Monday, April 13, 2009

Critical Review #6: Duany

In this historical account and then analysis of Puerto Rican Salsa, Duany argues that Puerto Rico's history was highly inluential int eh creation of the musical style. He argues that the interactions between Whites (originally from Spain), Amerindians and Africans and then the interactions between the mixes of these three original ethnic groups, plus then the interaction between Puerto Ricans living in the island with those living in the United States, led to the creation of Salsa. This can be seen by its influences from African folk Bomba, the Cuban Son, the Spanish Seis, the Mulatto Plena and the American Jazz. Duany argues that Salsa, although made to dance to, is also a tale of Puerto Rican everyday life and reality, a type of folk poetry. The Cocolos, the Puerto Rican youth who is most associated with Salsa, juxtaposed with the Rockeros, show the conflict between Puerto Ricans trying to keep in touch with their roots and yearning to assimilate a new culture.

Why do you think that some Puerto Rican youth decided to create a very obvious identity, that of the Cocolos, in order to keep in touch with their roots? Do you think this same goal could be achieved without adopting a way of looking? Where do you think this aesthetic (outmoded flowered shirts, polyester pants, tennis shoes, afro picks, huge radios) is inspired from? How do you think this shows their Puerto Rican or Salsa identities?

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