Mauritius dance is called sega, which is both dance and song. Different instruments such as triangle, the maravane (which is a pebble-filled box making a rattling sound if it is shaken) and ravane (a wide and thin drum with goat skin as cover) accompany the singer that sings about life’s humorous side or about the love’s tribulations. These instruments only provide rhythm but no melody.
The Mauritius dance includes shuffling steps series, the arms are outstretched and the hips are swinging. You can see the dancers shuffling around each other and then they face each other and sit down on the dance floor, bend the torsos backward and forward, like in the courtship dance.
There are commercial performances in nightclubs and hotels where this suggestiveness and dance’s eroticism are accentuated. The Mauritius dance is very versatile, being played without instruments or with trumpet, drums and guitar set. On the beach, for this Mauritius dance are used some instruments like sticks, jerry-can, bottles with coins and so on, the noise being important.
Despite the fact that this dance is sensual, with torsos and hips involved, it is a family dance, too. You can see children dancing the Mauritius dance with grandparents at parties or weddings, and the friends dancing it at the village squares meetings. As you can see, this Mauritius dance is part of the island’s national identity.
If you want to know some things about its history, then you should know that the origins of sega are in Africa. It was brought on the island by the slaves during the colonial times. The Mauritius dance offered a relief form for the slaves who were working hard on the lands they were so cruelly taken from. First, the people of Mauritius saw the sega as a Creole dance and song.
In the Mauritius context, there were two meanings of the Creole word. First, it meant the Mauritians’ mother tongue-the Creole Patois. Then, it means the Mauritius black community. In our days, sega is the Mauritius dance and song loved by all the Mauritian communities. Now, if you get interested in this dance and you are curious about how it can be danced, here are some hints.
The man has to stay in the dancing place with his hands on hips while he waits for the woman to shuffle towards, balancing her hips, wiggling and waving a handkerchief (usually a colorful one) as invitation. Next, the two dancers face each other with shoulder and waist grasp. What comes next is all about improvisation.
Let yourself just go but be careful not to hurt your partner by stepping on her feet. If you hear ‘Down, Down!’ (En bas, en bas!), you have to bend the knees and lower the body easily downwards while you sway the hips to the music’s rhythm.
The women are not advised to wear short skirts but a blouse and a full-length skirt, colorful if it’s possible. For men, the formal wear is not recommended but the open-neck shirt.