Danzón: after Holy Week, what?

By Leonardo Rosen

Every year, the same thing happens with the end of Holy Week. The Mexican tourists go back to work and school in Mexico City and other places. The “snowbirds” return to their northern countries, now that it is warm enough up there. What happens to San Miguel? It dies. It goes through two and a half to three months of “Business is terrible.”

w/“El Danzón y Otros Ritmos Bailables con el Club de Danzón Mercerina”
Sun, Apr 14, 1-3pm & 5-7pm
Jardín Principal

What some other touristic cities do is present highly attractive events during what would otherwise be slow months. For example, the port of Veracruz presents the biggest national danzón event of the year at the beginning of May. It is very hot and humid, but the faithful, such as I, fill up the hotels and restaurants, and buy plenty of stuff. Toward the end of May, when it is even stickier, the bordering city of Boca del Río presents an international salsa festival that packs them in. No, I won’t give a whole list of Mexican cities that offer really terrific events in the so-called “down months.”

San Miguel should be offering some bigger, high-quality events in April, May and June. Otherwise, there are only expensive weddings, which benefit a very few big hotels, but not the town’s businesses in general. What can be done?

The Club de Danzón “Mercerina” performed in the Muestra Nacional del Danzón de Guanajuato 2013 (National Danzón Exhibition of Guanajuato 2013), February 22-24. Groups came from all over the country to perform their choreographies in costume before the public, and then they and others attended a gala dance. The same two very famous danzón orchestras played at two muestras and at the gala dance. This meant that some 45 groups performed and that some 1,500 people bought tickets to the dance. The finishing event was a free concert/dance in the Jardín de la Unión with the Symphonic Band of Guanajuato. The city of Guanajuato did very good business. The hotels and restaurants were full and people bought plenty of stuff.

In November of 2011, the Club “Mercerina” presented a low-cost, admission-free regional event with recorded music in connection with the Feria de la Lana y el Latón. More than 20 groups from all over the Bajío and as far away as México, DF performed, even though we were in direct competition with a national danzón event in San Juan del Río, Guanajuato, that very day. It was very successful. Because of the transition period between city governments, we couldn’t get the support to repeat it in 2012. How about the “Segunda Convivencia Regional del Danzón en San Miguel de Allende 2013?” This would be a good way to test the water to see if it would be possible to present a more elaborate national danzón event here. Our honorable municipal government has our proposals in writing.

What I’m saying has not only to do with the danzón. There are so many possibilities for fairs, festivals, expositions, etc. in music, dance, regional arts and crafts, regional gastronomy, and more. Of course, these would have to be very well advertised. San Miguel does not have to die after Holy Week!

Doing our part to keep it alive, we present “El Danzón y Otros Ritmos Bailables con el Club de Danzón Mercerina” on Sunday, April 14, in the Jardín Principal, 1-3pm and 5-7pm. Admission is free. We play your favorite Latin music for dancing and we present dance exhibitions by San MIguel’s best. For information, please call 152-6385 (Educación y Cultura) or 154-5840 (Leonardo Rosen). With your participation, we’ll reach our fifth anniversary in very few months. “Mi Vida Por Un Danzón” (“My LIfe For A Danzón”).

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