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Imagining CUTUMBA<14/14>

The Ballet Folkórico Cutumba is one of Cuba's oldest and most highly respected folkloric dance companies. Cutumba's progenitor, the Grupo Folkórico del Oriente, was founded in the year of the Revolution, 1959, and embodied the new mission of culture in the new Cuba: to preserve and celebrate the people's culture. Cutumba is based in the provincial capital city of Santiago de Cuba. Its repertoire specializes in traditions unique to the Oriente. Salzmann's photographs of the Ballet Folkórico Cutumba, Imagining Cutumba, give a unique, highly individual window into life in late-Socialist Cuba. His rich, smoky images are fantasies of light and movement that do not immediately locate themselves on an imagined, sunny Caribbean island that is already the tantalizing subject of so many American fantasies. Salzmann beckons us to a fresh encounter with Cuban culture. These photographs are also ethnographic, although not in the usual way and not on the surface. In presenting an exotic subject, the collection necessarily raises questions about representing Otherness.


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