An ethnography of music and dance exploring the economic, social, and ideological constraints under which social classes and racial groups interact
Rebel Dance, Renegade Stance shows how community music-makers and dancers take in all that is around them socially and globally, and publicly and bodily unfold their memories, sentiments, and raw responses within open spaces designated or commandeered for local popular dance. Umi Vaughan, an African American anthropologist, musician, dancer, and photographer "plantao" in Cuba—planted, living like a Cuban—reveals a rarely discussed perspective on contemporary Cuban society during the 1990s, the peak decade of timba, and beyond, as the Cuban leadership transferred from Fidel Castro to his brother. Simultaneously, the book reveals popular dance music in the context of a young and astutely educated Cuban generation of fierce and creative performers.
By looking at the experiences of black Cubans and exploring the notion of "Afro Cuba," Rebel Dance, Renegade Stance explains timba's evolution and achieved significance in the larger context of Cuban culture. Vaughan discusses a maroon aesthetic extended beyond the colonial era to the context of contemporary society; describes the dance spaces of Cuba; and examines the performance of identity and desire through the character of the "especulador." This book will find an audience with musicians, anthropologists, ethnomusicologists, interdisciplinary specialists in performance studies, cultural studies, and Latin American and Caribbean studies, as well as laypeople who are interested in Atlantic/African and African American/Africana studies and/or Cuban culture.
Umi Vaughan is an artist and anthropologist who explores dance, creates photographs and performances, and publishes about African Diaspora culture. He is Associate Professor of Africana Studies at California State University, Monterey Bay, and author of Carlos Aldama's Life in Batá: Cuba, Diaspora, and the Drum. To learn more visit UmiArt.com.
"Tracing the roots of timba musically, socially, and historically, Vaughan has created a fascinating study of present-day Cuba that will be of value to those interested in not only ethnomusicology but also anthropology, sociology, Caribbean studies, and Cuban culture in general."- L.E.Shaw
—L.E. Shaw, Choice