Updated June 05, 2015
Us zoukers are a bit crazy about congresses, aren't we? There's big group of people who travel to a number of international events every year - some every month! So perhaps it's no surprise that one of the most popular pages on this site is the zouk congress calendar.
In this post I sum up the latest news on the zouk event scene and present some of the newcomers on the festival circuit. While 2015 is well underway, there are still many interesting events coming up. Most congresses from now until the end of the year are already confirmed - and some already for 2016. And yes, the 2016 calendar is coming up around August-September here at zouktheworld.com!
Spreading Brazilian zouk to new territories
As Brazilian zouk is still a rather young dance outside Brazil (and in many parts of Brazil as well), there are a lot of places where zouk is still a very new thing. New events pop up on the calendar quite often and last year there were particularly many new events in Northern America! Some of these new additions in 2014 included I'm Zouk in Miami, Washington DC Zouk Festival, Zouk Beach Week in Newport Beach, International Boston Brazilian Dance Festival and a fresh new event this year, the ZNL Music Festival on 28-30 Aug in San Diego.
Though Sydney is not a newcomer in zouk, it was only last year when they got their first major zouk festival - Sydney Zouk Festival. This year the festival will take place close to the legendary Bondi Beach. The event time is also changing from July to December, taking place Dec 3-6 in 2015.
Asia is one of the areas where there are only a few zouk events. But it looks like there's a new one coming up: Zouk Zensation on 4-9 Dec in Thailand. While many of the details remain open (thus it's still not in the actual calendar), you can see what the idea is from this video.
The new social events with the idea "dance 'til drop - no workshops" took more foothold in Europe. In 2014 probably the most popular newcomer was the Prague Zouk Marathon. This year again a new social dancing event, Zouk Infinity on 10-15 September in Beirut. Unfortunately some of the social events that appeared in 2014 were cancelled for 2015 - more about the cancelled events later in this post.
Last year I heard that in September 2015 there might be a 20-year celebration of Mzouk stars' Daniel & Leticia in Mallorca, Spain. Looking forward to hearing more about this! In the meanwhile you can find all the social events marked with PARTY on the 2015 calendar.
Planning a week or long weekend of relaxing in the sun, on the beach under a palm tree or by a pool with a caipirinha in one hand - and also dancing loads of zouk? Pack your swimwear, I have a few options for you!
There are a few 'zouk holidays' that have been successfully running for some years. If you want a week long holiday then you might want to head to Croatia for the Zouktime! Dance Holiday in Dramalj on 5-12 September. This is the already the 4th zouk holiday from Ludek & Pavla, held in a new location that will better accommodate the growing number of friends & fans of Zouktime events.
If you're looking for something shorter than one week you could try - also in Croatia - the Summer Sensual Days in Rovinj on 17-22 June. Bachaturo also continues to organise their "crazy holidays" in Augustów, Poland on 24-30 August.
Among the new events, the above mentioned new Zouk Infinity in Lebanon aims to offer something who wishes to have a luxury zouk holiday. Will be exciting to hear how this goes! And so does Zouk Zensation - worth keeping an eye on.
Many of the 'full-on congresses' also fall under the holiday category due to their beach side locations. Among these are the Israel Zouk Congress in Dor Beach on 6-8 Nov that makes a comeback after one year's break. Many zoukers go to Spain for the already traditional Zouk-Lambada Beach Festival in Santa Susana on 17-21 September. I was also there in 2012 - two thumbs up from me!
Topping the charts for zouk holidays have been the spectacular events by Berg Dias held every new year in Porto Seguro. But due to the latest newcomer in the congress calendar there's a change underway.... Below a bit more!
The hottest new ticket for the year might be the Brazouka Beach Festival taking place in Porto Seguro, Brazil on the coming new year. The event is organised by Braz and Didi Dos Santos so you can expect a lot of fun, hot dancing, clapping and - of course - lambazouk!
Previously this spot would have been filled by the Berg's International Zouk-Lambada Summer Festival - the smaller of the two bi-annual events organised by Berg Dias. It's been just announced that this event will be cancelled. But worry not, in Dec 2016 - Jan 2017 Berg's Congress will be back!
New events in 2015
Here's the current list of new events for this year! If you're checking into this post later on, go to the calendar page to see the latest information. All events marked with NEW'15 are those that are appearing for the first time in 2015 and likewise NEW'14 marks the 2014 new additions..
Zouk Fever Budapest Festival in Budapest, Hungary on 8-10 May.
Canada Zouk Congress in Toronto, Canada on 13-17 May.
Leids Summer Zouk Festival in Leiden, Holland on 3-5 Jul.
ZNL Music Festival in San Diego, USA on 28-30 Aug.
Zouk Infinity in Beirut, Lebanon 10-15 Sep.
Zouk Warsaw Festival in Warsaw, Poland on 20-22 Nov.
