Skip to content

The Angolan Dancers Who Helped South African Anthem ‘Jerusalema’ Go Global

The Jerusalema craze continues to grip the globe, and it owes a big part of its appeal to the troupe of Angolan dancers who put their moves to the music. The infectious beat combined with dance moves that inspired millions of TikTokers to try the same has captured the world’s fascination. In the age of coronavirus, the #JerusalemaDanceChallenge video generated a counter-contagion. Almost overnight everyone from police departments in Africa to priests in Europe were posting their own Jerusalema dance videos that repeated the choreography. The challenge videos were swept along in a message of hope condensed in the single word “Jerusalema” and amplified through an electronic beat that its creator, Johannesburg-based musician and producer Master KG, describes as “spiritual”. The Jerusalema dance challenge is an example of how dance enables convivencia (living together). It is a line dance (animation in French, animação in Portuguese, animación in Spanish) that enlivens parties through simple choreography that makes people dance together.