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Salsa World

A Global Dance in Local Contexts

Sydney Hutchinson

Publication Year: 2015

Since its emergence in the 1960s, salsa has transformed from a symbol of Nuyorican pride into an emblem of pan-Latinism and finally a form of global popular culture. While Latinos all over the world have developed and even exported their own “dance accents,” local dance scenes have arisen in increasingly far-flung locations, each with their own flavor and unique features.

Salsa World
examines the ways in which bodies relate to culture in specific places. The contributors, a notable group of scholars and practitioners, analyze dance practices in the U.S., Japan, Spain, France, Colombia, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. Writing from the disciplines of ethnomusicology, anthropology, sociology, and performance studies, the contributors explore salsa’s kinetopias - places defined by movement, or vice versa- as they have arisen through the dance’s interaction with local histories, identities, and musical forms.
Taken together, the essays in this book examine contemporary salsa dancing in all its complexity, taking special note of how it is localized and how issues of geography, race and ethnicity, and identity interact with the global salsa industry.

Contributors include Bárbara Balbuena Gutiérrez, Katherine Borland, Joanna Bosse, Rossy Díaz, Saúl Escalona, Kengo Iwanaga, Isabel Llano, Jonathan S. Marion, Priscilla Renta, Alejandro Ulloa Sanmiguel, and the editor.

In the series Studies in Latin American and Caribbean Music, edited by Peter Manuel

Published by: Temple University Press


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

During the preparation of this book, i received support from the Alex-ander von humboldt Foundation in Germany, and i was hosted by the Department for ethnomusicology (also known as the Berlin Phono-gram Archive) of the ethnological Museum in Berlin. i am grateful to the foun-dation and to my colleagues at the museum for their support; to my husband, Maurice Mengel, for his; and to my dance teachers and partners, past, present, and future. in this capacity, particular thanks go to Angel Rodr?guez, Addie ...

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1. Dancing in Place: An Introduction - Sydney Hutchinson

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pp. 1-25

I began dancing salsa as a teenager in Tucson, Arizona. My formal training consisted of a single dance lesson in a nightclub, which was soon shut down (perhaps my age?only sixteen at the time?had something to do with the closure). More important for my early salsa learning was the simple practice of spending many, many nights dancing with partners from all over the globe, not only in Tucson but also wherever I traveled, and sometimes taking opportuni-ties to learn in a more structured way from especially skilled friends or from ...

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2 What’s in a Number? : From Local Nostalgia to Global Marketability in New York’s On-2 Salsa - Sydney Hutchinson

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pp. 26-45

The development of salsa music in New York has been intimately tied to dance practice from the very beginning. ?Without a dance the music cannot be popular,? Tito Puente asserted of mambo, salsa?s precursor (Feuerstein, n.d.). Yet this dance is not singular but multiple. Alongside informal social dancing in nightclubs and family settings, New York dancers have devel-oped a performance-oriented salsa with ties to ballroom dance, jazz, Broadway, and twentieth-century social dances. Many of these dancers prefer to call their ...

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3. From Hip-Hop and Hustle to Mambo and Salsa: New Jersey’s Eclectic Salsa Dance Revival - Katherine Borland

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pp. 46-63

I think one of the things that makes us really unique is that connection that we have to New York. . . . And you know, we?ve been able to draw on that influence and really . . . make a name for what [New] Jersey is doing I say the trick is to recognize New York?s influence without getting en-We all have to be realistic and understand that New Jersey will always ...

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4. Contextualizing Content and Conduct in the L.A. Salsa Scene - Jonathan S. Marion

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pp. 64-79

Although it is largely in jest that I occasionally refer to salsa as ?my other religion,? Robert Redfield?s (1956) distinction between a religion?s ?Great Tradition? versus its ?Little Tradition??the official version of a major world religion versus its local iteration?provides a useful lens for view-ing salsa. Just as a religion?s shared underlying belief system and structure allow for broad participation, so too with salsa?s relatively common underlying struc-ture of music and movement. But as a religion?s canonical beliefs and practices ...

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5. Small-Town Cosmopolitans: Salsa Dance in Rural America - Joanna Bosse

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pp. 80-97

It?s close to 4:00 a.m., and we?re halfway home from a night of salsa dancing at Inta?s in Chicago, riding along southbound I-57. Everyone is sacked out in the back, except Rick,1 who keeps me company while I drive. My willingness to serve as designated driver is one of the ways I have ingratiated myself with this group of dancers. Rick is talking of his family, his Cuban father and white American ...

