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Decolonizing time through dance with Kwenda Lima: Cabo Verde, creolization, and affiliative afromodernity

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-333
JournalJournal of African Cultural Studies
Issue number3
Early online date6 Sep 2018
Accepted/In press1 Jan 2018
E-pub ahead of print6 Sep 2018
Published2 Sep 2019


King's Authors


This essay examines the dance practice of the Lisbon-based artiste Kwenda Lima (born 1977 at Sal, Cabo Verde), as manifested on three levels: the pedagogy of the Luso-African social dance, kizomba; a form of dance therapy, which he calls ‘Kaizen dance’; and the choreography of ‘Afro-contemporary’ dance. Through the interplay of these levels Lima responds to the specific characteristics of Lusophone (post)colonialism as well as the general problems of modernity involving time, work, and materialism. These responses are shaped by the post-imperial urban space of Lisbon, the transnational world of social dance, as well as his personal networks linking Cabo Verde, continental West Africa, and Europe. Moreover, Lima's dance incorporates references to Cabo Verde's history of creolization and various non-Lusophone postcolonial cultural influences. An affiliative afromodernity is generated, which reconfigures the relationship between race, authenticity, and appropriation while decolonizing time through dance.

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