Steps go by the rhythm of the clave. That’s the real mystery of Cuban music. Some people say dancers no longer use it as a guide for dancing. But if they don’t, what keeps them moving when musical bands on the stage start saying: “Con las manos pal’ cielo, mi gente” (hands in the air, come on!!!)
The truth is that a continuous movement of hips and synchronized and colorful dance steps make his way through. I think the secret lies in the audience.
Composers nourish from their wisdom and their daily routines to give live to an essential rhythm in the national sonority. It was confirmed last Saturday by Adalberto Álvarez, Manolito Simonet and LaritzaBacallao on 7th and Doble Via, a frequent square in the municipality of Boyeros for the performances of orchestras and popular artists.
They demand that close and natural interaction with their followers, and Artex through the neighborhoods, a tour sponsored by that cultural entity on the occasion of its 25th anniversary, makes use of that knowledge and turned it into a tangible fact.
On the fourth stop of the tour, in Boyeros, and with the announcement that the next one will be at the Jose Marti Anti-imperialist Tribune to put an end to the summer, this has been a rightful step by Artex and the artists that are part of its broad musical catalogue, grouped in two representation agencies Musicalia and Clave Cubana.
The initiative began in April with three heavy weights of popular dancing music: Manolito Simonet, Elito Revé and Maykel Blanco,who toured the neighborhoods of a cosmopolite city in terms of sonorities. However, new colleagues have joined this project on every stop.
This time, OnCuba wanted to give voice to the audience. In brief exchanges with some dancers, all of them confessed that this kind of concerts “should be arranged more often”.
Mirelsis Hernández transmitted her nostalgia for concerts that used to be arranged in past decades. “I am a dancer not form the 90’s but from the 80’s. That’s why, I wonder: why should I not dance now? Such events should be retaken and so the youth would not be so bored. Boyeros enjoys celebrations and bands used to perform here a lot. That has been lost and I think it is time we take it back”, she assured.
Michel Tejeda, 29 years old, made an interesting observation: “Take notice of all the youth attending the concert”. I asked him if he considered son was out of fashion and he looks at me as if I come from another planet.
“Are you insane? No matter what genre is on fashion, we will always preserve our roots”, he answered, while he showed me a few steps at the rhythm of Ricardo Amaray with the song Tú me dijiste mentira, a classic by Manolito Simonet y su Trabuco which is still remembered by the audience.
Some people come to these activities to find out what used to be an ancient natural phenomenon. Edilmaris Cruz, 21, didn’t experience the boom of popular dancing music two decades ago. She brought all her family last Saturday. She wanted to listen to ¿Y qué tu quieres que te den?, by Adalberto Álvarez y su son; or Marcando la distancia, by Manolito Simonet y su Trabuco.
“None of that is out of fashion”, stated Edilmaris, who sings bolero, son and other authentic Cuban musical genres. “This is a great idea because thus we can keep on listening to our sonority and it brings the youngest closer to it”, she affirmed.
A statement by Laritza Bacallao that night put into orbit the vision of artists with this project. “We are encouraging maximum interest to this sonority. Son is very energetic. It is our origin. It is nice to share it with people so that they can appreciate it as well!”
Artex tour through the neighborhoods, though it has not received too much coverage by the media, is actually consolidating as a necessary and smart project. It shows that as long as institutions are willingresults will always be positive.