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Dancing with Cuba: A Memoir of the Revolutionby Alma Guillermoprieto
Synopses & Reviews
A vivid and mesmerizing memoir of the six months the author spent in Cuba in 1970, a time when she began to develop her own fervent political conscience.
Alma Guillermoprieto—an award–winning journalist and arguably our most clear-eyed observer of Latin America—now turns her keen powers of observation onto her own, younger self. In this richly evocative chronicle, Guillermoprieto describes the remarkable, transforming journey she made as a twenty-year-old, when her love of dance—which had led her from her native Mexico to the New York dance studios of Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham, and Twyla Tharp—took her to a job teaching poorly trained but ardent dance students in Cuba. At first unaffected by the revolutionary spirit and the adoration of Castro that pervaded the island, Guillermoprieto slowly fell under the spell of the idealism that buoyed the often destitute lives of the Cuban people. And as she opened herself to what became a complex, galvanizing revolutionary experience, she found, as well, the ideas and ideals that would shape her thinking for the rest of her life.
Beautifully written and deeply felt, Dancing with Cuba is a revelatory account of the making of an impassioned political heart and mind.
From the Hardcover edition.
Alma Guillermoprieto writes frequently for The New Yorker (where the first chapter of this book appeared in 2002) and The New York Review of Books. She is the
Traces the six-month period spent by the author in 1970 Cuba, a time during which she worked as a dance instructor, came to understand the idealism of the Castro-adoring locals, and formed the belief system that was to set the tone for her career as an award-winning journalist. Reprint. 15,000 first printing.
In 1970 a young dancer named Alma Guillermoprieto left New York to take a job teaching at Cuba’s National School of Dance. For six months, she worked in mirrorless studios (it was considered more revolutionary); her poorly trained but ardent students worked without them but dreamt of greatness. Yet in the midst of chronic shortages and revolutionary upheaval, Guillermoprieto found in Cuba a people whose sense of purpose touched her forever.
In this electrifying memoir, Guillermoprieto–now an award-winning journalist and arguably one of our finest writers on Latin America– resurrects a time when dancers and revolutionaries seemed to occupy the same historical stage and even a floor exercise could be a profoundly political act. Exuberant and elegiac, tender and unsparing, Dancing with Cuba is a triumph of memory and feeling.
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