MAPOUKA- IVORY COAST: The Original Twerking Dance?

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MAPOUKA DANCE, IVORY COAST

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Mapouka is a West African dance style mainly performed by women and is said to be one of the original source of ‘twerking’ now a popular dance type. This “traditional” dance is said to have originated from Ivory Coast, and is commonly referred to as “la danse du fussier” or “the dance of the behind”.  Apparently, the globally renowned “Twerking dance” is said to have been created using Mapouka as a template. Furthermore, this dance was created and developed by people belonging to the Aizi, Alladian, and Avikam communities respectively.

History/origin of the Mapouka:

According to the cultural history of Ivory Coast this dance style is said to have been created and developed by the Aizi, Alladian, and Avikam communities respectively. In addition, it was in the 1980’s that first attempts were made by a few Ivory Coast artists to popularize this dance. However, these attempts proved futile. It was then in 1998 that the then government of Ivory Coast prohibited public performances of this dance, as it was deemed to be having a negative impact on the rich cultural heritage of the country.


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Costumes used in the Mapouka:

There is no particular costume that needs to be worn while performing this dance form.

Music involved in the Mapouka:

Percussion instruments mainly drums (i.e. talking drum) are mostly used in this dance form.

Training availability and the technique involved in the Mapouka:

In terms of technique, this dance involves vigorous shaking of the hips. In addition, the performer also needs to maintain a slightly bent posture while performing. As for training schools/centres, there are none available around the world since this “traditional” dance is mainly performed in Ivory Coast located in West Africa.


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