Cuban Musicians and Dancers Bring Authentic Rumba to Fairfax

Posted: October 17, 2001 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Michelle Nery

As part of Afro-Cuba week in the Washington, D.C., area, George Mason associate professor of dance Jim Lepore brings internationally renowned Cuban folkloric musicians and dancers to the university for an authentic Cuban rumba performance. Tomorrow, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Johnson Center Multipurpose Room, Idalberto Bandera and Odalys Arminan from the group Cutumba, and Reynaldo Gonzalez, a former member of Grupo Afrocuba de Mazanazas, will perform their striking renditions of rumba.

Lepore will open the program with an historical overview of the dance, detailing its ties to African traditions and the North American transformation of the dance into a ballroom craze in the 1930s.

Lepore took George Mason dance students to Santiago to study with Cutumba in the spring of 1999 and has taken a group every year since then.

For more than 30 years, Cutumba has presented the folkloric manifestations of Afro-Franco-Haitian-Cuban origin found primarily in Cuba’s eastern (Oriente) provinces. Grupo Afrocuba de Matanzas, founded in 1957, performs traditional African dance, percussion, and song and is widely recognized for their mastery of the full spectrum of Afro-Cuban folklore.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Lepore at x31115 or

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