Arte por Excelencias - - Cuba -

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.)

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