The Art and Sensuality of Brazilian Zouk Dancing


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Marie Alonzo Snyder (modern dancer, choreographer, educator and scholar), presents a clear and helpful introduction and guide for anyone interested in learning about Zouk—the fast growing partner dance—in her debut book, The Art and Sensuality of Brazilian Zouk Dancing. Marie (a professional dancer for over three decades) has been dancing Zouk for the past 5 years and recently brought this beautiful, sensual dance to the Big Island of Hawai‘i.

“I arrived in Kona, Hawai’i on November 17, 2014 leaving behind a life of over 33 years on the East Coast. Like many others, I was called to this beautiful island,” says Marie. “By the second week of my arrival, I began filling the island with Zouk. What began with one eager, Zouk goddess in training, has now become a heaven of gods and goddesses all enjoying the passionate music, the sensual movements, and the delicious connection that Zouk offers.

“This is a friendly book that people will enjoy reading even if you are not a dancer. Those already familiar with Zouk as well as those just learning will find value in this photograph filled book. Marie’s passion is evident and her voice can be heard as you read. It’s as if you are in the studio with an expert teacher, conveying her knowledge with deep devotion and expressiveness. Her voice shines through, inspiring the reader, making you want to learn more or start taking a class.

Marie provides a historical context and cultural perspective as well, by discussing the dance genre’s influences and adaptations and then going into technical descriptions of the basic rhythmic and choreographic concepts of the form. Additionally, she articulates the influences of Duncan, Graham, Limon and Hawkins adding her personal and philosophical connection to Zouk. She ends each chapter with a question and answer section which is welcoming for the novice providing advice and the ins and outs of Zouk. She also includes links to many other resources for finding out more about Zouk. Her book is a wonderful introduction to the dance form.

“Dance is part of all cultures and subcultures in our society because it completes the individual. Through dance we each bring a moment of beauty, between two people, that touches on the sacred. Within that one song, two people have the capability to create a magical moment with their dancing. And at the end of the dance, we keep being reminded that dance is a basic human activity like no other, it is primal in our being,” says Marie.