APOTHEOSIS WITH THE KING OF MAMBO
Since 2015 I have been passionate about the personality and work of Dámaso Pablo de Jesús Pérez Prado, born on December 11, 1917 in the city of Matanzas, Cuba.
My first encounter with this important figure was at preparing the book Mambo, que rico é, é, that Ediciones Matanzas commissioned to Yanira Marimón, which among other things revealed the certification that authenticates his date of birth. Then I found out as a dramatist that he was an exciting character. I wrote, after reading dissimilar and contradictory documents, the text for the play Yo soy el rey del mambo, to be premiered by the Independent Company Conjuro Teatro, directed by Dana Stella Aguilar, and started organizing at the Casa de la Memoria Escénica the colloquium for his centenary.
During December 8, 9 and 10, the dates for the premiere in the Papalote theater hall in Matanzas and also for the International Colloquium for the Centenary, ten researchers arrived from Cuba, Mexico and Colombia to discuss about his contributions.
Iván Restrepo, his personal friend, donated fifteen of his films, music and other valuable documents to the Casa de la Memoria. Pavel Granados, from the Fonoteca de México, encouraged the enrichment of Pérez Prado`s funds and the opening of another dedicated to Agustín Lara. Colombian Sergio Santana, with his thorough book Pérez Prado: ¡qué rico mambo! granted us more music and authentic records. Leopoldo Gaytán, from Cineteca de México, revealed in his research Perez Prado's relationship with the cinema.
Cuban researchers such as Radamés Giro, Rosa Marquetti, Rafael Lam, Juan Francisco González and Vivian Martínez Tabares presented disturbing texts. Documentary films by directors Gloria Torres and Ana Valdés Portillo provided two different looks.
When the colloquy seemed to be over, Pérez Prado was brought to life by the visceral performance of Mexican actor Gerardo Trejoluna with the presentations of Yo soy el rey del mambo in Cienfuegos, Sancti Spíritus and Havana, with the support of the Consejos Nacional y Provincial de las Artes Escénicas (National and Provincial Boards of Performing Arts) and Matanzas Uneac (Union of Cuban Writers and Artists.)