Home / News / India /  Ivory coast’s Zaouli storms internet as ‘world’s most difficult dances’

A video of a Zaouli dance performer moving his legs at a lightning-fast speed has taken internet by storm. As of now, the viral video has received more than 2 million likes and a huge number of interesting comments.

The difficult dance steps of Zaouli have convinced many to regard it as the most impossible dance in the world. The dance form has remained a viral sensation for quite a long time on social media. 

Business tycoon, Anand Mahindra, also shared this viral video ahead of New Year 2023 on Twitter.

He tweeted, “Here’s how I’m going to dance with happiness tonight to bid farewell to 2022—The war in Ukraine & Covid’s resurgence made this a year I’m happy to see the back of. May the New Year see those big disasters dealt with…"

Zaouli is a popular music and dance form performed by Guro communities of Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa. In the dance form, performer generally dances only by moving their legs.

Along with speed, the dance form is also about the art of balancing the whole body with fast-moving legs that synchronise with the music. The dance form might look similar but no single step is repeated in a dance performance.

According to UNESCO, it is a tribute to feminine beauty and is inspired by two masks: the Blou and the Djela. The art is a congruence of multiple elements including costumes, dance, music and mask. Performers generally wear seven types of masks. The dance form is popular not only for its difficulty but also for the kind of social messages it spreads in society.

It serves as a playful educational tool for the community to spread the message related to environmental preservation to society. It is also a significant cultural identity of its bearers and promotes integration.

Due to its tough difficult steps, it takes more than five years for a performer to master the dance form. The amateur dancers learn the unique art form under the supervision of an experienced practitioner.

Regular community-level competitions, popular programs, and efforts of traditional chiefdom and guarantors helped in the propagation of the Zaouli.


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