Danzón Days

Age, Race, and Romance in Mexico
Author: Hettie Malcomson
An ethnography of danzón history and practice in Veracruz
Cloth – $110
Paper – $30
eBook – $19.95
Publication Date
Paperback: 05/23/2023
Cloth: 05/23/2023
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About the Book

Older people negotiating dance routines, intimacy, and racialized differences provide a focal point for an ethnography of danzón in Veracruz, the Mexican city closely associated with the music-dance genre. Hettie Malcomson draws upon on-site research with semi-professional musicians and amateur dancers to reveal how danzón connects, and does not connect, to blackness, joyousness, nostalgia, ageing, and romance. Challenging pervasive utopian views of danzón, Malcomson uses the idea of ambivalence to explore the frictions and opportunities created by seemingly contrary sentiments, ideas, sensations, and impulses. Interspersed with experimental ethnographic vignettes, her account takes readers into black and mestizo elements of local identity in Veracruz, nostalgic and newer styles of music and dance, and the friendships, romances, and rivalries at the heart of regular danzón performance and its complex social world.

Fine-grained and evocative, Danzón Days journeys to one of the genre’s essential cities to provide new perspectives on aging and romance and new explorations of nostalgia and ambivalence.

About the Author

Hettie Malcomson is an associate professor of ethnomusicology and social anthropology at the University of Southampton.