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Santiago bids farewell to rumba

santiago rumbsYesterday the Rumba Trail arrived from Guan tánamo to the historic city of Santiago de Cuba where the cultural activity, which began in Pinar del Río continuing through to the eastern region of the island, concluded. La Casa del Caribe played host to the initiative with activities associated with the Tim ba laye Rumba Festival, a project led by dancers and teachers Ulises Mora and Irma Castillo, taking place on its grounds.

The delegation was received by Orlando Vergés, director of the institution, in addition to other members of staff, and later participated in a folklore dance class led by experts in the discipline from the Casa del Caribe.

At one point, Vergés noted the unique characteristics of Santiago rumba, describing it as more rhythmic and flexible than others, given the genre’s arrival in the region, at the end of the 20th century, where it acquired unique elements influenced by the conditions of the time, such as the presence of a vast French-Haitian-Cuban community, which gives it its singularity.

In the afternoon residents responded to the call made by the drums of rumba groups Aché and Kokoyé, the latter – an experimental initiative founded in the institution – is considered to be the most interesting rumba project in the city.
With the Rumba Trail making its final stop in Santiago, the 10 day cultural tour – part of the Timbalaye Festival – around various points across the island to promote the genre with performances from different groups taking place in non-traditional spaces, came to an end.

The follow-up to the festival will take place shortly in Havana, with performances by folklore groups from across the country, while the trail itself constitutes irrefutable proof of the value of rumba and its many qualities which could see it make UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list.


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