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Posted on April 7th, 2012, by

The origins of Lambada dance came from ďkarimboĒĚ – at the time whenBrazilwas a Portuguese colony (1500-1822 gg.) in the northern part of the country there was a popular dance called karimbo, that was very sensual dance of man and woman.¬†Over time the dance has changed, and changed the music: because of the proximity to the Caribbean region, the Caribbean music culture had a strong influence on Brazilian music (even today we can feel it if you listen to Caribbean radio station in the northern states ofBrazil).¬†This close relationship gave birth to some new rhythms – Sirimb√≥ and Lari Lari; so karimbo dance eventually changed so much that gave birth to practically new one. After some time the¬†local¬†radio station¬†Bel√©m¬†(capital¬†of Par√°)¬†began to call¬†this new kind of¬†music¬†“percussion¬†rhythm” and¬†“the rhythms of¬†LambadaĒ̬†(the word lambada¬†means¬†a strong¬†rhythmic¬†beats¬†of music).¬†This last¬†name “Lambada”¬†became very popular and¬†became¬†associated¬†with the¬†new image¬†of the old¬†dance style.

Later¬†people again began to dance karimbo¬†in pairs, and it was¬†very much like¬†merengue,¬†but had a¬†larger¬†number of¬†spinning.¬† In the end,¬†a mixture¬†of metal¬†and electronic¬†music¬†of the Caribbean¬†once again¬†changed the¬†face of¬†karimbo,¬†and¬†the music¬†quickly¬†spread throughout the¬†northeastern¬†region ofBrazil¬†(the most¬†touristic¬†places), only¬†this¬†new¬†ďkarimboĒĚ was¬†already¬†called¬†Lambada.

Lambada long traveled along the coast, and finally reachedBahia(the oldest of the Brazilian state), where it began to experience the effect of dance Forry (another old Brazilian style with the accented rhythm).¬†Gradually, the timing of Lambada from a 4 / 4 changed to 2 / 2, so it can be confidently said that it was then lambada completely lost its resemblance to the karimbo. Lambada was danced with bent legs, steps were made from side to side and never from front to back.¬†In a fashion were tight skirts, and it happened so that they began to be associated with the lambada, and lambada – with them.¬†Even nowadays in some places (for example in ¬ęLambar¬Ľ – in the nightclub of the city ofSao Paulo) we can steel meet the classic couples: a lady in a narrow skirt and a man in long trousers. (Kempley 1990)

Together with the ¬ęTrio-eletricos¬Ľ (great mobile platform in which musicians perform dancing and singing during the Carnival) lambada began to spread along Bahia and settled in the town ofPorto Seguro.¬†During the first boom of Lambada in the south-eastern region ofBrazil(the most economically developed) it refered to the rhythms that came fromBahia, and were assumed that all these rhythms live only in the summer and then die.

While¬†all¬†acknowledged¬†that the¬†lambada¬†was¬†a real¬†rush¬†of the summer,¬†many early¬†lambaterii¬†(places¬†where the¬†lambada was danced)¬†wewre¬†closed closed in winter when tourists left.¬†However, lambada¬†did not¬†die¬†…

The story of Lambada¬†spread¬†to Europe¬†says¬†that¬†one day¬†in¬†late¬†summer,¬†several¬†French businessmen¬†came¬†toBrazil¬†and¬†bought the¬†music¬†rights¬†to 300¬†songs¬†in the style of Lambada.¬†Then they¬†returned to¬†France¬†and¬†organized¬†a group¬†¬ęKaoma¬Ľ,¬†investing¬†lot of money in its¬†promotion.¬†In that way the¬†lambada¬†style¬†became known¬†throughout the world¬†and reached even the¬†Far East,¬†where it¬†has remained¬†to this day. The world fever of Lambada was so strong that it even returned toBrazil, to the most economically developed south-eastern region, that has already forgotten it.¬† The fact that today inBrazilthere are thousands of schools of ballroom dancing, great competitions and tens of thousands of dancers is a merit of the French ¬ęKaoma¬Ľ and their international success.

This second wave was called the Second Boom of Lambada and this event greatly influenced the world culture. First of all lambada became an international phenomenon, when millions of young people again began to dance in pairs, and evoked a wave of interest to the Latin American culture.

Having spread around the world, the dance has changed dramatically. Due to the fact that in Europe there was lack of good dancers of Lambada (for example for movies and shows), most professionals had to make changes to it: the lambada was added with whirling and steppe-like elements from jive and East Coast swing, as well as some acrobatic movements. Many dancers have begun to mix lambada with other musical styles, trying to create something new and unusual.

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