From the Tropicana Club, Havanna, Cuba, New Year’s Eve 2009
Sad tales and an exuberant delight in dancing. Watch the full show: https://bit.ly/FiestaCubana-HavanaClub2009
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For most Cubans salsa is more than just a dance. It sums up the whole feeling of being alive and is a direct expression of joy and pride, an assertion of national sentiment. And could there be a more suitable stage for this life-affirming dance form than Havana’s legendary nightclub, Tropicana? Few cultural institutions have survived from the time of the Cuban Revolution, but this “Paradise Under the Stars”, which was founded in 1939, is one of those places where numerous musical trends have come together and retained their vitality right down to the present day. With its exotic plants, trees and waterfalls – all of them out of doors – Tropicana is more than a tourist attraction. Artists such as Xavier Cugat, Carmen Miranda and Josephine Baker have all appeared here on stage – a stage that is now divided into several different levels, some of them scaling the most dizzying heights.
On New Year’s Eve 2009 Tropicana celebrated its seventieth birthday with a colourful revue that also struck a note of gentle melancholy. The evening’s special guest was the seventy-nine-year-old Omara Portuondo, a face familiar to many as the only female singer in Wim Wenders’ film Buena Vista Social Club.