February 16 2017
Internationalism, “exporting” Cuban Dance, innovation and censorship.
I have discovered more information on how during the 1960’s and the following years of Castro’s regime despite economic crisis and political struggle dance served as a tool for diplomacy to deploy the Cuban identity into other Caribbean/Latin American countries- notably Jamaica, Belize and Grenada.
This initiative was taken mostly by Eduardo Rivero (dancer and choreographer) who was concerned with a more “Caribbean identity.”
“dance as diplomacy”
Dance can share histories and allows for new cultural dialogues which shape new cultural identities. Although I continue to see an identity as a “constraint” I believe in the case of dance and artistic expression it is progressive however still inescapable. There always is an identity.
I also have read more about the “outliers” in Castro regime in regards to dance- specific events where dances were forbidden as they were too “liberal” or “sexual”.
“I don’t do it the same, because our body is not the same…like Americans…not even black Americans are like us. Remember, we are Carribbean…and very warm…and our muscles are very…(gestures with both hands and wrists)…elastic.”
la tecnica cubana did draw on the very day work of the Cubano-
rumba was the physical expression in response to the constraint of the slave-
Both instances, the response to the constraint found itself in dance.
The performative gestures are transformed into dance- various identities are established= dance as resistance to the constraint= the singular/imposed identity.
It is when dance/artistic expression exists in political/cultural systems it unfolds more quickly or forcefully, requires resistance.
Suite Yoruba – one of the most important dance in the 1960’s for contemporary dance in Cuba, draws heavily on African narratives fused with contemporary styles of dance.
“A turning point in the process of defining national identity was reached with Suite Yoruba, choreographed by Ramiro Guerra in 1960. Combining detailed research into the dance language of the Orishas, as practiced in Santeria, and by re-presenting these in a dynamic stage setting, the aesthetics and energy of Afro-Cuban religion were conveyed as both mythic and universal. Suite Yoruba deepened the understanding of Afro-CUban folklore and ritual (neither costumbrista, nor touristic pastiche) and contributed to a recognition of the value of the African imprint on Cuban culture and identity.”
“Exporting the Cuban Model: internationalism, dance, and the work of Eduardo Rivero Walker, 1979-2102. Elizabeth J. Rose, 2013
MA in Caribbean and Latin American Studies, University of College London.
Foundation Ludwig video archive
(unfortunately I cannot screenshot the videos).
contemporary dance footage, video footage from 1960’s (Suite Yoruba, La Historia de Ballet, very interesting documentary that took me a second time to question it as propaganda, ritual Yoruban dancing.
Video archive has helped me sketch out and reference styles of video for the video of me dancing.
I decided the video will be an edit of one of my classes learning the cuban technique- directed by me filmed by friend.