Photographer: Ruinas de San Francisco
At the height of the nineteenth century Merengue was rejected in the Cibao region by the elites of the time. The rejection of this folk rhythm was not due to the music or even the lyrics but rather because of the audacity of couples dancing, embracing each other in a booth or at a dance hall. Its performance was a break from the collective dance halls of European heritage.
Photographer: Pedro Genaro Rodriguez
In the Dominican Republic some of the most popular dances nowadays are danced by couples, in an embrace. These forms of dancing, in the case of merengue, represent a heritage fusion of African, European and Indian rhythms, which still currently remain among Dominicans, promoting social integration and enabling those who dance it to bond and get to know each other better. From a young age Dominicans learn to dance as a couple and so for the rest of their lives.