Dancing with Cuba by Alma Guillermoprieto
A Memoir of the Revolution

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In 1970 a young dancer named Alma Guillermoprieto left New York to take a job teaching at Cuba’s National School of Dance. For six months, she worked in mirrorless studios (it was considered more revolutionary); her poorly trained but ardent students worked without them but dreamt of greatness. Yet in the midst of chronic shortages and revolutionary upheaval, Guillermoprieto found in Cuba a people whose sense of purpose touched her forever.

In this electrifying memoir, Guillermoprieto–now an award-winning journalist and arguably one of our finest writers on Latin America– resurrects a time when dancers and revolutionaries seemed to occupy the same historical stage and even a floor exercise could be a profoundly political act. Exuberant and elegiac, tender and unsparing, Dancing with Cuba is a triumph of memory and feeling.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Alma Guillermoprieto

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Alma Guillermoprieto writes frequently for The New Yorker (where the first chapter of this book appeared in 2002) and the New York Review of Books. She is the author of Looking for History, The Heart That Bleeds, and Samba, and she was named a MacArthur Fellow in 1995. Raised in Mexico and the United States, she now makes her home in Mexico City.
Published December 18, 2007 by Vintage. 306 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Humor & Entertainment, Travel. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Dancing with Cuba

Kirkus Reviews

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Day by day I simply lost the logic of things and their pleasure.” Like many others, the author was seduced by the infectious decency of the revolution, admiring its attempt to (in the words of a Cuban friend) “transform this Yankee whorehouse into a real country.” Yet Guillermoprieto deplored the...

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The New York Times

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In 1970, Alma Guillermoprieto, then a young dancer, taught her art in Cuba, and it changed her life.

Feb 29 2004 | Read Full Review of Dancing with Cuba: A Memoir o...

Publishers Weekly

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It informs her political analysis as she looks back to the failure of the Ten Million Ton Harvest: "any dancer could have told Fidel that the movements of the dance of [harvesting sugarcane]...

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USA Today

No wonder when Castro announces that the sugar cane harvest is a failure, Guillermoprieto, now infected with revolutionary fever, is smitten by "the sonorous undulation of his words and his expression of pain."By the end of the book, however, and from the wiser perspective of middle age, Guillerm...

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Bookmarks Magazine

Lyons Chicago Tribune 1.5 of 5 Stars "Unfortunately, at the time she writes of, Guillermoprieto knew nothing of Cuba, the world, or herself, and the mature writer is allowed no voice in this distressingly adolescent book.

Oct 25 2009 | Read Full Review of Dancing with Cuba: A Memoir o...

Project MUSE

Alma Guillermoprieto's memoir opens with an insider's look at the New York City dance world, followed by an outsider's examination of Cuba—the Cuba in which she lived for six months as a modern dance teacher in 1970—and concludes with a Latin American's critical reflections on the dream of revolu...

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