From being swept along by the samba, carried away by the can-can 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 or someone who just has to move to the music, 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.
In Ireland, Irish dance or the Irish stepdance has become an international phenomenon thanks to Broadway-style shows like Riverdance. Unlike other dance forms, Irish dancers do not move their arms or hands, so the footwork is everything. With a stiff upper body, and quick, precise movements of the feet, it is energetic and exciting. You can don your dancing shoes in in a master class in traditional Irish dance when you visit Dublin on our inspiring journey around Britain.
Like the music that accompanies it, Cajun dance is loud and lively. New Orleans is home to a variety of Cajun dance halls where the locals were taught how to dance by their French-speaking grandparents in bayou country. In no time at all, you’ll be two-stepping your way around the dance floor to songs with French lyrics, laughing and hooting with the fun crowd.
Can-can in France
Named the can-can from the French slang meaning ‘gossip or scandal’ this famous French dance with its ruffled skirts and lively high kicks was considered risqué when it first appeared in the 19th century. Immortalised in the paintings of Toulouse-Lautrec, the can-can is a high-energy, physically demanding dance that is now accepted as a part of the world’s cultural heritage. Usually performed by a chorus line of women, it is as popular today as it has always been.
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.