Danza [danza puertorriqueña]
- Mark E. Perry
A Puerto Rican dance that emerged in the mid-19th century and shared many traits with the Spanish contradanza and Cuban habanera. Traditionally it began with a short introduction, which allowed couples to parade the dance floor, and continued with repeated sections, each with distinct melodic themes. A popular couples’ dance, the danza spread from the city of Ponce to the rest of Puerto Rico, ultimately serving as an important symbol of national identity. Since 1952 the danza “La borinqueña” has served as the island’s official anthem.
After settling in Ponce, the European-oriented pianist Manuel Gregorio Tavárez cultivated the danza as piano music for the salon. His student Juan Morel Campos composed more than 300 danzas, and in doing so further developed it as a piano genre as well as one for larger ensembles. In San Juan, Braulio Dueño Colón tackled the danza in both its composition and discussion, composing for the concert stage stylized versions of the social dance that often betrayed the characteristic triplet figure of the ...