How ‘Coming 2 America’ Created Zamundan Dance Scenes That Measure Up to ‘Coming to America’
Coming to America fans returned to Zamunda in the comedy sequel Coming 2 America. Since the film returns to the fictional African kingdom, it’s able to spend more time on the customs established in the original movie. The flower bearers are still picking roses to drop pedals where the royals walk. Akeem (Eddie Murphy) and his daughters (KiKi Layne, Bella Murphy, Akiley Love) all train in bo staff fighting. And, there are a lot more Zamundan dance numbers.
[Spoiler alert: This Article contains spoilers for Coming 2 America.]
Coming 2 America supporting cast members Rotimi, Teyana Taylor and Luenell spoke at a press conference about the Zamunda traditions they brought to life. Coming 2 America is now streaming on Amazon Prime.
More Zamundan dance means more choreography in ‘Coming 2 America’
Rotimi plays Idi Izzi, General Izzi (Wesley Snipes)’s son. The General of Nextdooria hopes to marry his son off to one of Akeem’s daughters and presents Idi in Zamundan tradition. Rotimi worked with Coming 2 America choreographer Fatima Robinson on the dance.
“It was intimidating,” Rotimi said. “I’m not even going to front. No, it was cool, because it was a collaborative thing. We had to figure it out really, really quickly. So she had an idea. I had an idea. But she was like, ‘Ultimately, just do what you feel,’ and it just came together so perfectly. When you’re working with the best in anything, man, you can just feel that aura and feel the energy. So I was like, ‘Let me just trust what she’s saying,’ and it was really dope.”
Teyana Taylor had the next shot at a Zamunda dance
Once Akeem discovers his long lost son, Lavelle (Jermaine Fowler), General Izzi has another idea. His daughter, Bopoto (Taylor), makes another presentation to Lavelle. She woos him with a song in Coming 2 America.
“It definitely was a lot,” Taylor said. “The big performance was added on a little bit later. So it was just like when I heard I was doing it, I was like, ‘Okay, I’ve got way too many big shoes to fill.’ Now, I mean with that scene it’s also like re-enacting the original. So it was kind of like, ‘Damn. I’m going to do… Oh my God. This is too much. But I pulled through.”
The third Zamundan dance was the charm in ‘Coming 2 America’
Coming 2 America climaxes in a wedding just like the original did. This time, Randy Watson (Murphy) performs with Sexual Chocolate in Zamunda, and there’s more dancing. Luenell plays Lavelle’s relative, Livia, and she got in on the fun in the end.
Let me just say that there is not a Black actor, older, middle-aged, or younger in this town or any town that didn’t want to have just a little piece of this movie. That party at the end, of course, Randy Watson, my favorite, and all the other musical artists, it was like a big climax at the end that we all got to be together and dance around and stuff like that. Plus, mentioning Fatima, I have to just give a special shout of love out to her, because my daughter did get a chance to audition for her. Fatima is her idol. My daughter is a professional dancer. She got cast. So my daughter and I have been in our first motion picture together, and it’s this. It don’t get no better than that.Luenell, Coming 2 America press conference, 2/10/21