ZuluShow more From Zulu tsaba (verb) separate; see sense b.
a.MusicA style of dance music popular in the 1940s, combining traditional African melody and rhythm, particularly those of focho, with jazz and Latin-American dance rhythms.b.The dance performed to the accompaniment of this music, in which two dancers repeatedly approach each other and (often at the shout of ‘Tsaba’ from a watcher) move apart again without having touched.c.A shout of ‘tsaba’. Also shortened form tsaba, and attributive.
1941W.M.B. Nhlapo inBantu World 15 Mar. 9The Jazz Maniacs were regarded as a ‘marabi’ or ‘Tsaba-Tsaba’ band...They were fine and at one time outstanding exponents of hotcha strains.
1941W.M.B. Nhlapo inD.B. Coplan,Urbanization of African Performing Arts. (1980) 334Everyone spoke of Tsaba Tsaba...Everybody sang it...Some dance bands played it; it had the spirit of Africa in it. Regardless of the torrents of scathing abuse, it swept the country...It (Tsaba) is an indispensable part of our musical and dance culture.
1972A.A. Mensah inJazzforschung/Jazz ResearchNo.3/4, 128A male and female danced towards each other, shaking the knees in what is sometimes described as a ‘rubber-legged’ style; pelvic movement was also emphasized in addition to footwork. Just before the couple made contact a shout of the word ‘Tsaba!’ was given and they danced backwards to their starting points.
1980D.B. CoplanUrbanization of African Performing Arts. 334The literate professionals who specialized in American swing generally considered themselves both socially and culturally superior to the tsaba-tsaba audience.
1980D.B. CoplanUrbanization of African Performing Arts. 335In 1947, August Musurugwa composed his classic tsaba dance tune, Skokiaan...It became an international success, topping the American Hit Parade in 1954.
1989Reader’s Digest Illust. Hist. of S. Afr. 416The jive of New York mixed with traditional African dance steps to produce the tsaba-tsaba, a wildly energetic dance that inspired local composers to create music to fit the whirling feet.
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