Music and dance in South Africa

In Africa, music is inseparable from dance and the costumes, and everything is linked to the communities themselves.

Both the music and the dance in South Africa are a mixture of local and imported forms, with varying degrees of hybridisation. The result is a unique, unmistakeable flavour of the country.

For a long time, the African dance did not feature prominently on the South African dance scene. Since 1970s, however, contemporary dance companies have flourished and given rise to "Afrofusion", which combines the techniques of formal dance training with African spirit. The result is a blend of multiple cultures, including classical ballet, in which South Africa has a long tradition, and the African experience, which includes traditional dance inspired by wedding ceremonies, battles, rituals and everyday life.

In music, all forms exist side by side, occasionally mixing to give new ones. Kwaito, which is probably the most popular, is South African home-grown strain of house music beats, with interwoven African influences. Many consider it South Africa's unique implementation of hip hop. Other musicians combine jazz, pop, and traditional music, or the local hip-hop rhythms with traditional Xhosa sounds.

In 1995, the South African Music Awards were introduced to recognise accomplishment in the South African recording industry. The awards are given in various categories, including album of the year, best newcomer, best artist, best group, etc.

Also see: South African Music Awards