From Azonto to Zouk: Nkei's Afro-Urban Alphabet

When I do workshops I usually try my best to share some information about what I'm teaching, music I use and anything else that I think is interesting. It's part of the whole experience of exploring dance to me. I can't possibly teach (or know) everything there is to about the dance and music in the Afro-Urban world, so I like to create it as an ongoing conversation. For the current Afro-Urban Dance Performance workshop at Dance Mission I will try my best to post weekly about what's happening: for the participants and for anyone who's interested in my ramblings. I've reworked a title "From Azonto to Zouk: Nkei's Afro-Urban Alphabet" and will continue to flesh it out as we go: Drawing from the A-Z dance concept (you've seen those videos yeah?)... I've decided to compile my own alphabet set, on what I find noteworthy relating to Afro-Urban dance. For this blog series, I will be posting about what I cover in class.

A: Azonto vs. Alkayida
Sep 30 2014 @ Dance Mission


After Rashad set the workshop series off the previous week with Afro-House (which covered various areas including Panstula from South Africa), we kicked it into gear. First stop: Accra, Ghana, West Africa... Azonto & Alkayida styles are just those that when you see it, when it gets in your body, it's hard to let go. Once I got the basic Azonto move down, I was doing it ALL. THE. TIME. to every sound and style of music. It was lightweight frustrating because I couldn't help it, I would pretty much only be able to do that. Which I imagine is not the worst problem to have. Anyway, it is pretty cool to follow how this dance craze started, from some obscure dance step to a whole slew of dance vocabulary and music genre and now morphing and evolving alongside the recent alkayida movement. Looks like Ghana is staying on the Afro-pop map for a while and not letting go anytime soon. I'm standing on my toes, wondering what will be next. Is there already a next?  On Sep 30, 2014 (Session 2) here's how we got down:

Warm Up
  1. Can I Get Wit U-Rukus ft. Kuebounce
  2. Happiness- Mafikizolo ft. May D
  3. Okinnin Kpin- Serge Beynaud
  4. Ora- Terry G
  5. Fo M'appelé- Toofan ft. Charly Watta

Going In
  1. Azonto-Fuse ODG ft. Tiffany
  2. Akayida- Guru
  3. Antenna- Fuse ODG
  4. Azonto Fiesta- Sarkodie ft. Kesse Appietus
  5. Tonga- Joey B ft. Sarkodie