Brazouka Beach Festival in Porto Seguro, Brazil on 31 Dec 2015 - 8 Jan 2016.
Changes in 2015
Returning after one year's break
Zouktime! Dance Holiday (5-12 Sep) moved from Omiš to Dramalj, Croatia.
Amsterdam Zouk Congress (27-30 Aug) might also be held in a new location as the famous venue Melody Line (which I also visited last year) was destroyed in a fire last weekend.
New time (change of one month or more)
Carioca Brazilian International Dance Congress in St. Petersburg, Russia moved from June to 24-26 April.
BH Zouk Congress in Belo Horizonte, Brazil moved from April to 3-7 June.
Zouk S.E.A in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia moved from August to 10-12 July.
Sydney International Zouk Festival in Sydney, Australia moved from July to 3-6 December.
Holding the fort
While we're here yammering about all the cool new events, let's not to forget those events that take place year after year and serve as a benchmark for many other aspiring zouk events. Here are some that are going strong for 5 or more years already:
The 6th Berg's Congress was held on 30 Dec 2014 - 8 Jan 2015 (in the blog/2013).
The 6th International Prague Zouk Congress was held on 26-30 Mar (in the blog/2013).
The 10th DansaBrasil Congreso Internacional de Lambada/Zouk was held on 30 Apr - 3 May (in the blog/2015).
The 11th BH Zouk Congress is coming up 3-7 Jun.
The 5th Amsterdam Zouk Congress is coming up 27-30 Aug.
The 7th Zouk Lambada Beach Festival is coming up 17-21 Sep (in the blog/2012).
The 6th Zouktime! is coming up 25-27 Sep (in the blog/2014).
The 5th International Zouk-Lambada Congress is coming up on 7-10 Jan 2016 (in the blog/2012).
Confirmed or unconfirmed?
Some events later in the year remain unconfirmed - while many luckily are confirmed. What are marked as unconfirmed are events that have been organised in the past year(s) but new dates have not been issued yet. But they haven't been announced cancelled either! There's no reason to be alarmed for not having the dates regarding some of the smaller events at the end of the year. I strive to get you the latest information as soon as it's public so keep an eye on the 2015 Zouk calendar!
Unconfirmed events within the next 3 months
The following events that have been scheduled for June-August appear to be unconfirmed.
Interfusion Danse Congress in Montreal, Canada (July).
Zouk Roma Congress in Rome, Italy (July).
London Dance Congress (July).
Sensual Summer Festival in Berlin, Germany (August).
Zouk Beach Week in Newport Beach, CA, USA (August).
All the unconfirmed events are clearly marked in the 2015 zouk congress calendar as "Unconfirmed" with their previous dates in brackets.
There has been some cancellations during 2015. Below a list of the cancelled events - in brackets you'll see the month of the event. Hopefully some of these events will be back on the event calendar in the future!
Berlin International Zouk and Samba Congress in Berlin (June).
Summer Zouk & Kizomba Jam Session in Barcelona, Spain (July).
ZoukDevils & friends Summer Weekend in Mataró, Spain (July).
Royal Zouk & Kizomba Festival in Gdansk, Poland (September).
Berg's International Zouk-Lambada Summer Festival (January 2017).
Other events that have been cancelled earlier: Brazilian Beat Congress in Toronto, Canada; SuriZouk Fest in Suriname; Ilha do Zouk on Ilha Grande, Brazil and Brazil Central in Brisbane, Australia. Also Spiral Dancers organised their so far last zouk festival in Lloret de Mar in December 2014.
On my list
People often ask me what are my favourite events and what would I recommend? I can't really say what would be good for you - though I do welcome you to read my blog posts from past zouk events to find out my hands'on reports! The reason for this calendar and the blog posts is essentially so you can decide for yourself. I want to pass you all the information so that you can find places to dance more easily!
What's on my wish list for 2015 and 2016? Since I love to travel I would prefer to go more to new places - would be very interesting to see how the zouk scene is now in North America and Asia, for example. A social zouk event is also on my list! And - like always - a new trip to Brazil is never too far away!
What's on your list? Tell me in the comments!
2016 zouk calendar
In August-September, once enough events have published their next year's dates, I will again compile a new calendar for the coming year! In the meanwhile, you can follow the latest zouk congress calendar which will updated whenever new information is announced.
Submit an event
Thank you for the great number of submission I've received so far, keep them coming! If you're wondering why perhaps the event you submitted is not on the calendar, see below information relating to that.
What events are included in the congress calendar?
For the sake of keeping the list compact I have included only major, international Brazilian zouk events. Generally speaking, for congresses this means an event with three+ internationally known zouk teacher/artist couples and possibility to take full days of Brazilian zouk workshops. Also, due to their popularity, there are a few of the biggest international weekend long zouk social events included on the list.
In addition to the events in the calendar there are an ever increasing amount of local zouk weekends with international visiting artists. For these, check with your local dance schools!