Cuba: Festival Revives Oldest Couples Dance

(Prensa Latina – Cumbancha – Insider Music) Havana, Cuba- The Danzón, Cuba’s national dance, will greet musicians and dancers from March 25 through 28, in the Cuban capital. One hundred and twenty-five years after Miguel Failde composed the first Danzón song, Las Alturas de Simpson, an international dance competition and a forum will take place in Havana. The Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba music department president José Loyola announced the festival, adding that it will have several venues in Havana to organize balls and tributes in the places where great Danzón was born. The event will pay tribute to Antonio Maria Romeu, Raimundo Valenzuela, Jose Urfe, Enrique Jorrín, Felix Reina and Barbarito Diez. Havana revived Danzón, created in Matanzas from European “contredanse” that arrived in Cuba in late 18th century, and is a collective couple’s dance. Slower, more rhythmic and varied than contredanse or danza, Danzón, not as widely known as bolero, mambo or cha-cha-cha, crossed national borders and took hold in Mexico, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and the US. The dance genre emerged in 1879, and one of its unforgettable representatives was singer Barbarito Diez.