Jiva — Netflix’s highly anticipated fifth original series out of Africa — is almost here. Announced for the first time earlier in 2021, Jiva is a dance drama that follows the life of an ambitious but frustrated street dancer named Ntombi (Noxolo Dlamini), who is torn between staying at a dead-end job to financially support her family and leaving for the bright lights of show business via a street dance competition.
Choreographed by Bontle Modiselle and Tom London, Jiva will feature a wide range of African dance styles, as a way of paying homage to the continent’s rich and vibrant dance culture. Here’s a list of dances you should expect to see on the show.
Pantsula is a quick-stepping and low-to-the-ground, high energy dance that originated in South Africa. It’s a traditional dance that was created during the apartheid era as commentary on social issues and has evolved along with the country’s political ideologies.
Jiva’s main character, Ntombi, forms a dance crew named The Trollies and enters a street dancing competition. Everyone knows that street dancing incorporates a lot of hip-hop so expect to see a lot of hip-hop moves on the show.
Amapiano is a dance that emerged in South Africa along with the style of house music of the same name in 2012. The dance — and style of music — gained renewed popularity across Africa in 2020 as digital streaming helped spread Amapiano songs across the continent.
The show’s creators were serious about honouring Pan-African dance styles. The dance style, which originated in Nigeria and is performed by crossing your arms in front of each other at the wrist, widening your legs slightly, and launching into a graceful half-gallop, is also rocked on the show.
Jiva is set to premiere on Neflix this Thursday (June 24), and you can catch more dance moves.
When Bernard Dayo isn’t writing about pop culture, he’s watching horror movies and reading comics and trying to pretend his addiction to Netflix isn’t a serious condition.