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How I Met the Danzón


By Leonardo Rosen

In my younger days, decades ago, I frequented the great Latin dance halls of New York City. Almost none of them exist now, but they are where I danced the standard repertoire of those times: mambo, chachachá, merengue, salsa, etc.

Danzón had disappeared and was considered a museum piece. Virtually no one knew how to dance it. However, every now and then, the orquestas charangas (Cuban-style orchestras with flute and violins) would play it. If we were lucky, an elderly Cuban couple would take the floor to dance it while the rest of us watched respectfully. I found that I liked it and bought danzón records. Later on, in one of my many visits to México City, I saw maestros dance the Mexican style of danzón with the famous orchestra, Acerina y su Danzonera. I cannot say why, but I knew that I was destined to learn, perform, and teach this elegant Cuban/Mexican dance tradition that is now 140 years old.

Many years later, I am still living this destiny with many good friends and colleagues all over this country.

The danzón is accessible to people of all ages. It is far easier to learn than, for example, the Argentine tango. In this spirit, we invite you to participate in our event, “El Danzón y Otros Ritmos Bailables con el Club de Danzón Mercerina.” The next one takes place on Sunday, March 3, in the Plaza Cívica, 4:30–7:30pm. The Orquesta Marimba “Tono 13” is there to play the danzón and all the other Latin dance rhythms. Admission is free.

For more information, call 121-1319 (Dirección de Cultura y Tradiciones) or 154-5840 (Leo, “El Brujo del Danzón). We are very grateful to San Miguel’s Dirección de Cultura y Tradiciones for its wonderful support of these events.

Please remember that you are the stars of this show. “Bururú, Barará, Viva San Miguel!”

Dance Event

“El Danzón y Otros Ritmos Bailables con el Club de Danzón Mercerina”

Orquesta Marimba “Tono 13”

Sun, Mar 3, 4:30–7:30pm

Plaza Cívica

Free admission


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