Cuba Havana, a dance club in Havana, the Tropical

23 octobre 1993
06m 49s
Ref. 00505


Summary :

In this programme devoted to Cuban music, Joël Pierre Dupuis speaks about two famous public establishments in Havana where people come to dance salsa: The "Castillito" and "Tropical".

Media type :
Broadcast date :
23 octobre 1993
Themes :


When it comes to Salsa, there is a great paradox: in the minds of any novice, this music is spontaneously identified with Cuba, even though, since its emergence during the late 1960s in New York’s Puerto Rican districts, it spent the first twenty-five years of its existence developing completely separate of Cuba.
Fabrice Hatem


Where can you really dance in Havana, Joel-Pierre?
Well, you can really dance in the clubs of major hotels when you have dollars, otherwise, people dance in public places designed for the purpose- at least they are quite cheap. There are two places, especially, that are absolutely heavenly. Firstly, el Castillito, which belongs to the Communist Youth Union, is a good place for dancing, which is located on the Malecòn, i.e. on the coast. And there is another place that is just absolutely fabulous, which is open from Thursday to Sunday, called Tropical. It used to be a brewery, it can sometimes get unbearably hot. There you see what it really means to 'mover el pudin', when your hips are just dead afterwards.
There are two major genres which actually correspond to two influences, to two Cuban sources, an African source, and a European source via Haiti. There are above all some very, very good musicians, so there are a lot of very good salsa players. Two groups are currently at the top of the list, there is NG La Banda, the new generation, and then there is Van Van, which is very in vogue at the moment, they are the two leading groups of salsa musicians, and they are fantastic.
The contribution made by such groups as NG la Banda and Van Van was to introduce completely modern elements of musical culture into a completely renewed salsa beat.