From being swept along by the samba, carried away by the Cossacks or fired up by the flamenco, watching a live dance performance not only makes you feel good, it helps you connect to a destination in a way that nothing else can.
Which is why, on every Viking journey – river and ocean, you can experience authentic local music and brilliant dance performances. Of course, you can also join in, because apart from anything else, dancing is great fun. Whether you’re a toe tapper, a dad dancer or you know just how to strut your stuff, everybody is welcome.
Argentine tango in Buenos Aires
It takes two to tango, and fans of the Argentine tango will be familiar with the intimacy of this dramatic dance. The dance is full of pathos and the dancers stay closely connected in a sensual and authentic dance that expresses intense emotions. How could it be otherwise when you consider that the tango evolved in the working-class dance halls and brothels in the port districts of Buenos Aires, and the songs were laments of heartbreak and longing.
Waltz in Austria
One of the most elegant dances of all time was once, believe it or not, the most scandalous dance in Europe. In 18th-century Austria, the waltz was forbidden by the church because of its intimate ‘closed hold’. The nobility, however, embraced the dance and all the romance that accompanied it. Eventually Emperor Joseph II opened a few balls to the public, and so began the Austrians’ passion for the waltz. The original waltz – now called the Viennese waltz – is still a fairytale favourite on the dance floor.
Dance fusion in the Caribbean
If the turquoise seas, sun-kissed beaches, reggae rhythms and calypso beats don’t seduce you into a gentle sway, then what will? Caribbean dance evolved from many different people, including enslaved Africans and French and Spanish colonists. Over time, the various styles fused. Plena is a folk dance of Puerto Rico, and so is the traditional bomba, known as the dance of the slaves. Merengue is the national dance of Dominican Republic, whilst the high-energy moves of mambo and salsa find their roots in Cuba.
Hopak in Ukraine
Hold on to your horses, here comes the hopak, with its lightning-speed twists and turns, and amazing acrobatic feats. Exuberant and energetic, hopak is the national dance of Ukraine and has long been part of the country’s wider culture, and incorporated in operas and ballets. Performed by young and old, the dance is often choreographed to allow individuals to show off their incredible leaps and moves.
Salsa in Cuba
Give those hips some attitude, here comes the Salsa and some serious fun. This heady cocktail of dance moves is sexy, energetic and intoxicating, not to mention fast. One of the most famous Latin dances, Salsa has its roots in Africa and the Caribbean. Cuban-style salsa is also known as casino, an abbreviation of casinos deportivos, the dance halls that sprang up in the mid 1900s. In Cuba, music is everywhere, and dance is as much a part of life as a siesta and fiesta.
Ballet in Russia
Ballet is the magic of theatre in its most graceful form, and wows us with its extraordinary feats of human athleticism, strength and flexibility. In Russia, ballet is elevated to a whole new level, and holds a special place in the heart of the people. Since it was introduced by Peter the Great in the 17th century, ballet has been accessible to all classes, and very quickly became part of Russia’s cultural identity.
Flamenco in Barcelona
From the first strum of the guitar and rhythmic stamping of the feet, flamenco has the power to create a deeply moving experience. More than pure dance, the art incorporates cante (singing), toque (guitar), baile (dance), jaleo (vocals and chorus clapping) and palmas (hand clapping). And it’s this combination of elements, along with lightning-fast footwork, that creates a fiery and feisty performance.
Apsara in Cambodia
You might first come across Cambodia’s apsara dance on a visit to the temples of Angkor and Baton, in the form of intricately carved bas-reliefs of the apsaras – divine celestial maidens who, according to Cambodian mythology, descended from heaven to entertain the gods and kings. Since the spirits can captivate mortals with their beauty, the dance reflects this, with slow, elegant movements. There are more than 1,500 hand gestures, each with its own distinct meaning.
Torshavn on the Viking ocean ships
We know a place on your Viking ocean ship where you can go after dinner, where the lights are low and the band plays your favourite songs. An intimate nightclub where you can dance the night away, or find a comfy corner and relax as you chat with friends about your day’s adventures. A fabulous bar that mixes the perfect cocktail or pours you a brandy from the year you were born. A place you’ll want to return to, night after night. The place is Torshavn, and we know you will love it.
Viking Lounge on the Viking Longships
There is something magical about being on the river at night; the twinkling lights of the bridges, the illuminated cities and towns, and the moon shining on the water. On the Viking Longships, you are cocooned in comfort as you relax with friends in the lounge, over a drink, with the sound of the resident pianist and singer, and take a twirl around the dance floor.