Radio26.Cu – Matanzas, Cuba


The Santanas’s Brothers, the great Cubadanzon2013 Prize

Gloria Machado León 27 noviembre, 2013

the Santana´s brothers agree to takie a picture with th local press. On the photo they are with Jenny Hernandez in the midlle, who was the author of the work.

The Velasco cinema-theater, from the city of Matanzas was filled to the brim, which is unusual in an era marked by equipments and digital devises.

Elderly people entirely dressed up were coming into, and from time to time a young face would turn up. Thus, commenced the Sonora Lira Matancera and the contestant couples of the Cubadanzon2013 International Festival started their paces on the board, without forgetting the use of the fan or the protocol of the stops or the typical danzón steps; now that has been declared heritage of the Cuban nation.

Behind the stage were the assistants, that somehow they were the jury as well, not only because of their acquired knowledge through the years as danzon dancers, but also because sometimes in their lives they hoped for the same category among their generation.

Though these assistants are always observing, the actual jury is located in the center of the cinema-theater, who are going to give the specialized and defining evaluation.

While listening some comments and watching people dancing danzon I dreamt of how much would I love to find this hall full of young people willing to die for this genre?

I dream and that’s not enough. I wonder, I seek in every face for acceptance, but everybody is somehow part of the jury. They observe thoroughly looking for the details that limit the competitor score.

However, someone listens to me and says: shut up! A young couple is coming. Then, the youngest duet I’ve seen in the last Cubadanzón contests comes to the stage, the duet number 14.

Just like the rest of the competitors they got the rhythm perfectly, they greeted with a bow; they made the customary pauses and the shy gesture with the fan, just like my grandparents probably flirted.

When the qualifying round finished I ran outside to meet them and I asked them for some words and they accepted. They are called the Santana brothers. She is Lourdes of 16 years old and he is Dayran of 18 years old. They represent Limonar municipality. They are here because they won their local competitions.

She smiles and says she has been participating with his brother for almost three years. She wants to represent it exactly as it is but that’s a little bit complicated. Their main interest is to make it closer to their age and above all to the essence of the Cuban culture.

On the other hand, Dayran emphasizes on the real creators of this idea: Hugo Martinez and Teresita Valera, both devoted to teach a group of young people to dance and learn about the Cuban national dance.

Just like Lourdes and Dayran they were also competitors and won twice the competition; in 1996 and 1998.

Now, in Los Hermanos Faílde’s club from Limonar, the conquer preferences among the younger people, despite the musical trends of modern times.

Meanwhile, other competition’s days still remain and with almost no time in my favor, I ask the brothers what projects are coming after the Cubadanzón, “carry on dancing”, they replay just before agreeing to take a photo for my profile in Facebook.

Next day, in the middle of the news, I understood how imperative was telling my danzon story as soon as possible just when Lourdes and Dayran were granted the Great Cubadanzón2013 Prize.

Nevertheless, I confess, I still dream about that Velasco cinema-theater full, crammed… of young people willing to die for the genre.


Original Text by Jenny Hernández on November 27th, 2013

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