There is a city filled with colonial history, a clear, intensely Catholic city if you look at its urban and multicultural projection. The former village of Santa María del Puerto del Príncipe, today Camagüey, has half a millennium of legends and traditions, some of which are seen at a picturesque festival that for the last six years takes place on its land: the Feast of Tinajón.
Adalberto Álvarez, recognized musician and an a renovator of the genre on the island, brought the idea and a group of managers of cultural and governmental sectors as well as creators born in these lands joined it and shaped an event that stands as Camagüey art showcase.
Always near the date of awarding of the title of City, by the Spanish King Ferdinand VII on November 12, 197 years ago, the Feast of Tinajón shows a cultural digest in just five days. In several areas of the town the results of the movement of amateur artists, arts education, young designers and avant-garde of the province are perceived.
Since last Wednesday visitors and city dwellers can enjoy that dance tradition cultivated by a number of Haitian descents, settled in this area of the country and find a way of expression in groups like Desandann. Others, closer to the legacy of the black continent, also impress with their sound and dance, as with the Ballet Folklorico, the Camagua Folkloric Company and Rumbatá group.
But Camagüey is a mirror of multiculturalism, something that could be seen in the V edition of the Feast of Tinajón. A smooth development in this sector today can be felt through the Ballet Company of Camaguey, created by Fernando Alonso and Vicentina de la Torre; and has recognition beyond the borders of the island. In terms of concert music, several groups took over spaces like the Teatro Principal and major inner-city halls, including the Symphony Orchestra and the Camagüey Choir.
An intense cultural past, rooted in the literary work of Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda in the nineteenth century and the poet Nicolás Guillén in the previous century, was revered in these days.
For those who prefer to delve into research on the culture of the region, a theoretical program developed at the Santa Cecilia Convention Center, highlighted the studies of a group of specialists on Camagüey music. There stood papers that reveal the role of women in the local opera singing and piano, or the contribution of city native composers in the island´s musical spectrum.
And the dancers of the most genuine montuno rejoiced in Liberty Square (known as Plaza de La Caridad). The track was heated with the lilting rhythm of the Wonders of Florida, an emblematic band of the province. Then they all waited for the concert of Aragon and Adalberto Alvarez y su son, on Saturday night.
To close, Rafelito Lay and Aragon gave its music in the Main Theater, at which undoubtedly capped a space of confluence of artistic expression in a majestic city.
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