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Creolizing Contradance in the Caribbean


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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Contradance and Quadrille Culture in the Caribbean
2. Cuba: From Contradanza to Danzon
3. Puerto Rico: The Rise and Fall of the Danza as National Music
4. The Dominican Republic: Danza and the Contradanced Merengue
5. Creole Quadrilles of Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique, and St. Lucia
6. Haiti: Tracing the Steps of the Meringue and Contredanse
7. The English-Speaking Caribbean: Re-embodying the Colonial Ballroom
Contents of the Compact Disc

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How contradance and quadrille gave rise to merengue, danzon and other popular Creole dances

About the Author

Peter Manuel is Professor of Music at John Jay College and the CUNY Graduate Center. He is the author of six books and many articles on musics of India, the Caribbean, Spain, and elsewhere, including East Indian Music in the West Indies (Temple). He also plays sitar, jazz piano, and flamenco guitar.


"The European strain represented in the Caribbean by contradance and quadrille is fascinating as part of a growing scholarly recognition of the fundamental importance of that art to many cultures. The focus on dance in addition to music is timely, and the contributors--all very respected scholars-are authoritative, yet lucid. This is a very important book." Julian Gerstin, Keene State College "Creolizing Contradance in the Caribbean is...a major addition to the existing literature. The book's contributors explore the contradance and the related quadrille as the most prominent dance and music complex across the Caribbean during the nineteenth century and also trace their continuities and influences up to the present. In addition to serving as the book's editor, Peter Manuel provides a very useful introduction and an extensive chapter on Cuba... Ideally, the book will inspire further comparative investigations into the music and dance traditions of the nineteenth-century Caribbean and how they have shaped the deeply interconnected popular forms of the twentieth century and today." - Journal of Folklaw Research April 2010 "This text is a masterpiece from Temple's classic Music & Dance series... This is an excellent account of the contradance and the quadrille in the Caribbean. In so doing, the contributors also account for many other Caribbean dances and musics. Broadly speaking, the book is a rich and detailed case of creativity and creolisation that will appeal to anthropologists, ethnomusicologists and historians at the very least." - Social Anthropology/Anthropologie Sociale "[T]he book makes several contributions to the scholarship on Caribbean and, more generally, Latin American dance and music history. One such contribution is the balanced treatment of the musical and choreographic elements of contradance, which sets the volume apart from other musicological studies of Latin American dance genres in which themes pertaining to movement, choreography, and the body are treated tangentially... Also, by highlighting a genre rooted in Europe, this book broadens the range of the studies in Caribbean music and dance as represented in publications in English from recent decades... [T]he reason why this volume makes a distinctive contribution to the field of Caribbean music and dance studies is to a large extent related to its focus on the past... the volume successfully provides historical references, going back to the late eighteenth century, of features that still today characterize Caribbean culture." Dance Chronicles: Studies in Dance and the Related Arts, Volume 35, Number 3, 2012

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