Born in 19th-century Cuban dance halls, danzón eventually became the country’s official national dance. Influenced by African and European music and dance traditions, it continues to thrive outside the big island’s borders, in Mexico and beyond, in orchestra halls and dance salons, leaving an indelible mark on Latin American culture. It’s a genre all its own and a lovely bit of romance to remember during Hispanic Heritage Month here in the U.S. The Library has plenty of music, films and books to help you explore its rich history.
Hannah Whitaker, interning this summer as a junior fellow in the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center, discusses her work in helping preserve live recordings from early in the 20th century, including performances by stars such as Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday.