Los Carpinteros

(Marco Castillo/Dagoberto Rodríguez)

Conga irreversible (Irreversible conga), 2012


XI Havana Biennial

Music by Yosvany Terry

Choreography by Isaías Rojas

Costume design by Abraham García

The conga is a genre that mixes song and dance, and it’s performed at the carnivals in Cuba. The origin of the conga goes back to the festivities of the black slaves during the island Spaniard domination period. In this case, the notorious art collective Los Carpinteros choose the famous Paseo del Prado in Old Havana, a place where the carnivals used to take part back in time.  The key note in this public intervention consists in the fact that the dancers were all dressed in black, respecting the traditional design, and they danced in reverse. 

With Conga irreversible (Irreversible conga) Los Carpinteros proposed a backward conga. It was a festive gesture full of drama when people were involved dancing and singing but at the same time because of the black color of the costume, it seemed a funeral ceremony.