Los Muñequitos de Matanzas

Posted on Apr 5, 2011

On Monday, April 4th, the San Francisco Bay Area was treated to an extraordinary spectacle of Afro-Cuban rumba by the renowned Cuban drum and dance troupe Los Muñequitos de Matanzas. The first stop of their U.S. tour, San Francisco’s Mission High School Auditorium was packed with a sold out crowd of 1500 people who were treated to two hours of authentic afro-cuban folklore. Los Muñequitos de Matanzas under the direction of dancer Diosdado Ramos dazzled the crowd with their dynamic presentation. Their 6 dancers dressed in bright red and yellow costumes took the crowd on a journey which showcased the rhythms and dance of various styles of rumba: the yambu, columbia and guaguanco. The male dancers showed off innovations of the modern day rumba such as tap dancing while the females added their fierce sensuous flavor to the show. The music provided by the five talented percussionists and five vocalists was soul stirring. Their dynamic performance transported me to the solares (courtyards) of Cuba where the rumba is played traditionally. Los Muñequitos also brought out a young boy that joined the troupe near the end of the performance. He danced at the encouragement of the dancers. He is part of the new generation of rumberos who will ensure that the rumba will be preserved for future generations. Big thanks to the SF International Arts Festival and all the Mission community folks who presented the show. KPFA co-sponsored this historic show.