Saturday, February 24, 2007

Berta Jottar's "Los Rumbos de la Rumba"

Video Artist and Assistant Professor of Theatre and Latina/o Studies at Williams College Berta Jottar has developed an interactive website about rumba "as a cartography of the Diaspora." The site proposes to explore rumba not only in Cuba but as it has taken shape around the world, and to do so in a way that mimics the spontaneity and liveliness of rumba itself. (Berta's doctoral thesis, "Rumba in Exile: Irrational Noise, Zero Tolerance & the Poetics of Resistance in Central Park" [NYU 2005] focuses on the "Special Period" in Cuba and its effects on the rumba in Central Park.)

Besides some nice video clips of Chavalonga, Fariñas and Juan de Dios, there are also plenty of clips from New York's Central Park featuring Manuel "El Llanero" Martínez and "El Tao la Onda," and a photo essay on Central Park's rumba (see above).

And if you've ever wanted to see if you could hang in a rumba featuring Pedrito Martínez and Roman Diaz, Berta has developed an interactive feature which lets you do just that:

So take a visit and have fun.


bongos not bombs said...

Is there somewhere or somehow I can read or get a copy of Berta Jottar's dissertation?

Barry said...

I don't think it is finished yet (you know how dissertations are :) ). But on the Rumbos page there is a link called opinions with her email address, drop her a line.