guitar instrumentation with midi-keyboard sounds and repitched vocal samples (in English and seemingly sampled from rave anthems). Propelled by jacking four-to-the-floor beats and trademark drum-fills, the sound quickly became a hit at weekly street parties in Soweto, with young and old competing to show off their moves to this dizzyingly fast music, which can reach speeds of up to 188 beats per minute.
The craze soon went viral in Europe and the US via a vast archive of youtube videos (several million hits and counting), catching the attention of Damon Albarn’s Honest Jon’s label who released the seminal Shangaan Electro compilation in 2010. The universal acclaim received for this release led to countless invitations for the group to perform around the world, and the group have since performed scene-stealing turns at festivals and club across the globe.
“This is the cheetah of African music” – NPR Music
“Daring… wildly inventive… [and] a rare depth charge in dance music circles, reminding us of the myriad musics people use to inspire movement” – Pitchfork
“The future sound of Africa…[and] a curveball for UK dancers” – The Quietus