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6. Dancing Salsa in Cuba: Another Look - Bárbara Balbuena Gutiérrez (Translated by Sydney Hutchinson)

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pp. 98-116

Casino, known internationally as the Cuban style of salsa, is a popular, tra?ditional social or ballroom dance. It emerged in the late 1950s through?the evolution and integration of Cuban and other nationalities? music?dance genres. I describe it as popular not only because it was created by the people for their own enjoyment but also because it has maintained its popularity over four generations of dancers. Because durability of cultural manifestations is one of the principal traits defining tradition, casino may be categorized as tradi?...

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7. The Global Commercialization of Salsa Dancing and Sabor (Puerto Rico) - Priscilla Renta

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pp. 117-139

Western ideals of beauty, elegance, and grace influence competitive salsa dancing and ballroom dancing and have had significant im-pact on the globalization of salsa dancing and sabor, flavor, and the related concept of sentimiento, feeling. World salsa dance competition rules and regulations, for instance, often mirror globalization?s centralization of power1 and tendency toward homogenization, thus suppressing sabor, cultural creativ-Three world salsa championships serve as regulating bodies for competitive ...

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8. Identity Is Also Danced (Cali, Colombia) - Alejandro Ulloa Sanmiguel (Translated by Sydney Hutchinson)

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pp. 140-156

Iconsider identity to be a story constructed by a social actor about that actor to differentiate him- or herself from others. Participants in a construction may include ?different historical actors, like schools, governments, intellectuals, [and] cultural researchers,? or mass media (Melo 2006: 87). Once the story is defined, community members latch onto it to identify themselves inside and outside the community as having particular characteristics and as being linked The narrative about identity that is constructed presents certain arbitrary ...

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9. Dancing Salsa in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: A First Look - Rossy Díaz (Translated by Sydney Hutchinson)

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pp. 157-172

Music and dance are inherent features of Dominican culture, and the culture identifies people according to their favorite music-dance genre. This association of music with dance is such that being a merenguero, sonero, or salsero is a synonym for ?dancer? even more than for ?musician? (of In the Dominican Republic, the passion for dance is an enduring facet. It is not delimited by geographic or temporal styles and takes precedence over so-ciopolitical or cultural topics related to the music, so that Caribbean and other ...

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10. Allons à la Fête—On Danse Salsa: New Routes for Salsa in France - Saúl Escalona (Translated by Sydney Hutchinson)

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pp. 173-181

Drawing from Patria Rom?n-Vel?zquez?s (1998) work about the devel-opment of a salsa circuit and the construction of Latino identities in London, in this chapter I analyze the salsa movement in Paris.1 Rom?n-Vel?zquez, using the notion of route, examines salsa in London by describ-ing where it came from?and thus how it spread. She asserts that salsa, as an amalgam of rhythms and practices, is articulated differently in different cul-tures. If this is true in the Caribbean, which includes Cuba, Colombia, Pan-...

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11. Salsa in Barcelona and Spain - Isabel Llano (Translated by Sydney Hutchinson)

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pp. 182-199

The dissemination of salsa music in Spain began in the 1970s with the Fania record label?s promotion of various singers; in the 1980s the popu-larization of musicians and groups began through radio, live concerts, and local groups that played current hits. In the 1990s discotheques playing salsa multiplied, and the teaching and learning of salsa dance began. This growth, together with the growth of the Latin American?origin population since 2000, has led to the emergence of Latin dance schools and teachers in ...

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12. Diffusion and Change in Salsa Dance Styles in Japan - Kengo Iwanaga

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pp. 200-212

Salsa dancing is now performed in daily life around the world, whenever salsa music is heard. This form of everyday salsa dance, often called ?street salsa,? is distinguished from the stylized type of dance discussed later. Sheenagh Pietrobruno argues, ?Since many people who grew up dancing to salsa music started as children, they have acquired their dance tradition through numerous years of experience and practice? (2006: 117). Thus, it follows that it is impossible for people living in a cultural context in which street salsa danc-...


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pp. 213-216


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pp. 217-229

E-ISBN-13: 9781439910085
E-ISBN-10: 1439910081
Print-ISBN-13: 9781439910078
Print-ISBN-10: 1439910073

Page Count: 232
Publication Year: 2015