Sunday, September 30, 2012

IZFM! Zouk flash mob takes over the word!!

All summer thousands of people all around the world from Toronto to Melbourne, from Suriname to Singapore, have been practicing for the International Zouk Flash Mob that took place on Sunday Sep 16th. People rehearsed the same choreography and performed it flash mob style at iconic places sush as in front of  the Eiffel tower, the Colosseum, on the beaches of Brazil...

There were about 100 cities in 38 countries that took part in the big event on the same day! I was dancing with the participants of the 4th Zouk & Lambada Beach Festival in Santa Susana, Spain. Here is my funny video of the happening! Me and the deck chair by the pool served as the role of videographer with my camera...

The event organisers also captured the zouk flash mob from above in this video!

Below are the places that were part of the international flash mob with links to the videos of the event where available. Is your hometown on the list? I wasn't even sure where all these places are! I will try to add any missing links I may discover later.

In Europe/Middle-East (in alphabetical order):

Amsterdam (in the metro train!) ** Antwerpen ** Athens ** Barcelona ** Berlin ** Bonn ** Breda ** Bremen ** Brighton ** Brno ** Brussels ** Budapest ** Cologne ** Copenhagen ** Dnipropetrovs'k Dnepropetrovsk ** Dresden ** Dubai ** Erfurt ** Galicia ** Gomel ** Graz ** Hamburg ** Hannover ** Heerlen ** Helsinki (see the dancers zouking in a Z-formation! - or just from the side) ** Israel ** Kharkov ** Kielce ** Kiev ** Leiden ** Limassol ** London ** Manchester ** Moscow ** Munich ** Nancy ** Novosibirsk ** Oldenburg ** Oslo  ** Palma ** Paris ** Prague ** Riga ** Rome ** Rotterdam ** Santa Susana ** St Petersburg ** Stockholm ** Strasbourg ** Szeged ** The Hague ** Thuringia ** TriCity (Gdansk, Sopot, Gdynia) ** ** Uppsala ** Utrecht ** Warsaw ** Vienna ** Zaragoza ** Zurich

In Americas:

Anápolis ** Belo Horizonte ** Boston ** Brasília ** Chicago ** Cuiabá ** Florianópolis ** Fortaleza ** Goiânia **  Los Angeles ** Montreal ** New York City ** Paramaribo ** Parnaíba ** Porto Alegre ** Princeton ** Quebec ** Recife ** Rio de Janeiro ** Rio Verde ** San Francisco (dancing in the middle of a crowd at ballpark!) ** Santiago ** São Paulo ** Toronto 

In Asia-Pacific:

Adelaide ** Bangkok ** Brisbane ** Canberra ** Chiang Mai ** Hanoi ** Hong Kong ** Kuala Lumpur ** Melbourne ** New Delhi ** Osaka ** Penang ** Perth ** Shanghai ** Singapore ** Sydney ** Tokyo

There are also other compilations of videos available, such as this one made by Kleber Saudé

Update Oct 8: This is the best compilation of all the zouk flash mobs around the world - absolutely amazing!!

The flashmob has also sprung up on other occasions lately, such as when lambazouk dancers raided the launch of Pamela Stephenson's book The Varnished Untruth - you can see it in this very funny video!

Behind the scenes

The IZFM got started after the flash mob in Australia earlier this year. This promotional video shows how the idea was developed in Perth, Western Australia, by Zouk Bob and the choreographers Alisson Rodrigues Sandi & Audrey Isauter. It took over the world in the course of about 5 months of planning, coordinating and practice - all with the dedication of the dancers and dance teachers that volunteered their own time and resources without any sponsors or companies being involved whatsoever. That's the true spirit of the zouk world: bringing people together from all the world with a common love for dancing!

There are lots more videos of e.g. the training sessions all around the world at the IZFM organisers' Youtube channel and teachers' interviews on zouk and the flash mob, such as this one with Olaya White Dendê from Barcelona.

The Facebook group with its over 3500 members has had a very very lively discussion going on all through the process and it surely will continue to serve as a common platform for zouk enthusiasts - and the flash mob will return next year!!!!

What is Zouk?

Zouk is a sensual partner/couples dance orginating from Brazil - in this case called more specifically Brazilian Zouk. This "daughter" of the late 1980's hype music & dance Lambada has now evolved to the modern dance floors of around 60 countries where it's practiced at the moment in a variety of styles. The name comes from the zouk music of the French Antilles - zouk meaning "party" or "festival" in Antillean Creole. Nowadays many different types of music are played for dancing Brazilian Zouk: Brazilian (of course), Angolan, Latin American and Oriental as well as all kinds of pop music, reggaeton, R'n'B, hiphop, dubstep and even opera music is used and remixed to cater the tastes of zouk dancers around the globe. This makes Brazilian Zouk very dynamic and constantly evolving.

Unlike ballroom and many other latin dance styles there are no strict rules or regulation; anybody can adapt the dance to their own taste. There are many different forms of dancing Zouk, the main two derivations being Rio style which is slower, more dramatic and inspired by contemporary dance; and Lambazouk or Zouk-Lambada that has a clearly faster tempo and includes more spins. Some other styles include VeroZouk, Mzouk, NeoZouk SoulZouk, FlowZouk... Interestingly, anybody knowing any zouk style can still dance with any other Zouk dancer, no matter where or from whom they have learned.

So far Zouk hasn't been discovered by the large masses or money-making enterprises and there is no marketing behind it, making it quite different from salsa and other dance movements. It is growing completely by word of mouth, almost entirely ignored by the media. This has created a unique scene that is very warm and friendly, where newcomers are embraced and welcomed. Perhaps more than any other dance, Brazilian Zouk is a multi-cultural affair. 

(sources and more information: Wikipedia /

What is a flash mob?

A flash mob is a group of people who assemble suddenly in a place, perform an unusual and seemingly pointless act for a brief time, then disperse, often for the purposes of entertainment, promotion, satire, and artistic expression. Flash mobs are organized via telecommunications, social media, or viral emails.

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