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Cuban music in China: from Asian to tropical movement

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Beijing, Aug 3 (Prensa Latina) Li Wen is a Chinese introvert young man devoted to his family and work, but when he listens to Cuban music he is transformed, energy invades him and he becomes Fido.

This is how the director of Mapa Salsero (Salsa Map), a cultural project that turned seven years and thanks to which hundreds of other Chinese people have learned about Cuba, described himself in statements to Prensa Latina.

“Cuba is my second homeland, I go there every year,” this dancer and choreographer, who has been committed to bringing his fellow citizens closer to Latin music over the last decade, commented.

Mapa Salsero, which also works as a dance academy, met huge challenges to survive in the last three years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It is big challenge for the promotion of the project, because everything done on the internet and we had to reinvent ourselves, but now that life is back to normal we have a lot of hopes about bringing our energy to more friends in the future,” he added.

About his trips to Cuba, he enthusiastically commented on his exchanges with professors from the Higher Art Institute (ISA) and Conjunto Folklórico Nacional, to whom he reiterated his admiration for the work they do.

Fido’s project transformed the life of Kitty Song, one of his students, who had a first casual approach to Cuban music.

“I was passing by a Western restaurant when I saw a group of friends dancing with so much passion and enthusiasm that I wanted to know what it was all about, then I discovered that I could also feel this and live life with more energy,” the young Chinese girl told Prensa Latina.

For Kitty, Mapa Salsero pave the way to her knowledge of Cuba, “A very attractive country, where no matter what happens, you don’t give up culture.”

Tang Wan Li, 61, on the other hand, already knew what the energy of dance could bring to life. “I’ve always liked dancing, but when I approached Cuban music I saw that it is more dynamic, so I started learning 10 years ago.”

Laogong, also in his 60s, told Prensa Latina that Cuban music has filled his life with pleasure and he began to learn it in 2005.

The Cuban Embassy in China also acknowledge the contribution of this cultural project to rapprochement between the two peoples and congratulated its director for the results in these first seven years.

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